The Fallout Tv series is real, and is coming next April to Amazon Prime! Vanity Fair recently published some news and set photos from the long-in-production ( and highly anticipated) Fallout show. What we know so far is that the show is canon in the greater Fallout universe according to Todd Howard (Director of Bethesda Game Studios, who own the Fallout IP) and is an original story, not a retelling of any specific game, but fits in it’s own unique pocket of the timeline, set .
It centers around Lucy, who has lived her entire life in a vault, and her mission that requires her to leave Vault 33. She encounters a Brotherhood of Steel soldier and a Ghoul Bounty Hunter who have their own motivations. That’s all we know. Videogame adaptations run the gamut of being amazing (see The Last Of Us) to being a bit subpar (see Halo). How can Fallout avoid being a letdown? Well here are 5 things it must nail!
In the Fallout series the environment is as much a character as the actual characters are themselves. We still don’t know what the setting of the show is, but it absolutely has to make us believe that this is a post-apocalyptic United States. Fallout 3 is set in Washington D.C. and it plays with that with the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol Building, and even the Washington Monument.
Fallout: New Vegas puts its own spin on the Hoover Dam, the Vegas Strip, and Reno. And Fallout 76 does the same with the Appalachian wilderness, etc. Whatever setting the show uses has to feel wholly unique yet familiar. There should be irradiated areas that set off the Geiger counters, there should be post-apocalyptic depictions of famous landmarks or monuments. It can’t be a boring setting. The show should feel somewhat unique to the FO universe.
It Should Be Connected But Not Overly Done
The Fallout TV series has a unique advantage over other video game adaptations in that it is not tied down to a specific location or character. Every Fallout game has a different setting, time period, and main character. This gives the showrunners plenty of freedom in coming up with something unique while not violating any sacred cows (like showing Master Chief’s ass in Halo). That said, there should be some connective tissue.
We know from the Vanity Fair article that there is a ship similar to the Prydwen (The floating headquarters of the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4) called the Caswennan, so it doesn’t contradict the possible ending of Fallout 4 where the player can destroy it. So they’re being careful with the lore. But we should have references (presumably the show takes place several years after Fallout 4) to other events or factions.
Maybe someone mentions Caesar’s Legion from New Vegas, or a nod to the Synths from MIT. Maybe even expanding on the Great War (the event that caused the apocalypse in the first place). As long as they don’t overdo it by mixing characters or cameos that don’t make sense (including the Courier or Benny from New Vegas as they would be dead by then) they have a shot at making something truly unique here.
The world of Fallout is very grim and depressing, and this comes across in the music and visuals of the series, but it’s not devoid of humor at all. In contrast to say The Last Of Us (another video game adaptation centered on a post-apocalyptic world) Fallout embraces satire and jingoism. Fallout is full of posters, pamphlets, and even robots with extreme political views. The latest game, Fallout 76, features robots that parade around blasting the Star-Spangled Banner from their speakers.
Posters warning of the “Red Menace” adorn office buildings and public spaces. Players in Fallout 3 can encounter an elderly man who believes communists are still his enemy because his radio station is stuck on a loop from 200 years prior. There is even a giant robot named Liberty Prime (parody of Optimus Prime, that even speaks like him) who shouts lines like “Freedom is the sovereign right of every American” and “Death is a preferable alternative to communism”. Fallout shows what extreme nationalism and xenophobia can look like and how hilarious it looks in a post-apocalyptic world where those concerns are no longer relevant. If they can stay true to that spirit and avoid upsetting “modern sensibilities” then they can knock this show out of the park!
So much of what lends to Fallout’s 1950s Americana setting is the period music! The game’s setting is frozen in a 1950s retro future/diner aesthetic as that was the style when the nuclear bombs fell. And the music reflects that. Whether it’s Bing Crosby’s “Pistol Packin’ Mama” or “Don’t Fence Me In”, or The Five Stars’ “Atom Bomb Baby” we need that sweet 50s era music in there somewhere.
You can have it playing on radios in the background or have it providing a diegetic atmosphere in a bar/cantina. Ideally I would have it playing during the credits or a different song every episode in the opening. The point is that music is very important in this world to a lot of Fallout fans and it needs to be present in some form.
Lastly I’d like to say that the show should be bold and weird. Fallout is about philosophy, xenophobia, transhumanism, nationalism, gender fluidity, runaway A.I., eugenics, futurists, fascism, socialism, sexuality, cannibalism, even ageism! The series tackles so many unique ideas and concepts and I think the show should be willing to tackle tricky subjects and the broad spectrum of humanity when and where it makes sense.
What do you guys think? Would you want to see anything else in the show specifically? Sound off in the comments! Phillip Littell over on the GNN Greats Facebook fan page said:
First images I’ve seen of it. If pictures alone could tell if it’s gonna be good or not, I’m down 100%. These images look amazing. Hopefully this follows an original storyline with original characters. Plenty of room in the fallout universe for that.
I share Phillip’s enthusiasm for the show as well. Dan Fischer on the other hand is a bit wary about the show given he has been burned before by video game adaptations, he qupped:
Looks like they’ve really nailed the visuals, but these sorts of shows don’t have a great track record (Halo, I’m looking at you). I’m holding steady at “cautiously optimistic.