As A Fan of the Game (PC) I - like Others - Was A Bit Nervous About The Show!

Don't Lose Your Head!

Keep Calm! That could have been the watchword for fans prior to the release of Amazon's new FALLOUT TV series. After so many TV spinoffs of game franchises that have gone so terribly wrong I suppose you can't blame game fans for being a bit sceptical about the prospects of this show.

Above: Screenshot of my character from FALLOUT 3.

Just prior to this release fans of the equality cultish HALO had given a - at best - lukewarm - response to the TV adaptation of that game and many began to wonder whether 'woke Hollywood' could pull of a show based on a popular computer game that would keep the fans onboard.

...So fans - like myself - waited and held their breath...

Keeping Everyone Happy?

Before I start the now traditional 'showrunner bashing' let me just say that although I love TV & Film you could not pay me enough to be a show executive these days. In my day - going back to the 1960s & 70s, execs produced shows and people either liked them or they didn't, and they expressed their feelings on the matter by tuning in or not. As simple as that.

But in todays 'everything is politics' environment it's no long enough just not to like or dislike something, there has to be a in-depth evaluation of how a show or film fits in with societal camps and whether all the current cultural tick-boxes have been ticked.

Above: Shock! A openly TRANS character! ...But, hold on.They are
terrific!!! Xelia Mendes-Jones plays non-binary Aspirant Dane.
And I loved them!

Making 'perfection' isn't easy... Especially when human beings aren't perfect. But sadly, the growing consensus - particularly among Gen-X - is that every story should give the impression that the perfect 'life' is both achievable and desirable and that all imperfection should be expunged. Thereby, completely forgetting that it's our imperfections and frailties that make us human and interesting.

In short, we are becoming a society of lotus-eaters. Which brings us nicely to the story of Vault 33...

The Story So Far... (NO SPOILERS!)

Lucy - played by the wonderful Ella Purnell - lives a happy life in a happy Vault, the underground preserve of humanity's hope for the repopulation of a post-apocalyptic world.

The 'FALLOUT' world is a idealised version of an alternative 1950s-esque American culture, where everything was innocent, wholesome and good. Vault dwellers were happy folk, full of optimism and mutually dedicated to rebuilding the perfect society based on mutual-respect and equality... Or so it seemed.

But then Lucy chose to set outside 'the vault' and so began to experience the salty taste of reality!

I won't go any further into the storyline, but suffice to say that everything isn't what the inhabitants of Vault 33 thought it was in their creepy little slice of 'perfection'. And thus begins Lucy's little road trip into the nasty light of day...

If you've every watched the movie The Truman Show (staring Jim Carrey, 1998) you kinda get the gist, but this kind of dystopian allegory about society goes back to other shows like 1960s 'The Prisoner' or - one of my favourites - 1974's science fantasy 'Zardos'.

Still, as they say 'getting there is half the fun' and it's Lucy's adventures 'on the surface' of the now nuclear obliterated world and the 'people' she discovers there that really make the story interesting.

How Does The Show Compare to the Game?

The Billion Dollar question! And the short answer is... Surprisingly well!

Without doubt the gem in this series is Walter Goggins and his portrayal of the character Cooper Howard/'The Ghoul With No Name' (there's definitely a Clint Eastwood vibe here). This piece of casting raised the achievable reception for the show exponentially.

I would say - as I have alluded to earlier - the key to the success of this particular character is his morally ambiguous nature which gives him an edge that we are seeing less and less in lead characters these days. He has 'true grit' (sorry, I can't help myself)! 

Now, as to the rest of the cast, yes there has been some attempt to inject a level of diversity into the show. But the trick is the mix... And here - again - is where I think the show's producers got things absolutely spot on. 

There is the black actor, there is the trans character, there are 'strong females', etc... But only as much as they constitute - in my opinion - a fair representation of our real society. There isn't any obvious virtue signalling by way of story line or character emphasis. Any 'message' is left to the storyline and seems fully in line with - thank goodness - the moral of the original FALLOUT game.

My wife and I fully enjoyed each episode - the balance of characters kept us both engaged and the level of action of mystery in the plot had us ravenous for the next episode.

What Next?

Well, the good news is that the shows reception and undoubted success has led to a confirmed second season! And - as tradition has it - the end of the series hinted at what might be happening next with a couple of soft cliff hangers.

That said, considering everting that has take place in the games - of which I have played through Fallout 3 & 4 - there is a huge amount of room for injecting much loved characters, locations and events into the next series. In fact, if there was any disappointment that the fans could point to it's that 'X' or 'Y' character or entity did not make an appearance ..... YET!

With that is mind - and as a mean to wind up the post - I looked back through my collection of screenshot from the games and I pulled out this small selection of 'hint's at what *could* be in store in Season 2.... Maybe... 😉 [I make no comments to avoid possible spoilers...]

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