Bethesda Softworks is teaming up with Amazon to bring you Fallout: The Series, or perhaps it’ll have no secondary title. According to Variety, it’s going to have “the games’ ‘harsh tone,’ which making sure it is still ‘sprinkled with moments of ironic humor and B-movie-nuclear-fantasies which players of the epic franchise know and love.”
It’s from the same people making Westworld, so I expect it to be competently written. I’d say that it’s going to be a hard sell for new viewers given the setting is “what if the future was Atompunk that then got itself nuked,” but then again I wouldn’t have bet that a show involving android cowboys would work in this day and age when westerns are about as hot as any hopes of another Young Guns sequel is. I can see a few other things this show will have to establish that may or may not fly with viewers and/or fans:
• Radiation and nuclear stuff is magic, and technology is a heck of a lot more robust than in real life. Two of the conceits of the Fallout franchise is that radioactivity (with the help of a Forced Evolutionary Virus) creates mutated creatures, and computers that run on vacuum tubes (as well as their power sources) can function for over 200 years. Of course, we’ve had some pretty similar tropes in Star Trek and the like, so maybe this won’t be as difficult as I imagine.
• For the most part, everywhere looks like the Australian desert. This is mostly in keeping with the Road Warrior vibe of the first game as well as it taking place in the desert southwest. When Fallout 3 came out, it’s been 200 years after the bombs fell and the DC ruins are still full of burned trees, no vegetation, and sunbaked soil. Maybe they’ll blame climate change?
• If it’s set in the same place as one of the existing games, the lore is going to be all over the place. Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 did a number on previously established canon, especially when it comes to certain factions, ghouls and if they need to eat or drink, etc. A TV show is going to either have to either set up its own continuity (kind of like how comic book movies do) or they’ll do the best they can with what Bethesda gives them. I think it’s best if this is front-loaded to the viewers somehow so they know what to expect.
• Aliens exist, but I hope they stay out of the show until at least season 2. They started out as an Easter Egg and then they got their own DLC in Fallout 3, leaving the game with a ship in orbit that… I’m not sure why they were there in the first place. I’ve seen theories that they may have helped cause the Great War, but even if they didn’t, I’m not sure why they stuck around all this time. And apparently the ship *has* been around that long, if not longer, given the game has frozen humans dating back to feudal Japan on board.
That’s all the panicked thoughts I could come up with while not heavily caffeinated. Again, this could be a decent production, if not actually good. I’m just hoping Todd Howard stays out of the creative process. He’s not great with main quests, and since a linear narrative is pretty much one big main quest, perhaps he should leave it to others and maybe go back to fixing bugs with Fallout 76?