“Now I can’t wait for the world to end” -Fallout

Show co-lead Lucy (Ella Purnell) as she comes upon a post-apocalyptic town

As existentially horrifying as the idea of nuclear war is, I will say that at least it has inspired some creative fiction over the years. 

For a good example look no further than Fallout, the hugely popular video game series where the roaches are humongous, the mutated monsters are plentiful and the Geiger counters enthusiastically sing their clicky song of death. 

It’s an interesting world to visit and one that was ripe for adaptation and wouldn’t you know it, but Amazon Prime has given us a pretty great one, even if it feels like it takes a while to get going. 

Fallout the television show is not based on any particular game in the series but is instead its own thing, a big positive considering how bogged down with minutiae that straightforward adaptations can get. 

It starts with a bang (several bangs in fact, each one of the nuclear persuasion) before reining things in a bit for a solid hour and a half of world-building as we follow three characters—two heroes, ably played by Ella Purnell and Aaron Moten, and a scene chewing cowboy-ghoul (an irradiated and mutated person) villain played by the always fantastic Walton Goggins (or Walton Ghoulggins, as I will forever know him). 

Despite some (fairly gruesome and icky) bloodshed that kicks off Lucy’s (Purnell) journey things start out pretty slow and it’s not until halfway through the second hour-long episode that things begin to coalesce a bit into a cohesive narrative. 

But the world of Fallout is just so interesting that it doesn’t matter much. As the bombs fell in a world analogous to our 1950s, the tunes are all old-timey, the tech the dream of someone from that era imagining what the future would look like in the distant year of two-thousand-whatever. 

The giant budget that Amazon threw at this project is seen everywhere, from the ruinous sets to the CGI on the freaky mutated beasties to the grungy makeup that makes everyone (everyone but the two heroes, I suppose) look like grody little trash goblins. 

Fallout was always a video game series that had its tongue firmly in its cheek, drawing satirical humor from such places as the naivete of the people who grew up in radiation-proof vaults or the borderline jingoism of the Brotherhood of Steel, a fairly fascistic organization that has all the subtlety of a bull driving a tank into a china shop. 

This humor is present in the show, if a bit dialed down, keeping things fun to watch even when things are bleak. 

A lot of humor is also derived from some over-the-top violence that would not seem out of place in an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, so if head popping and silverware ballistics are not your thing you might want to look elsewhere. 

But for existing fans and newcomers alike Fallout is a triumph, standing among some of the best video game-to-TV show/film adaptations out there. 

The entirety of Fallout season 1 is now available on Amazon Prime. 

Article written by TJ Reid

SUBSCRIBE TO GET KEIZER NEWS — We report on your community with care, depth, fairness, and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more.