Fallout, apocalyptic sci-fi based on a popular game

Ella Purnell in Fallout

Fallout sets up a world a couple of hundred years in the future. Pods of people have been living underground in fallout shelters (or vaults) since an all out war turned earth into a nuclear desert. The series sets up a situation where a woman from Vault 33 goes topside to the wasteland to rescue her kidnapped father.

Fallout stars Ella Purnell as Lucy MacLean. She’s nominally the protagonist, but the series belongs equally to Aaron Moten as Maximus who is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, and Walton Goggins as Cooper Howard/Ghoul. Two hundred years ago Howard was a star in Hollywood Westerns. His wife Barb (Frances Turner) worked for the corporation that created and sold space in the vaults.

Walton Goggins in Fallout
He looked handsomer 200 years ago

Now Howard/Ghoul is an undead wanderer in the wasteland. He’s missing a nose, has bad lungs, and carries a cynical attitude toward most everything.

Aaron Moten in Fallout
A knight he’s not

Maximus is an aspiring knight in the Brotherhood of Steel. Knights get to march about in huge suits of armor that make them almost invincible. He’s currently the squire for a knight. He kind of accidentally inherits the armor plated suit and gets mixed up with Lucy.

Ella Purnell in Fallout
Lucy heads above ground

Lucy’s father (Kyle MacLachlan) is kidnapped by Lee Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury). Moldaver is scary and dangerous. But Lucy wants to rescue her dad and isn’t afraid to go after him and Moldaver.

Lucy is hilarious when she first gets to the wasteland. She’s polite and kind and believes in the Golden Rule. That’s what it was like in her vault. The people she meets are feral and murderous. It makes for some funny confrontations. The entire state of California has been reduced to infertile sand. Radioactivity lingers. Everything is dangerous.

In the 200+ years the vaults functioned below the ground, the people in the wasteland have done nothing to restore life to what it was before. That felt unlikely to me, but to buy into the world created in the series it must be accepted. One thing I did love about it was that the wasteland was stuck in the 1950s. All the music, television, cars, and technology was of that era. I loved the music! Nobody writing a single line of new music in the last 200 years was okay with me.

To get her dad back, Lucy had to recover the severed head of Wilzig (Michael Emerson). Lucy comes in contact with Maximus and Ghoul. They had the same need for Wilzig’s head. They didn’t really mean to help each other out in that quest, but they did help each other.

There are 8 episodes in the series. The world building aspects of it were impressive and aesthetically beautiful. I had a little trouble getting into the first episode, but after that I was hooked.

There are many characters I haven’t mentioned, but I do want to give a shout out to Leslie Uggams as Betty, trans actor Xelia Mendes-Jones as the nonbinary character Dane, Dale Dickey as Ma June, Fred Armisen as DJ Carl, and Michael Rapaport as Knight Titus.

Thematically Fallout deals with the evils of capitalism and the tendency of the human race to violence and war. The only woman directing was Clare Kilner, who directed 2 episodes.

The series is on Prime Video and Freevee. Amazon has already okayed a second season. The games that inspired the series are made by Bethesda Game Studios. If you’ve watched it, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner