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In what feels like a dream in the making for the past decade, the Fallout franchise may finally come to television. What's better is that the post-apocalyptic franchise has teamed with Amazon to make this series and found two people to run it who know a little something about doing shows in alternate realities, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan. The Westworld showrunners will have deep lore to work with and construct their show, but in my mind, there's only one place this show starts.
West Virginia, home of none other than Vault 76, and the basis for the game Fallout 76. The game may be the most contentious entry in the franchise, but I believe there is no better entry point for the potential series to start with and introduce the world of Fallout to audiences worldwide.
Fallout 76 Takes Place Long Before Any Modern Fallout Game
Fallout 76 takes place 25 years after the "Great War," and close to two centuries before any other modern Fallout game. As such, a lot of the game is centered around the opening years of Americans rebuilding after the great nuclear holocaust that would permanently transform the world and many who weren't lucky enough to secure a vault beforehand.
Truth be told, there's nothing about Fallout's Great War worth showcasing extensively. There were a lot of nukes dropped, it lasted two hours, and several world superpowers were involved. The Fallout story is more about what happened after, and for that reason, there's no better place to start than as close as possible in the franchise to after the "Great War." There's no rule to say you can't jump ahead 200 years to the settings of the later games, and frankly, given how Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have handled Westworld, I'd almost expect that at some point in this show's run.
West Virginia Is Likely Cheaper To Budget For Than Other Locations
It would be awesome to see a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. or Boston, but far from an easy task to accomplish. These are densely populated cities that, as of writing, have not become dilapidated wastelands overrun with mutant creatures and Raider gangs. Plus all the monuments are densely populated (usually anyway) and not toppled or run down like they'd need to be for the Fallout series.
Yes, this is what CGI is for, but let me counter by saying it would be so much greater to feature some on-location shooting in the West Virginia forest. There you could build some actual settler bases, and some war-torn houses complete with skeletons and other horrific imagery. I know a lot of the Fallout series will have to be CGI for obvious reasons, so I'd love just to know at least some things that I'm looking at in this show are as real as the actors.
It's Not Too Heavy On The Enclave Vs. Brotherhood Of Steel Stuff
The whole Enclave vs. Brotherhood Of Steel conflict is a big part of the Fallout lore, but it's possible to have a story without it. While I'm not necessarily saying Fallout never needs to touch on either faction or their goals for future America, I think it would be very easy to fall into the trap of examining one and suddenly the entire show is about that.
Both the Enclave and Brotherhood aren't in the story as heavily in Fallout 76 as in other games, and I'd like a Fallout show to get a baseline for the main character's moral stance and the world situation at large. At first glance the Brotherhood may seem like the clear good guys of the bunch, but would their hatred of any non-human species necessarily be understood fully in Season 1? I don't think so, so I'd hope the show holds off on seeing anything involving those factions right out the gate.
It Brings In The Scorched Story
One storyline unique to Fallout 76 that I enjoy is the creation of the Scorched. For those who haven't played the game, these are Ghouls (people caught outside when the nuclear strikes hit) that have been infected by Scorchbeasts (mutated bats). This disease has spread rampantly throughout Appalachia, and if the human survivors there don't act fast, can soon be yet another thing America has to deal with.
There's a lot about Fallout that I think will be a bit much for casual viewers at first. As weird as it may seem, bringing in a pandemic-type situation may be the plot that helps ground in the more casual crowd unfamiliar with Fallout, and hopefully, create some common ground for the show to further build on as it continues. Assuming casual people with no experience in Fallout will even be interested, there's a lot in this universe that will take some getting used to.
Less Hustle And Bustle
Even pre-apocalypse, there are chunks of Appalachia that are sparsely populated. In that sense, Appalachia is the perfect location to introduce viewers to the world of Fallout. With less to take in and fewer major cities for characters to get caught up in, the writers would have more time to explain how the world developed outside the vaults, and where things are headed.
If you start in Boston, D.C., or even the Mojave, I don't think it's as easy to introduce the world of Fallout. There are too many other things to get caught up in, and much like the average Fallout player, viewers may get distracted by other things before really getting a grasp of what the world is about. It's fine in a video game because there's supposed to be a lot of options and directions, but in a television show, the characters need to be on a path that's equally entertaining for all parties. That certainly won't be an easy challenge for the Fallout team to accomplish, so I think starting with less to see what audiences do and don't like in Season 1 is the best play.
Do you think Fallout 76 is as good a place as any to start the potential Fallout series? All thoughts are welcome in the comments, so head there to sound off and stick with CinemaBlend to stay up to date on what's happening in television and movies.