The Fallout TV series is set in the year 2296, 219 years after the Great War almost obliterated humanity overnight. Some people survived on the surface, but were dramatically impacted by radiation and a desperate fight for survival. Others survived below, in Vaults created before the war by the Vault-Tec corporation.
The TV show starts in Vault 33, where twenty-something Lucy (Ella Purnell of Yellowjackets and Arcane) is living a sheltered but comfortable existence. There is no problem with food or water, the vault is apparently safe and secure, and she is being schooled and trained by her father, the Vault Overseer Hank (Kyle MacLachlan, of Twin Peaks and Dune fame). Needless to say - players of the games are probably way ahead of the curve here - something goes wrong and Lucy has to leave her secure home behind to go in search of a technological artifact that holds the key to her vault's survival. She knows absolutely nothing about the world outside the doors, and has to learn. Fast.
Another faction on the trail of the artifact is the Brotherhood of Steel. Famed in the Fallout universe for trying to seize control of all high technology that might pose a risk to humanity, a Brotherhood chapter based on the airship Caswennan despatch some of their best troops to hunt for it. Amongst them is Maximus (Aaron Moten, from The Night Of), a squire for a knight of the Brotherhood. Although believing in the Brotherhood's mission and in the leadership of his knight, Maximus has more cynicism and grit than Lucy.
The third lead is The Ghoul (Walton Goggins, Justified), a ~250-year-old gunslinger. The Ghoul was originally an ordinary human named Cooper Howard, who lost his family in the Great War. But Howard himself survived, transformed by radiation into a type of human who thrives on radiation rather than being harmed by it. The Ghoul is clever, cunning and ruthless, but he has a rough code of honour.
How the three characters interact with one another remains to be seen. Other castmembers include Xelia Mendes-Jones, Mike Doyle, Moises Arias, Johnny Pemberton, Cherien Dabis, Dale Dickey, Matty Caradrople, Sarita Chodhury, Michael Emerson, Leslie Uggams, Frances Turner, Dave Register, Zach Cherry, Rodrigo Luzzi and Annabel O'Hagan.
The Fallout franchise was created by Tim Cain for Interplay in 1996, as a spiritual successor to an earlier game called Wasteland (1988). The first game in the series, released in 1997, was developed by Interplay's internal development studio. This studio was renamed Black Isle Studios and created Fallout 2 (1998) and Fallout Tactics (2001). Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004) was a much-maligned, console-only release rushed out ahead of the company going bust. A third mainline Fallout game was in development at the time under the codename Van Buren. Black Isle Studios personnel were split between several new studios, including inXile, Troika and Obsidian Entertainment.
The IP was bought by Bethesda Game Studios, who subsequently developed Fallout 3 (2008). They licenced the rights to Obsidian to make Fallout: New Vegas (2010), partially based on the old Van Buren prototype. Bethesda subsequently released Fallout 4 (2015) and the multiplayer-focused prequel, Fallout 76 (2018). Modiphius Entertainment have recently released an official Fallout wargame/miniatures line, called Wasteland Warfare, and a tabletop roleplaying game. Bethesda has confirmed that Fallout 5 is very early in the planning stages.
The Fallout TV series launches on 12 April 2024 on Amazon Prime.