Even Fallout fans won’t know what’s going to happen in the Fallout TV show

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Amazon’s TV adaptation of the Fallout video game franchise is taking a fresh approach to its source material. Rather than rework an existing storyline from one of the games — or multiple games — it will tell an original story. That means longtime Fallout fans won’t already be spoiled on Falloutthe way that fans of another ambitious video-game-to-TV adaptation, The Last of Uswere.

“This isn’t a direct adaptation, this is an interpretation of the game,” star Walton Goggins told Polygon in a recent interview. In the series, Goggins plays Cooper Howard, who becomes The Ghoul. “It’s another story, so I don’t know if my Ghoul, in this incarnation, has ever existed in [the game] world.”

The post-nuclear retro-futuristic setting of Fallout, the factions that inhabit it, and its memorable cartoon iconography will be present. But the story beats will be all new.

Fallout is set (mostly) in the year 2296, a decade after the events of the most recent mainline game, Fallout 4. The TV series will also look backward, to before the Great War that unleashed nuclear hell on the United States. Goggins’ Ghoul will inhabit both time periods, “bridging the past, before the bombs drop, to this post-apocalyptic landscape,” he said. “Over the course of the show, through his experience back in the world before the nuclear fallout, you will understand how the world was.”

Graham Wagner, executive producer, writer, and showrunner on Fallouthas said the show is “built on 25 years of creativity and thinking and building. We thought the best thing to do is to continue that versus retread it, because that’s sort of what has worked with Fallout over the years. It’s traded hands, it’s changed, it’s been altered, and it’s a living thing. We felt like we ought to take a swing at trying to build a new piece on top of all of that.”

Fallout will be populated with familiar-feeling characters, though their stories are new. Lucy (Ella Purnell) represents the optimism and naivete of the privileged Vault dwellers, who have lived a relatively peaceful existence sheltered underground below the irradiated Earth. Maximus (Aaron Moten) is an idealistic soldier in the militaristic Brotherhood of Steel, fighting to bring law and order to the wasteland. And Goggins’ Ghoul is still something of a mystery, “a bounty hunter that’s been roaming the wasteland for 200 years,” he told Polygon.

How their plotlines converge will mostly be a surprise to Fallout fans. And the TV show won’t spoil what’s next for the Fallout game series, either, which likely won’t see another entry for many, many years. In an interview with Den of GeekFallout series game director Todd Howard said, “Well, there were some things where I said [to the showrunners]‘Don’t do this because we are going to do that in Fallout 5. It wasn’t the translation of an existing story. It was, ‘What would the next thing be?’ It just happens to be a TV show.”

Fallout premieres on Prime Video on April 11. All eight episodes of the TV show will drop at once.

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