Fallout

Fallout

2024 - United States

Welcome to the Apocalypse

Fallout review by Matt Owen

Fallout is a new streaming series, available on Amazon Prime Video, that was created by Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The series is, in part, directed by Jonathan Nolan, best known for popular sci-fi series like Westworld and Person of Interest, as well as co-writing films like The Dark Knight and Interstellar. Marking a growing trend in modern television, Fallout is based on the video game franchise of the same name, which started in 1997, but has remained successful to this day.

Fallout

As the name implies, Fallout tells the tale of an alternate future, where resources on Earth have dwindled, resulting in complete devastation via nuclear war. Centuries after the bombs fall, civilization on the surface has become a lawless place, where various factions battle for supremacy. When a few new faces begin their journey in the Wasteland, longstanding conspiracies and devastating secrets are finally revealed.

Fallout

Unlike other recent video game adaptations, Fallout breaks free from the existing source material, and instead, weaves an entirely new story that remains faithful to the games. Set in 2296, the show centres on a handful of protagonists, starting with the naive but skilled young woman, Lucy (Ella Purnell). As a privileged survivor, Lucy lives in a massive underground fallout shelter called a Vault, which was created by a mega-corporation called Vault-Tec. When tragedy befalls the Vault, Lucy is forced to venture to the surface, despite all warnings against it. As Lucy braves this horrifying new world, her younger brother, Norman (Moises Arias), starts to discover even worse secrets back in the Vault.

Fallout

At the same time, a young soldier named Maximus (Aaron Moten) looks to climb the ranks in the Brotherhood of Steel, one of the most powerful factions in the Wasteland. When Max receives a surprise promotion, he is thrust into the brutality of the apocalypse, serving as an assistant to one of the Brotherhood's fearsome Knights. We are also introduced to Cooper, a severely radiated human called a “ghoul”, whose mutations render him seemingly immortal. Serving as the glue that holds the various sub-plots together, Cooper's past is as mysterious as his present, bestowing many revelations onto the rest of the cast.

Fallout

Much like the recent, masterful adaptation of The Last of Us, Fallout absolutely nails the atmosphere and tone of the source material. As expected, the story is appropriately gloomy, considering it's set in a horrible, post-apocalyptic wasteland, but Fallout also emulates the game's dark sense of humour. The world of Fallout is truly deranged at times, offering mountains of blood and guts, but it also alleviates the depravity with some effective jokes and gags. This is mostly due to the excellent script, which stays intriguing throughout the show's eight episodes, all while boasting amazing character development and gripping dialogue.

Fallout

This enthralling story is also backed by truly superb visuals, which perfectly mirror the art design of the source material at every turn. All the props, costumes, weapons, and sets are near-indistinguishable from the original games, showcasing an obvious attention to detail from the showrunners. There are also tons of references and easter eggs, which are sure to make any longtime fan giddy. To the same point, Fallout rarely pulls the punches with its violence, as moments of mayhem are just as gory and over-the-top as the games. The show is slightly marred by a few sequences with awkward CGI, but these are few and infrequent. For the most part, Fallout provides a world that feels real and palpable, making its horrors all the more intense.

Overall, Fallout is a show that goes above and beyond most other video game adaptations, delivering a dark, post-apocalyptic narrative that should resonate with all audiences, regardless of their experience with the source material. Between Lucy, Max, Cooper, and the vast supporting cast, there is a sea of interesting characters to latch onto, all expertly performed by truly talented actors. Each episode provides excellent world-building and an ever-growing mystery, all while exciting set-piece moments and extended action sequences keep the adrenaline high. All told, Fallout might just be the best new sci-fi series of 2024.

Published on April 23rd, 2024. Written by Matt Owen for Television Heaven.

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