‘Fallout’ Showrunners Relished Slice-of-Life Storytelling in Season 1, Tease New Vegas and More Robots in Season 2

When “Fallout” creators and showrunners Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner reflect on the first season of Prime Video’s adaptation of the Bethesda video game franchise, the biggest lesson the pair learned was that they didn’t have to feel pressured to get through the vast source material in eight hours of television.

“When Graham and I started talking about the season, we were imagining ending quite a bit later than where we did end up,” Robertson-Dworet told TheWrap. “What we discovered is that this is such an incredibly rich universe, that there’s so much to stop and look at and put under the magnifying glass as you go, that it would really do a disservice to not take its time and explore all the wonderful details of the game theology and do side quests like the game is famous for.”

“I was a huge fan of ‘Andor’ in no small part because they took the time to show the mother and son dynamic over breakfast cereal in the Empire. And I was sort of like, ‘Finally, the thing no one asked for in the ‘Star Wars’ universe,’ this sort of quotidian little slice of life,” Wagner added. “I love that and I feel like we got our own little versions of that in the Fallout world, this purely lateral exploration of what it’s like to live in this world a little bit, and I hope we get to do more of that in the second season as well.”

While there remain many unanswered questions, such as how Lee Moldaver survived the bombs and how Cooper Howard became The Ghoul, the pair plans to continue to explore in Season 2.

“We’re so interested in that pre-war world,” Wagner said. “I think we want to live in that world as much as it can be tolerated. I know we’ve got a lot of story to move forward in the ‘present day’ of our story, but we’re just so dangerously enamored by the pre-war world as well that we can just hang out there almost too much.”

At the same time, the series will head to a new locale featured in the source material teased at the end of the Season 1 finale: New Vegas.

“New Vegas is a game that we really admire in so many ways. There’s so much mythology that we’re really excited to be able to explore from that game,” Robertson-Dworet said. “When you work on something this long, the hope is to eventually be able to wander into the space of all these games. But New Vegas has so many great ideas in it and has so much fun. And at the same time, it’s very dark.”

“We’ll definitely be hanging out in the world of New Vegas and getting into that installment quite a bit actually,” Wagner added.

The pair further admits that the over-planning for Season 1 has actually been a benefit in the development process for Season 2.

“We started this season with the remainder of our original Season 1 to execute. So we’ve gone quite a long way down the road,” Wagner explained. “In terms of various characters’ trajectories, the change has really just been taking those trajectories and putting it in the backdrop of New Vegas and the vaults based on what we’ve kind of learned from Season 1 and what characters we really decided we really have to go back to.”

But Robertson-Dworet emphasized that the finished product will always be a mix of intense planning, new ideas from the writing team along the way and improvisation from its cast during filming.

“Graham and I have been talking forever about what we could do in Season 2. But we also want to be adaptable if one of our collaborators has a brilliant idea that we really want to weave in and build towards that,” she said.

The duo previously told TheWrap that they initially wanted to introduce Deathclaws into Season 1, but decided to save the creatures for Season 2. Wagner added that he definitely wants to introduce more robots as well.

“Robots are hard to do. They’re expensive and they’re easy to do badly,” he said. “To do a robot really well is a lot of work and we’ve figured out how to do the Mr. Handy robot. So that’s in our repertoire now. I think that this season is to expand that repertoire by at least two more robots.”

Robertson-Dworet pointed out that a key character from the games with ties to New Vegas, Robert House, was already introduced in Season 1, saying, “We are walking into New Vegas. So I guess I’ll just dangle that and see what folks make of it who know the lore as well as we do.”

When it comes to introducing other people from the games or new original characters and vaults, the showrunners said they’re focused on keeping both themselves and the audience surprised.

“I think this is the kind of show that wants to just do whatever it feels like in the moment. We may do that. We may not do that,” Wagner said. “There’s a certain amount of whimsy in this show that I think is very much borrowed from the game. So I think we’re going to keep trying to surprise ourselves as a means to surprise the audience. And also just to surprise ourselves so our job remains interesting and difficult.”

Season 2 will also notably move filming from New York, New Jersey and Utah to California (and partly in Toronto).

“Our first location scout was a day after the premiere and we got in the van and we drove around and looked at some desert,” Wagner recalled. “We’re already seeing an abundance of stuff and, very helpfully, pre-Fallout locations. If you’re a fan of California tourism, you probably know some of those spots already that we’ve scouted, but there’s an abundance of rad stuff in the state to film. And it’s also extra cool to be able to sleep in our homes.”

In terms of plans for “Fallout” beyond Season 2, Wagner says they “don’t know s–t” when it comes to how long the Prime Video series will run.

“We’ve been saying a billion [seasons],” Robertson-Dworet joked. “It feels right.”

All episodes of Fallout Season 1 are available to stream now on Prime Video

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