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Based on the video game phenomenon, Fallout brings viewers into a deeply weird post-apocalyptic wasteland

One of the globe’s most successful video game franchises steps into the world of streaming series with the premiere of Fallout.

Set 200 years after an apocalyptic event, residents of luxury bunker communities venture out onto a planet that has changed beyond belief. Ella Purnell (Yellowjackets) stars as Lucy, a young woman determined to leave behind the safety of the only life she’s ever known as a vault dweller to survive on the other side of the shelter’s walls, on a mission to save her father.

Fallout on Prime Video. Pictured: Ella Purnell.
Courtesy of Prime Video

Aaron Moten (Next) is Maximus, a squire in the Brotherhood of Steel, a militarized order seeking to bring members of the wasteland together by force, creating a lawful world with those who comply. While the heavily armoured faction has lofty goals of building a just society, Maximus joined his heavily geared-up brothers “to hurt the people who hurt me,” he says in the series.

“The story follows a community of people living in luxury fallout shelters who are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape their ancestors left behind — and they’re shocked to discover an incredibly complex, gleefully weird, and highly violent universe waiting for them,” notes Prince Video’s synopsis.

Fallout on Prime Video. Pictured: A community of people living in luxury fallout shelters are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape left behind by their ancestors.
Courtesy of Prime Video

Also starring in Fallout are: Walton Goggins (Justified) as the mutated, immortal bounty hunter known as The Ghoul; Moises Arias (The King of Staten Island) as Lucy’s brother, Norm; Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) as Hank, Lucy’s father and the overseer of the vault; Michael Emerson (Person of Interest) as wanderer Wilzig; Dale Dickey (A League of Their Own) as Ma June; and Sarita Choudhury (And Just Like That . . .) as Moldaver.

Other stars include Mike Doyle (New Amsterdam), Johnny Pemberton (Superstore), Cherien Dabis (Mo), Matty Cardarople (Reservation Dogs), Dave Register (Heightened), Rodrigo Luzzi (Dead Ringers), Xelia Mendes-Jones (The Wheel of Time) and Annabel O’Hagan (Dear Edward), along with Frances Turner (The Boys), Leslie Uggams (American Fiction) and Zach Cherry (Severance).

Fallout on Prime Video. Aaron Moten is Maximus, a squire in the Brotherhood of Steel.
Courtesy of Prime Video

Lucy’s idealism reveals her bunker-borne naiveté not long after she steps foot outside the vault. She learns quickly that nearly everyone is out to kill her for one reason or another and that survival is earned. But not only does she have to contend with mutated animals and humans who have acclimated to live on the surface, Lucy also finds herself cornered by a cheery robot that is after her organs.

A sprawling desert with a lone, deteriorating cargo ship run aground, a desolate pier carnival and an unrecognizable, overgrown Hollywood Boulevard are just some of the terrifyingly beautiful landscapes in Fallout. The world looks like it was left behind to rot sometime in the 1950s, with forests growing around the corpses of rusted Fords. The vaults, meanwhile, preserved pristine 1950s Space Age designs that envisioned a much different, more hopeful vision for future centuries.

Fallout on Prime Video. Walton Goggins is The Ghoul, a 200-year-old bounty hunter.
Courtesy of Prime Video

Also featured in the series is a faux commercial for Vault-Tec Vaults, featuring Goggins as his pre-apocalypse character, Cooper Howard, whose trustworthy gentleman look couldn’t be further from who he becomes two centuries into the future. “If the worst should happen tomorrow, the world is gonna need you to build a better day after,” Cooper claims, not knowing he is about to see many, many more tomorrows than he could ever imagine.

Goggins stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers in March to talk about Fallout, and discussed how he jumped at the chance to join the series without knowing much about his role before series creator Jonathan Nolan (Westworld) warned him about what he’d be in for.

Fallout on Prime Video. Ella Purnell stars as Lucy, a young woman who leaves behind the only life she’s ever known inside a fallout shelter, shown with her father, Hank (played by Kyle MacLachlan).
Courtesy of Prime Video

“He said, ‘Don’t you want to know what you’re playing, what the character is?’ I said, ‘Uh, yeah, OK. Go ahead, tell me.’ And he said, ‘He’s 200 years old, he’s a bounty hunter that has been roaming a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and he has no nose,’” shared Goggins.

The Ghoul has a distinctive look defined first by his missing facial features — which Goggins revealed took five hours to achieve the first time — but the rest of his look was a collaborative effort. Goggins told Meyers that he was involved in the process of developing The Ghoul, saying that they “wanted the audience to kind of lean into his look and not be repulsed by it.” To make the character “attractive,” Goggins requested they try to resemble “Kris Kristofferson if he were 250 years old and had been walking the wasteland.”

Fallout, streaming Thursday, April 11 on Prime Video

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