The reveal train has begun for the upcoming Fallout TV series from Amazon, and Vault 33 will play a central role in its story. That being said, Vault 33 may be our first clue as to where the series will be set. We also got another tease in the form of footage on the set of the series, where principal photography has begun.
The Fallout TV series was announced back in 2020 as the latest in a series of big budget scripted series for Amazon Prime Video. Westworld co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are developing the show through their production company, Kilter Films. Geneva Robertson-Dwortet and Graham Wagner will serve as showrunners.
The series is based on the now iconic series of post-apocalyptic RPGs stewarded by Bethesda Softworks and Bethesda Game Studios. The show’s creative team are partnering with long-time series director Todd Howard, who will be an executive producer alongside James Altman, currently director of publishing at Bethesda.
The past two years have been relatively quiet on the information front, though we did get casting announcements for the likes of actors Walton Goggins, Kyle MacLachlan and Ella Purnell who have joined the show in top line roles. Goggins will be playing either a character named Ghoul or “a” ghoul.
We’ve still got no release window on when the show will be dropping into Amazon’s streaming service, but the Prime Video Twitter account shared an intriguing still. In it, three people are standing in front of an open Vault door where on the other side, a lone figure stands in silhouette from the brightness of the outside world.
It’s not exactly a lot to go on. Vault inhabitants facing the world beyond the Vault door is typical iconography as far as the videogame franchise goes, but we do see that they’re wearing Vault jumpsuits marked ’33,’ which we can safely assume means they’re part of Vault 33.
Vault 33 is not among the many Vaults that have been explored across eight canonical Fallout games (and two apocryphal ones) but our best guess is that Vault 33 is located near Vault 34, which appeared in the Mojave Wasteland of Fallout: New Vegas. That’s of course, assuming Vault 33 adheres to the pattern of Vault placement in the games but it wouldn’t be strange for the Fallout TV series to establish its own logic.
It makes sense that the creative team behind the Fallout TV show would want to use a Vault with no established canon in the games, as it gives them the freedom to write what they want rather than adhering to known facts about Vaults like 13, 76 or 111. Previous leaks have also suggested that a Vault 32 will play a role, so don’t be surprised if an Expanded Vault Universe gets built over the course of the show’s mythology.
A day following the tweet from Amazon Prime Video, Bethesda released another installment of their series of 25th anniversary developer retrospective series. In this one, series director Todd Howard, art director Istvan Pely and Fallout co-creator Tim Cain talk about their excitement for the TV show and the burgeoning media franchise.
The second half of the video cuts to Jonathan Nolan on the set of production for the show. “Fallout? I love videogames. I’m not familiar with Fallout,” Nolan says, completely deadpan. “Tell me a little bit about ’em,” before a power armored figure off-screen hands Nolan a bottle of Nuka-Cola, which he promptly takes a swig of.
As the 3 to 5 rads kick in, Nolan’s memory lights up. “Yes, Fallout! The post-apocalyptic, humorous, dark, bleak, brilliantly written, annoyingly playable videogame franchise.” As for how Nolan got involved: “Several years ago I decided I was going to write the next great American novel. And then a friend gave me a copy of Fallout 3. And now I’m working in television.”
There’s not a lot to be made out of the set in the background — not only is it a bit blurry, but it’s a barren nuclear wasteland so it’s just wrecked buildings and rocky, sandy terrain. We don’t get to see more of the power armor, but the Nuka-Cola is pretty accurate to Fallout 4 with the rocket fins at the base.
The Fallout TV show does not have an official release date, but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if it drops in the middle of 2023 given how far along production has gone since its announcement. Production was initially disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ll be watching.