Cybernews podcast #36: “Fallout” radiates nuclear blast of entertainment

The post-apocalyptic world depicted in “Fallout,” Amazon’s sprawling and expensive TV adaptation of the famous video game series, is, of course, fictional – yet also quite realistic. We dive into it on the new episode of the Cybernews podcast.

It’s a mostly empty desert, all civilization almost totally destroyed after a nuclear war. Humanity survives but only just – there are bunkers underground and shacks radiating on the surface. Oh, and we see guns – loads of them.

This could actually be a realistic picture of Earth after a nuclear conflict. So far – fortunately for us – it’s not. It’s Fallout, the brand-new Amazon TV show, obviously adapted from a series of cult video games.

Video games are being adapted left and right these days. We’ve had The Last of Us, Witcher (sure, the books came first), Halo, and even Super Mario Bros. Some are good, others are not. We think Fallout is the best of them all so far.

On the latest Cybernews podcast episode, our team of journalists – Gintaras Radauskas, Niamh Ancell, and Ernestas Naprys – analyze Fallout.

We discuss the actors and the music, compare the setting of the show to what an actual nuclear fallout would look like, and try to imagine that the show is also sending us a political message about the state – and the devilish promise – of techno-capitalism.

Fallout had an extremely large budget, with $153 million in qualified expenditures for the season. However, it seems well spent – everyone, including us, simply loved the visuals – the color grading and the special effects. Oh, and Walton Goggins – so good.

In the episode, Cybernews journalists discuss:

  • The very pleasant fact that the creators of the show managed to stay faithful to the world depicted in the video games while still creating an original storyline.
  • Potential real-life effects of nuclear war and how they would compare to what we see on Fallout.
  • The hypothesis that the show – and the games – are ridiculing both the warmongers of the Cold War era and the intricacies of techno-capitalism when wars, even nuclear ones, can mean huge profits for the manufacturers of weapons and ultramodern nuclear shelters.
  • Reasons for adapting more and more popular video games into films and TV shows – is it natural, or is the entertainment industry short of original ideas?
  • Ways for a group of 300 people to survive in an underground vault as a peaceful and harmonious community.

“I found the notion of outsourcing the survival of humanity to the private sector eerily realistic. That’s something that could happen, surely,” Niamh Ancell, a journalist at Cybernews, says.

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