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REVIEW: Prime’s “Fallout” Show

By Henry Fisher | April 29, 2024

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

On April 11, Amazon Prime released the “Fallout” show on Prime Video, a project made in collaboration with Bethesda Game Studios – the company behind the most recent “Fallout” games. The games are known for their retro-futuristic aesthetic, their strange sense of humor, and their commentary on real world issues. Both the show and the games are mostly set centuries after a nuclear exchange that leveled the old world. 

Adaptations are always a bit of a mixed bag for me, especially when it comes to video game adaptations. Though it is fun to see our favorite stories transcend their original medium, many times adaptations only remind us that those stories existed in that medium for a reason. 

But you know what? After many failed video game adaptations, someone finally made one that feels truly connected to the world and themes it is based on. Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, the show’s creators, really went all out on this one, with good CGI mixed with real sets, special effects, and great costume work. I’ll be trying to avoid for this one, but here’s a quick run-down of the plot:

The show follows three new characters, Lucy MacLean (Ella Purnell), Maximus (Aaron Morten), and the Ghoul (Walton Goggins) as they (and the factions of the wasteland) fight to control something that could change the world as they know it. This is tied in with Lucy’s personal quest to find her kidnapped father (Kyle MacLachlan) and several other smaller stories – such as a personal favorite involving Lucy’s brother, Norm (Moisés Arias), who, unlike his sister, remained in their fallout shelter, Vault 33. While some stories are reminiscent of ones from the games, they are original to the series. 

As a long-time fan of the video game series, the “Fallout” show really hits the tone of the series on the head. This is in no small part due to the music of the show, which, like the series, is generally made up of ‘40s and ‘50s popular hits. Many of the fight scenes in the show include these tracks, something that feels pulled right out of the games. 

I was impressed by how much they managed to fit in from the series without making it feel bloated. Not only are there references to the newer games made by Bethesda, but there is clear appreciation for the original Fallouts, “Fallout 1” and “Fallout 2,” made by Interplay Entertainment. There are also original creatures, such as Episode 3’s gulper, that are welcome additions to the series.  

While the show is certainly a pleasure for fans of the series, from what has been said from others who have watched, being a fan is not a prerequisite to enjoying the show. There has been some discourse among fans as to the decisions that the show (which has been noted as canon for the broader series) has made in regards to the overall story of the world. Without getting into spoilers, I’ll just note that the show takes place later on in the timeline than anything else before it. Personally, I feel like these changes help make the world feel ever-evolving, but I will leave that to the individual viewer. 

“Fallout” has already been green-lit for a second season, one that I am very excited for. Though I doubt it will be done within a year with how technically-impressive the show is, I hope it shines as bright as the one that got it all started. 


You can watch “Fallout” now on Prime Video.


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