We are still at the beginning where we see the influence of Dune and Dune: Part Two on subsequent adaptation works. Adaptations, especially those derived from games, are generally not well-received. The main reason for this is that games have much more time to tell their stories compared to a movie or TV series. Directors either try to cram the entire story into a limited timeframe, leaving out important details, or they selectively interpret certain themes from the source material, often resulting in a failure to capture the essence of the original work. However, Denis Villeneuve shattered this trend, showing everyone how proper adaptation should be done, and it’s in his light that you’re currently reading this remarkable review: Fallout.

Fallout Season 1 Tv Review Arakat Mag

Uncle Sam Wants You!

The disappointment caused by Fallout 76 in 2018 led to a prejudice against all new works in the series. So, when the series was announced in 2020, eyebrows were raised, even among die-hard fans, fearing that Todd Howard might ruin it. Consequently, no one was excited about this, and fans quietly observed the process until its release date arrived.

Let me say this upfront: even if you’re a staunch fan of the series, this adaptation contains ideas that you can appreciate. You can see the passion put into every part of the series. Jonathan Nolan directs the first three episodes of the series but serves as an executive producer throughout the season. In addition to him, Clare Kilner from House of the Dragon is also one of the directors.

Not only the directorial team but also the crew consists of skilled individuals. Apart from the magnificent compositions by Ramin Djawadi, known from Game of Thrones, the series also features many popular tracks from the 40s and 50s, commonly used in the games. The art direction of the series is handled by Ann Bartek, known for Joker (2019) and The Irishman (2019), perfectly reflecting the retro-futuristic American aesthetic of Fallout.

Fallout Season 1 Tv Review Arakat Mag

Capital Wasteland of Mojave

Fallout opens with a scene that proves it understands what to focus on from the very beginning. It starts in the aesthetic of the 1950s, where the Cold War never ended and the nuclear paranoia continues. Former TV star Cooper Howard finds himself attending a birthday party, and while he discusses his relationship with his daughter, viewers familiar with the universe can anticipate what will happen. Paranoia turns into reality as an atom bomb falls near the party, resulting in a mushroom cloud. This striking scene embodies the essence of Fallout:

War, war never changes.

People prepare themselves for nuclear danger by building shelters. Shelters are deemed crucial for rebuilding the post-nuclear United States. Two hundred years after the nuclear war, we meet Shelter 33 and its inhabitants. The shelter’s story begins with Lucy MacLean, who is proposed to by someone from a neighboring shelter. Jonathan Nolan‘s addition of “neighbor shelters” is seamlessly integrated into the story, adding an element not found in the games. When it becomes clear that those from Shelter 32 are raiders rather than neighbors, it’s already too late. The journey of the main character begins with the abduction of her father, Hank MacLean. However, this is not your typical journey. Lucy, with her personality and reactions to events, embodies a Fallout character in every sense.

The third and final main character is Maximus, a young man who aspires to be a knight sworn to The Brotherhood of Steel. While initially somewhat naive in the face of events in the first few episodes, Maximus is certainly not a static character. Despite having the weakest character development among the trio, he still undergoes growth. While appreciating this development, it’s hard to say it’s entirely convincing. Maximus undergoes significant changes by the end of the season, but something feels missing from his story. In fact, Lucy’s role as a secondary character in Maximus’ story says a lot about his character.

Fallout Season 1 Tv Review Arakat Mag

Just Don’t Lose Your Head!

The Fallout universe contains many stories, too vast to be shown in a single season. Most episodes of the first season have self-contained stories that contribute to the whole, resembling an RPG quest chain. This makes watching enjoyable for those unfamiliar with the series and gives fans the feeling of playing the games.

Bringing the game’s world to life was perhaps the most challenging part. Amazon spared no expense in this regard. The visual effects and production of the series breathe life into Fallout’s unique aesthetic. Particularly commendable are the shelter designs, which are almost meticulously brought to life. The production exhibits a level of craftsmanship that even viewers unfamiliar with the universe can appreciate. This attention to detail is also evident in the iconic power armors of Fallout. The weight, structure, engineering, and appearance of the power armors become integral to the story, greatly enhancing immersion in the universe.

One of Fallout‘s most distinctive features is its absurd and often satirical tone amidst brutality. With its capture of the essence of the series, the adaptation, along with The Last of Us, has become a pioneering work in game adaptations. The series not only serves as an adaptation but also as a continuation of the games, answering questions that Fallout fans have debated for years, such as “Who dropped the first bomb?” It’s safe to say that this is a daring adaptation. Showrunner Graham Wagner expressed this sentiment in an interview:

We didn’t want to start with a story tied to characters from the games. We postponed that aspect. We kind of convinced ourselves that this is Fallout 5.

Arakat Mag

A New Vegas

No matter how long this review is, there will inevitably be something missing. So, let me share my excitement for the second season right here. The closing scene of the season surely struck a chord with fans of Fallout: New Vegas like myself. Predicting what adventures the Wasteland holds for us in the second season is difficult. My advice is to overlook the timeline inconsistencies and minor details of the series and simply enjoy it.

As fans who have long been deprived of quality content in this universe, we should be happy that this series introduces the Fallout universe to more people. Fallout has undergone changes not only as a genre but also as a category over the years. Therefore, accepting this in the best possible way falls to the fans. Who knows, this might even pave the way for a new Fallout game? Thumbs up!

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