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The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

‘Fallout’: one of the best video game to television adaptations of the decade

Provided by: Amazon Prime Video
Lucy, one of the main characters in the series, leaves her vault, a futuristic nuclear fallout shelter, for the first time.

Faithfully adapting a video game to a television series is no small task, especially with a fandom as dedicated as that of the post apocalyptic survival role playing game (RPG), Fallout. Amongst similar adaptations, this new show has stood out, perfectly capturing the gruesome splendor of the original games in its first season, now available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

The show is set in a post-apocalyptic California after nuclear war engulfed the globe. The few people who are left form factions, raiding and pillaging to no end. Others are descendents of vault residents– people who paid their way into a luxury underground vault to keep them safe from the war. They hide in these protective communes with high hopes of restoring the world to its former beauty. One of the show’s main characters, Lucy Maclean (Ella Purnell), is a vault dweller who seeks for her father who has been stolen by a gang of nasty wasteland raiders. 

Other characters aid or try to mislead Lucy on her journey, exposing her to the cruelty of the wasteland and leading her to realize how naive she was made to be from life in the vaults. At the end of the series, she has to make a decision between her family and what her morals would otherwise tell her is right. The story is gut-wrenching, sometimes literally, and action packed with scenes which always kept me on the edge of my seat and left me excited for the next season.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the show, coming from someone who has played many of the original games, is all of the little details. From the BlamCo Mac & Cheese to the classic vault boy thumbs up, I could tell that the writers and set designers had really done their research, keeping as many details from the game as possible.

Another thing the series did a great job of is creating characters with depth. The Ghoul, also known as Cooper Howard (Walter Goggins), is a main character in the series who is infected with ghoul sickness, which causes victims to turn feral over time, but also grants him immortality. The show does a fantastic job of illustrating the character’s greed overpowering his own humanity.

Knowing Cooper has been alive for over two hundred years, flashbacks to his life before the war gave so much extra depth to the character because viewers got to know more about his backstory, in turn becoming more sympathetic towards him and understanding the violent lengths he was willing to go to. Goggin’s portrayal of the two very different personas was very impressive.

Outside of the story, the directors and prop crew on the set made such good use of practical stunts and effects, creating really convincing action scenes and less clunky CGI to encumber the actors’ performance. Such a realistic environment made it possible for the actors to portray the amazing balance of gorey action and comedic relief that they did. One example of this is the show’s Mr. Handy robot which is made up of completely practical effects. 

In this scene, a modified post-war Mr. Handy robot threatens to remove Lucy’s organs but she manages to escape in a fight with it. What is more is that the robot was made from completely practical effects. (Photo provided by Amazon Prime Video)

The only negative aspect of this show that I have to point out is the storyline of Maximus which was less than compelling. Maximus (Aaron Clifton Moten), is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, one of the factions of the wasteland that’s focus is on militarism and religion. The thing that bothers me most about Maximus is how he was implemented into the show and his motivation. His progression through the ranks of the Brotherhood does not make sense, but gets off easy because the leader of the Brotherhood is cryptic and has a mysterious reason for everything. Then, Maximus finds himself in a dangerous situation, he commits several crimes, effectively cornering himself into identity theft and a life of running from the Brotherhood.

Although it may have been intended and is actually great writing, but to me it just seems like everytime Maximus has the chance to do something right, he messes it up in an even more nonsensical way than the last.

I suppose what I am more upset about is receiving a character from the Brotherhood and not getting at least one scene where I get to watch twenty guys in power armor mow down hundreds of feral ghouls.

Overall, I do not have a lot bad to say about the series and really appreciate the attention to detail and the amazing work of the actors in portraying their characters, however unusual they were. I had a lot of good laughs watching this show and a lot of “ew, yuck” moments, in a good way. I think this show is a good watch for anybody even if they have not played the games, but to anyone who has, I would strongly recommend it since it is not the usual mediocre video game adaptation. Other shows similar to Fallout include The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic action-drama based on its video game predecessor.


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About the Contributor
Connor Billington
Connor Billington, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Connor Billington, and I am a freshman staff writer for the Ghostwriter. I enjoy writing, English is one my favorite subjects in school and I look forward to bringing the same enthusiasm to this newspaper. When I’m not in school, and I’m not doing homework, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, playing games, video and board alike, and listening to music. I also enjoy cross country skiing in the winter time. I can’t wait to make new friends during my first year on the Ghostwriter and further enhance my writing capabilities.

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