Duck and cover in a post-apocalyptic world full of danger, gory battles and black comedy that grabs from the get-go.

With shows such as The Last of Us, television has really lifted the bar in adaptating video games for the small screen.

While Halo may not have lived up to its legacy, others such as The Witcher and Castlevania have forged audiences.

The latest is Prime Video’s Fallout, a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game created by Tim Cain and Todd Howard.

The big budget world realised by director Jonathan Nolan (Westworld, Person of Interest) is fabulously recreated on screen, combining futurism with 1950s retro duck-and-cover touchstones.

The opening sequence, which hooks around failed actor Cooper Howard (Walton Goggins) turned kids party entertainer, is resplendent in its 1950s costumes, retro TV sets and wireless radios -before annhilation literally explodes around him. This is The Day After times ten…

From there we fast-forward 219 years later to Vault 33, a community of optimists, who plan on becoming the future for America when it is safe to venture outside. In this inner sanctum, Overseer Hank (Kyle MacLachlan) is about to give away daughter Lucy (Ella Purnell) to a young man from an adjoining Vault.

But not everything goes as planned and Hank is kidnapped by a group known as raiders led by Lee Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury). This misfortune ignites the mission for Lucy to boldly leave the safety of the Vault and venture outside to the remains of post-apocalyptic world.

Meanwhile a young soldier Maximus (Aaron Moten), who lives outside, is recruited to hunt down a member of a scientific Enclave who has the power toradically change the power dynamic in this world. Maximus is joined by a giant gladiator in a fragile squire / knight relationship not dissimilar to Brienne of Tarth / Jaime Lannister.

When Cooper Howard resurfaces as a morally ambiguous bounty hunter known as The Ghoul, we pivot into a good ol’ western. By now the viewer has been bombarded with an array of characters and concepts yet to fit together as jigsaw pieces.

By episode two, when Michael Emmerson features as Dr. Siggi Wilzig who secretly develops a mysterious blue substance, more questions emerge. But there is also more focus and collision of storylines to help the viewer begin to distil its various layers.

Thankfully the action never drags, kept bubbling along with nostalgic tunes including Orange Coloured Sky, Some Enchanted Evening and Don’t Fence Me In, which all add to the black comedy that ripples throughout.

Special mention must go to the production design in realising a retro-future steampunk world, with echoes of Mad Max and Planet of the Apes.

Lead cast Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten and Walton Goggins are all solid in their performances, while the kooky nature of this world lends itself to character performances such as Dale Dickey as trader Ma June -even Leslie Uggams makes a cameo.

There is comment that the Vault Dwellers are privileged rich folk, who were able to exist in their sheltered safety while the poorer classes were left to exist outside, fending for themselves in a dangerous crumbling society. Through this Lucy will grow up fast, in pursuit of her absent father. Meanwhile a smiling motif of Fallout boy, belies the horrors and dangers of the real world.

There’s a lot to take in, but Fallout delivers in its wild characters, gory battles and sci-fi adventure to make for a very arresting pitch.

Fallout is now screening on Prime Video.

10 Responses

  1. The first episode was poor but it gets a lot better from the second onwards, much more like the games (which I’ve played for many hours).
    There are some genuine funny moments and intriguing characters but I’d encourage anyone who likes this series to play Fallout 4 as the storyline is so much better!

  2. It seems everyone is raving about this show yet my partner and I simply didn’t connect at all and we bailed halfway through episode 3. Post-apocalyptic survival horror-drama with a splash of comedy’ is a genre that’s been done too much already.

  3. Also loving this, great story and characters, visuals, interesting plots, very well done, I’m only half way through as didn’t want to binge it all and have it be over too soon.

  4. I’m half way through the season and absolutely loving it! The story, characters, sets and music simply jell together beautifully. There’s never a dull moment with an interesting overarching story that unfolds at just the right pace. The timeline jumps around a bit, but it works and works well. Looking forward to the second half of this season.

  5. I enjoyed every minute of this series…fabulous work from all involved….gamers may or may not agree but I am not a gamer so went in to it knowing very little. Looking forward to more from the fabulous Mr Nolan.

Leave a Reply