Fallout (TV show)

War, war never changes

3rd May 2024


While I initially only envisioned reviewing video games in this space, I decided to make an exception for the Fallout TV show, that premiered recently on Amazon Prime Video. Since this show is set in the same universe as the games and is technically part of the story canon, a review here isn’t too out of place. I’m also taking the opportunity to talk about it while it’s still a hot topic. Keep in mind that even if this review isn’t spoiler heavy, I will mention some facts and events that you might want to discover by yourself, if you haven’t watched the TV show yet.

A vault life

The Fallout universe is set in an alternate reality where nuclear bombs were massively deployed soon after World War II, profoundly affecting human scientific and technological advancements, culture, and the planet’s ecosystem. This led to the origin of the “wasteland”, where survival is the primary concern.

Away from the dire reality of the wasteland, a few selected individuals live in underground vaults spread across the United States. It’s precisely in one of this vaults that this show starts. We are quickly introduced to one of the main characters, Lucy, and to the busy life inside the vault 33, as the main goal of the vault dwellers - to repopulate the surface once the radiation levels are dissipated from it. However, things went terribly wrong for the inhabitants of Vault 33 when they were invaded and massacred by wastelanders, who also abducted Lucy’s father, the vault overseer, in the process. Lucy then decides to leave the vault for the first time in her life to find her father, echoing Fallout 3’s prologue.

There were still a lot of questions to answer regarding what happened in vault 33. Thankfuly the show does a great job on exploring the motivations behind such tragedy, as the mystery involving two other interconnected vaults, 31 and 32, conducted by the few survivors. Although this subplot was one of the most interesting parts of the show, it unfortunately remained unresolved. Let’s hope it has a follow up in season 2.

❖ The trailer unveils the three main characters: Lucy, Maximus and Cooper.

The wasteland journey

Already on the wasteland, Lucy’s path crosses with Maximus, a member of Brotherhood of Steel, a military order with the goal of control humanity’s most advanced technologies. Always mistreated inside the order, Maximus was sent on a mission to support a soldier retrieving a particular piece of technology. Unsurprisingly, the mission deviated from the plan, but Maximus gained the upper hand by seizing control of the soldier’s armor. Then we get the classic arc of the underdog that once it reaches the top, becomes what he despised the most. While not deal breaking for me, I just didn’t found his story interesting at all, specially because his realization comes really sudently and by the end he’s already the same old good natured underdog, but simply more powerful.

The third main character, who also crosses with Lucy during her journey, is in my opinion the most interesting one. Formerly a Hollywood actor and propaganda man for Vault-Tec, the company responsible for the underground vaults, Cooper Howard has since become a ghoul due to the devastating effects of the nuclear bombs. In this universe, ghouls are essentially people who got too much exposure to radiation, giving them a decomposed appearance, but also a much prolonged life span. During the entire season, our point of view from Cooper is constantly shifting between the past, before the bombing, and the present. What led him to accept doing advertisement for Vault-tec, oblivious of their obscure interests, and what made him eventually become the sour and ruthless ghoul he is.

Creating an original narrative and new characters was a winning choice from the showrunners. It gives something new for everyone, either long time fans or newcomers to the complex Fallout universe. What makes this show trully special however, is how they were able to capture perfectly the games’ essence, consisting of a mixture of dry (and sometimes dark) humor, some spectacularly gory scenes and a retro-futuristic aesthetic heavily inspired by the post-war America from the 40’s and 50’s.




Fallout, the TV show, joined the recent trend of great videogame adaptations, reviving the interest in a franchise that was dormant since the controversial release of Fallout 76. In case you have Amazon Prime, go watch it. In case you don’t, use a free trial. It’ll be worth, believe me.

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