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Fallout TV Series: A Fitting Homage to a Beloved Game

Updated: May 4

Fallout Series Poster

As I am a stranger to the ways of the gamer, I consulted veteran gamers about how faithful the Fallout TV series is to the game and got a positive response. Although I watched this series through the unbiased and unexpectant eyes of a gaming novice without exposure to this grand gaming franchise.

Special thanks to the Redditors who have shared their valuable opinion with us in this article about the game.

The Plot of the Fallout TV Series

When the world is on the brink of nuclear war, a company called Vault-Tec that designs elaborate underground bunkers called vaults turns out to be profiteering. There is the Great War that happened in 2077 post which all that's left is scorched Earth and vaults for two whole centuries.

Walton Goggins as Cooper Howard saving his daughter from a nuclear blast

The plot follows the journey of Cooper Howard as he still searches for his wife and the people he comes across. On his journey, he meets Lucy Mclean, a vault dweller, and Maximus a member of the Brotherhood, of Steel turning into a long twisted adventure.

Armor in the Fallout TV series

Unless you've played the game, most of the plot elements will be new to you, but as you watch the show becomes enjoyable and even pleasantly predictable at times.

The Cast

Ella Purnell does a fantastic job of acting as Lucy Mclean, the daughter of the vault overseer of Vault 33 Henry "Hank" Mclean. She is pretty good at the action sequences and also at playing a precocious vault-dweller with pristine values who can still fend for herself.

Of course, Walton Goggins is probably the heart of the show playing a character that looks like the Red Skull in Captain America. However starts off as the fully human cowboy Cooper Howard with acting as his profession.

Aaron Moten is one my favorite actors in this series because of how incredibly expressive he is with his facial expressions. Every single emotion and thought is conveyed by him as a facial expression which I didn't think was even possible. Some may call this over-acting but I think it's pretty cool.

Sarita Choudhury has a bada$$ role as Moldaver the lady of flame who intends to restore some balance to the post-apocalyptic world. She doesn't have much screen time but does wonders with what she's given.

Kyle MacLachlan plays the shady and eventually despicable Hank with great ease and you can see his years of acting in the way he portrays this character.

Johnny Pemberton and Matty Cardarople play Thaddeus and Huey and are equally funny in their way with the latter playing a trader and the former playing a member of the Brotherhood.

Michael Emerson plays the creepy scientist named Wilzig and Zach Cherry plays a senior staff in the vault.

The clear favorite among the gamers (and mine too) is Walton Goggins as the Ghoul who has the best lines and acts really well. A close second is Aaron Moten and Ella Purnell who does a fantastic job.

Series Glossary

The Fallout TV series is something that anyone can watch regardless of playing the game on which it's based. That being said, I'll save you people from Googling these terms a couple of times while pausing the series mid-watch.

1. Armor

This is a fixture of the Fallout games and is similar to the Ironman suit in that it offers the person wearing the equipment protection from gunfire and mortar attacks.

Knight of the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout Series

It also provides the operator with an exponential increase in strength along a variety of offensive weapons such as heavy artillery and rockets along with flight capabilities.

2. Stimpack

A short form of the word Stimulant Pack which is used in other franchises as well. In the context of the Fallout TV series, it is used to accelerate the natural healing ability of a person to heal injuries instantly. It also helps in overcoming other types of harm such as radiation damage and more.

3. Ghoul

Humans who have been irreversibly transformed into zombie-like creatures due to radiation damage from the nuclear attack are called ghouls. They are different from zombies in that their flesh isn't dead but has a burnt appearance with most of their flesh and muscles damaged.

Walton Goggins as the Ghoul

While they cannot reproduce and most of them have turned insane, they do have unnaturally long lifespans and aren't affected further by radiation. Some of the Ghouls have turned feral by losing their humanity completely and are no better than wild animals.

4. Vault

Underground bunkers that are completely self-sustaining through the use of fusion cores are called Vaults.

Cooper Howard showing a Vault from Vault-Tec

Here elite groups who mostly comprise the super-rich hole themselves up to wait out the radioactive surface dwellers to die out.

5. Abomination

Any animals or people that are mutated beyond any hope of recognition.

An Abomination attacking Maximus in Fallout Series

Yes, it does sound identical to the name of the Marvel character which is a twisted version of the Hulk.

6. Pip-boy

A Personal Information Processor or Pip-Boy is a chunky wrist bracelet that tracks the vitals of the wearer and carries out several other functions. In the series, Pip-boys can accurately measure radiation, track location, call other Pips, and act as a smartphone.

Season 1 Summary

Episode 1

The scene opens with Walton Goggins playing Cooper Howard, an actor moonlighting as a show cowboy for someone's party with his child. Next thing you know you see a mushroom cloud way off in the distance that keeps growing into a massive fireball.

Cut to 219 years later with the literally and figuratively wide-eyed Lucy Mclean played by Ella Purnell of Army of the Dead fame. She is talking to her fellow cult oops vault members about weird things such as her reproductive organs and finding a "marriage partner."

Things quickly go off the rails when the person she was supposed to marry turns out to be a looter on the surface of a post-nuclear war world. He infiltrates the vault she lives in only to have one night of unbridled intercourse and a whole lot of cake.

Another part of this post-apocalyptic world sees Maximus played by Aaron Clifton Moten who is a character who looks soft on the outside but is made of much stronger stuff. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel (cool name) who salvage pre-war technology to bring their sense of order to the chaotic world that exists.

An important weapon of this sect is the power armor, which you wear to become a knight and carry out missions.

The end of the first episode sees Lucy Mclean searching for her father who is kidnapped by the group of surface-dwelling raiders as mentioned before.

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Episodes 2-8

The rest of the episodes turn into a MacGuffin storyline where the lead character Lucy is joined by two other characters, the Ghoul and Maximus who have to transport an object to a destination.

Lucy is invested in the object to trade it for her father, whereas the Ghoul wants the object to make money, and Maximus is in it for acceptance from his brotherhood. Ella Purnell does a great job of portraying a layered character who changes in a matter of days on the surface.

Maximus and the Ghoul on the other hand don't change much but explore their limitations and strengths through their journey.

You get to learn more about Cooper Howard the cowboy actor and his wife who has dark secrets of her own that are explored through flashbacks. The flashbacks remind me of game cut scenes and are very on-brand for a game adaptation.

Nuclear blast in the Fallout TV Series

The main song of the series I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire by the Ink Spots is equal parts catchy and creepy at the same time. It really sets the mood of a retro-futurism sci-fi series and the context of nuclear fallout is spot on here.

This series is also wacky when you don't expect it, which is a pleasant surprise when you come across such a sequence while watching.

Real-life parallels

For me, the scariest part of the whole series was Vault-Tec's strategy which is very much active in today's business world. One of those strategies is predatory pricing where a large corporation eliminates its competitors by decreasing its pricing until competitors shut shop.

When the large corporation is a near monopoly, it can raise the prices of its product/service to the extent where it can gain the maximum profit while still keeping its consumers and distributors buying.

This is detailed the story of every major near monopoly, duopoly, or straight-up monopoly. Such a strategy is the dream of every company or institution across domains and verticals - Major hospitals, IT service companies, FMCG corporations, and more.

If you follow the news closely in India one of the biggest Educational technology companies in the world is about to shut shop after trying this strategy and failing.

What do Fallout Gamers have to say?

After reviewing quite a few movies and series that were reboots and adaptations I realized that the original content matters. For example, the Ghostbusters 2016 movie was a great movie on its own, but you have to remember that it is sourced from an existing legacy of great movies starring amazing actors.

The Ghostbusters 2016 reboot did not honor the roots of the movie franchise and went in another direction completely. It did have token cameos by Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray but none of the original canon. This is why the movie was a box office flop with the movie losing more money than it made.

Hence I thought it would be good to ask what the fans of the Fallout game would have to say about this.

Here's what user sundaycomicssection has to say about his experience with the game. I like how he validates his review with a detailed gaming resume!

My opinion is the only way it could be better is if I had made it myself. It is the show I was hoping for.

Hardcore Fallout Gamer Resume:

Original - how did I (and all my friends) pass any of our classes that semester?

Fallout 2 - Waited 2 years after release for this one and bought it for myself when I graduated from college, then played the crap out of it.

Fallout Tactics - Played it a little bit, but never really got into it.

Fallout 3 - Initially pissed it wasn't isometric and turn-based, held off on buying it because I didn't want to be disappointed but Daggerfall was my all-time favorite game at the time so I gave it a try and loved it.

Fallout New Vegas Game

Fallout New Vegas - Cool, but too short of a story (finished in 25 ish hrs of gameplay), monsters weren't very good, and I felt there were simultaneously too many choices and not enough choices that actually mattered to me. Never felt the need to replay the game because the story didn't impact me in any way and I can't, to this day, remember any details of the story beyond there was a spot in the game where you could play cards. I did like the robot designs a lot.

Fallout 4 - 526 hrs spread across multiple playthroughs. The base building part was so cool that I was planning (but never really worked on) an idea to bring that to Skyrim with a mod.

Realized after trying out the different endings, there is only one choice to be the good guy at the end: Join the Institute...the other choices force you to commit genocide against the synths destroying their birthplace and making it so no more synths could be created. There can't be a better Fallout game than this one.

Fallout Shelter - Messed around with it but never really got into it.

Fallout 76 Game

Fallout 76 - 1545 hrs played across 4 characters. I was the second person to leave the vault on our server when the beta was released. I was wrong earlier, this is the best Fallout game ever. The best thing that happened to this game was that the fanboys and trend chasers decided it sucked and stayed away. Only the hardcore fans (and r/fo76FilthyCasuals ) gave it a shot.

I miss those early days, before the human NPCs when it was so lonely, seeing a person on the horizon and knowing they were real was special when it was so dark in the mire you could barely see and the Mothman would show up...terrifying, the first time I entered a nuke zone is one of the best video game experiences I have ever been a part of, the irradiated flux didn't glow and you had to know what the right plants looked like instead, and the enemies were actually difficult to fight.

There are a lot of bugs from those early days (and the very small stash limit) that I don't miss but it really felt like something special was happening that first year or so with the community that sprung up around this game.

At one point I decided to RP as Nuka Cola Man and take random players through quests that I made up to find Nuka Cola and Zap That Thirst! So much fun. I haven't played much in the last two years because I felt like the game was getting too cluttered, but after watching the show I am thinking it is time to dive back in and do the new content I haven't caught up on yet.

Gamer Reviews

Here are snapshots of the Reddit comments I received on a request for a review of this series from the viewpoint of a gamer:

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
I thought this was funny

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
A deep cut that gamers might resonate with

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
Another positive review for the Fallout series

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
The quality of the series shocked this user

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
Love this deep cut about the Series soundtrack!

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
I thought the series was great!

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
Gamer Mistake

Reddit comments about Fallout Series
Comparison to The Last of Us was interesting


I realize that CGI is heavily in the mix in the Fallout TV Series, especially for the wide shots of a post-apocalyptic landscape. But those long shots are done incredibly well.

The series budget is also well-utilized to provide retro-futuristic props such as bulky 80's style computers with green screens. I also love the jewel casing buttons for some of the control panels in a few episodes.

CRT TV in Fallout Series

What's more, every television has a convex cathode ray tube-style screen which is just awesome, I think. Shiny steel and iron are used to represent almost all heavy machinery here. The wrist computers Vault-dwellers use are called a pip-boy which has similar shiny and rugged steel features.

Also, I love the 70's and 80's style of advertising that you see in every part of the Fallout universe. The clothing is also from the same era, maintaining consistency. One of the VCR players is actually named "Radiation King" - that's hilarious!

Unlike in the Apple Plus Series Severance, all this retro-tech is the peak of their technology. If you have watched the awesome show Severance you will know that the Lumon employees are provided with bulky 80's style computers. But inside the Lumon company bowels you see current-day tech such as touch screens and slim TV panels.

Should You Watch This? Hell Yes!

This series is a great watch regardless of your experience with the game franchise. It even has the unanimous blessing of gamers around the world about its fidelity to the franchise along with the quality of production.

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