Sci-Fi Fan Letter: TV Show Review: Fallout Season 1

Story


IMDb listing

Pros: interesting character arcs, some great plot twists, good action sequences

Cons: lots of blood and gore, some nudity

Lucy MacLean leaves her mostly idilic nuclear fallout vault to rescue her father who’s been kidnapped by raiders. She is wildly unprepared for the world she finds on the surface.

I have never played the Fallout games though I watched part of a playthrough once (can’t say which game it was). So while I knew a handful of facts about the Fallout world (Pitboy, mutants, vaults), I was basically coming into the show blind.

I had concerns about the amount of gore in the trailer. I’m not a fan of gross humour/horror. So I watched the first episode as a test. And then kept watching. While there is a fair amount of gore, strategically closing my eyes at the right moment has helped (and the moments are generally telegraphed, so this worked well for me).

There are 3 main protagonists whose stories interweave, and they’re all compelling in their own ways. Two of them (Lucy and Maximus) have fairly simple backstories and motivations. The Ghoul’s story gets more and more complicated as the series progresses. The world’s complexities makes achieving their goals a real challenge. Watching Lucy confront her beliefs and see how she’s forced to change in order to live in this new world was heart-breaking. Ella Purnell is brilliant showing the progression from Lucy’s naivety to survivalism. Similarly, seeing who the Ghoul used to be before the nuclear blasts and wondering what’s brought him to this low point is interesting.

The set designs were beautifully done. I loved how they reinvented technology based on the divergence of history. The VHS style videotapes were kind of fun, as were some of the robots.

There were a lot of great fight scenes in a variety of locations. I appreciated that they were all fights for survival, rather than feeling cleanly choreographed. Everyone fights dirty in this world, or they die.

The story had some excellent plot twists (though, apparently many of these are known game storylines, so may not be surprising to those who’ve played them). I was happy that so many questions were answered by the final episode, while leaving enough to segway into a second season.

If you’re ok with gore and some nudity (one episode has a weird scene where a group of people derobe), then give this a try. The acting is great, the characters compelling, and the story shockingly good (especially compared to some other video game shows lately *cough* Halo *cough*).

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