April 15, 2024

CABLE | 'Fallout' Fights the Nuclear Future Past on Prime Video

"The end of the world is a product."
Annabel O'Hagan Jonathan Nolan Lisa Joy Graham Wagner Geneva Robertson-Dworet | Fallout Prime Video
Amazon MGM Studios / Kilter Films
From Bethesda Softworks' wildly popular post-apocalyptic action role-playing video game franchise comes a fun but twisted television series adaptation helmed by producer/director Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher). This version of Fallout proves to be its own exhilaratingly ultra-violent vision about the corporatization of war that's complementary to the game's existing universe.

Showrunners Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet embrace the retrofuturistic RPG aesthetic with plenty of fully realized practical yet purposely artificial details that somehow make Fallout's environment feel more tangibly lived-in. Set two hundred years in a divergent alternate future after the titular repercussions of a nuclear apocalypse, we follow intersecting groups of survivors crossing paths with each other in the bombed-out, radioactive wasteland of Los Angeles.

Starring Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, and an unrecognizable Walton Goggins (playing a posthuman gunslinging bounty hunter) in various roles of contrasting Californian inhabitants from three distinct backgrounds, the Fallout series creates new characters and stories within the framework of the world the video game established. Featuring a soundtrack of pre-sixties era song standards to mirror where its timeline diverged from our own, a pleasant eeriness permeates the throwback existence of the interactions.

Each episode of Fallout exists as its own mission or sidequest within a larger serialized narrative that seeds little mysteries along the way to be resolved. How it envisions the series through high production value, radioactive bleak humour, and cinematic storytelling to flesh out its story mechanics builds on the game that came before it wisely, not unlike The Last of Us.

Fallout's eight-episode first season is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

More | YVArcade / Inverse / Polygon

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