'Fallout' TV series release date, trailer and everything we know so far

A helmet in a field in fallout 76 art
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Amazon’s Prime Video original "Fallout" TV series is going to be one to watch.

There’s no shortage of post-apocalyptic TV shows and movies. There are even some great ones — most recently HBO’s adaptation of "The Last of Us". But even though "Fallout" won’t be the first post-apocalyptic TV show or even the first to be adapted from a video game, it’s still maybe the gold standard. 

The "Fallout" series of games has been (for the most part) excellent, combining an iconic, retro aesthetic — despite being set in the future — with an expertly built post-apocalyptic version of the United States of America ravaged by nuclear warfare. If done right, bringing it to TV should be an engaging tale of survival. 

And the show seems to be in a safe pair of hands. Show-running the TV series is the husband and wife duo of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Both were also involved in HBO’s "Westworld" and while that show may have come to an untimely demise, the first season is among the best of any TV show.

There are still things we don’t know about this adaptation, but details have started to emerge as we approach the release date. We even got a first look from Prime Video introducing us to some of the show's characters and an official first trailer. Here’s everything we know so far, including the season 1 release date, casting and more.

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(Image credit: Future)

Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the "Fallout" TV series and games follow

'Fallout' TV series release date

"Fallout" will be released on Prime Video on April 11. All eight episodes will be available at that time.

Originally, Amazon sent out a tweet announcing the series would debut on April 12, 2024, but it's since been moved up a day with the release of the show's first official trailer. It sure seems that this show has wrapped up production and is ready to leave the vault.

Once you're done with those eight episodes there may be something to wait for. In an interview with SFX Magazine (h/t Games Radar), show co-writer Graham Wagner hinted that there are more seasons to come. "We wanted to slow our roll and not do it all in eight episodes because we’re talking about thousands of hours of gameplay."

'Fallout' TV show trailers

Good news! After a lot of waiting, we finally got the first "Fallout" trailer on December 2. And it looks incredible. Fans were loving it when it dropped and after having watched it myself, I'm confident that the show will capture the vibe of Bethesda's beloved post-apocalyptic RPG video game series. 

I also think that Nolan and company made the right choice by not directly adapting a game, but instead sticking with the themes and tone of the series while telling a new story. Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself.

Since then, we've got an additional three-minute-long trailer that Prime Video is dubbing the official trailer and it reveals some major details. 

First, it looks like Ella Purnell's Lucy will be by far and away the primary point of view character and protagonist. While this tracks with expectations, it had felt that perhaps Aaron Moten's Maximus and Walton Goggins's Ghoul could also be point-of-view characters, this trailer indicates that it will be Lucy driving the story forward, even though we'll learn a lot more about Maximus and the Ghoul as it goes on. 

Speaking of the Ghoul ... wow. This trailer gave us a lot more insight into Goggins's mysterious bounty hunter with a messed-up face. He appears to have been integral to the vaults' creation, narrating a commercial for Vault-Tec vaults that appears to be very much a part of the TV show's world rather than just a neat trick for the trailer. 

That makes this particular Ghoul at least 200 hundred years old and it looks like his past will unlock more than its fair share of secrets. What remains to be seen if those secrets are unlocked while working with Lucy — or hunting her down? based on this trailer, both options are very much on the table.

While not a trailer, we have finally got our first look at a scene from this series. Walton Goggins appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers and kicked things off with a look at a scene starring him from the upcoming Prime Video show.

And while there isn't a ton going on in this scene, it does highlight one important thing — Walton Goggins is awesome. He shows up in this 30-second scene and absolutely steals it. Granted, he's essentially the only one talking in it, but if I wasn't already sold on watching this show, I'd now at least watch it for his performance if nothing else.

In the scene below though we get more. A lot more. Not only do we get more of Goggins as a ghoulish bounty hunter, who is clearly shaping up to be the star of the show, but we finally get a serious look at Purnell's character Lucy. 

It seems like she's incredibly naive, a trait that by all accounts appears to be common in "vault dwellers." That said though, she's plenty quick with her trigger finger, not hesitating for a moment to hit The Ghoul with a drug-filled dart to stop him from attacking a doctor of ... questionable repute.

Oh, and we get Maximus in power armor as a member of the Brotherhood of Steel and he and The Ghoul are not on friendly terms. So that's a big deal.

Aside from these trailers, there is an additional teaser from Prime Video called "Beyond the Game: Fallout".  This teaser goes into detail about why the team at Bethesda, who developed "Fallout 3" and "Fallout 4," felt it was finally time to turn the world of "Fallout" into a TV show. While it doesn’t give us much in terms of details, it does highlight why Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy could be the right team to make this dream a reality. 

Finally, at Gamescom 2023, Prime Video dropped a 1-minute teaser trailer showing off a first look at the show. The only way to see it is through leaked recordings like the one below, and it doesn’t show off much. But it does give us a first look at some characters — like what appears to be Walton Goggins doing what can only be described as a Red Skull impression. 

While it didn't show us anything new of substance, Prime Video did drop a What's Coming To Prime Video In 2024 teaser trailer in late December that features some scenes from Fallout, including a chainsaw-wielding Ella. It also gave us looks at the just-dropped new season of "Reacher", the upcoming new series "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and teased upcoming new seasons of "Invincible," "Outer Range" and "The Boys." 

Aside from these trailers, there are also some leaked images that show off some of the scenery of the TV series. We also got a first look at the show's main characters at the end of November 2023. Still, there's a lot we don't know about Prime Video’s new blockbuster post-apocalyptic series. 

'Fallout' TV series cast

A first look at Amazon's Fallout TV series coming to Prime Video

(Image credit: Amazon/Prime Video)

At the moment, we know some members of the show's cast, but not much. We know even less about who these actors and actresses are playing in the show, though Amazon's recent first look at the show's cast and characters shed some much-needed light on the show's stars.

Here is the known cast so far, based on what’s currently shown on IMDB and what Amazon has officially announced. We’ll be sticking to who we know has been cast and who we think could still be in the main cast for now, but will update as more casting choices are confirmed: 

  • Ella Purnell: Lucy, an optimistic Vault-dweller with a peaceful, idealistic nature. Her father Hank is the Overseer of Vault 33. She is likely our protagonist.
  • Aaron Moten: Maximus, a young, zealous member of the Brotherhood of Steel. Likely our initial antagonist.
  • Walton Goggins: The Ghoul, a ruthless bounty hunter with a mysterious past as a human named Cooper Howard
  • Kyle MacLachlan: Hank, the Overseer of Vault 33 and Lucy's father
  • Moises Arias: Norm (seemingly a soldier of some kind)
  • Sarita Choudhury: Unknown
  • Michael Emerson: Wilzig
  • Leslie Uggams: Unknown
  • Frances Turner: Unknown
  • Dave Register: Chet
  • Zach Cherry: Unknown
  • Johnny Pemberton: Thaddeus
  • Annabel O'Hagan: Steph
  • Xelia Mendes-Jones: Unknown
  • Aixa Kendrick: Moldaver’s Elite Guard (based on IMDB)
  • Leer Leary: Davey (based on IMDB)
  • Rodrigo Luzzi: Reg (based on IMDB)
  • Matt Berry: A murderous, organ harvesting robot (voice role)

'Fallout' TV series possible plot

A first look at Amazon's Fallout TV series coming to Prime Video

(Image credit: Amazon/Prime Video)

Very little has been formally announced about the plot of Prime Video’s "Fallout" TV series. But as the release date gets closer we are learning more.

One thing we do know? Don’t expect this to be an adaption of one of the series’ games. In an interview with the Lex Friedman podcast (h/t Collider), Bethesda director and one of the show’s executive producers Todd Howard said that, “It’s not retelling a game’s story. It’s an area of the map and like, Let’s tell a story here that fits in the world we built and doesn’t break any of the rules. It can reference things in the games but isn’t a retelling of the games.”

This seems to be a refrain from the cast as well. At a roundtable interview during The Game Awards, the cast said they wanted to avoid sticking to the source material, though they stressed that they do want to adhere closely to the game series's tone. 

Aaron Moten, who plays Maximus, even said in a response to a question from the Japanese outlet Famitsu "I forbid myself from playing it at this point. It’s our job to bring a sense of humanity to these three characters and [not] bring the experience of dying to the same monster nine times and chucking the controller into the wall. It’s just different!" Other cast members echoed this sentiment, even going as far as to suggest the game director Todd Howard was kept at bay from making too many suggestions to ensure the adaptation doesn't simply become a retelling of existing storylines.

We also know that this game takes place in Los Angeles at Vault 33. Because of its location, it’s possible that the New California Republic will be involved. This was a major faction in the game Fallout 2, though it was largely in the northern part of California. Caesar’s Legion, a faction at war with the New California Republic, could also be involved if this is the case, though that puts the series a little too close to "Fallout 2" for a show said to not be an adaption.

A first look at Amazon's Fallout TV series coming to Prime Video

(Image credit: Amazon/Prime Video)

One property this show may borrow from? "M*A*S*H." In an interview with Empire, Jonathan Nolan said, "Just as M*A*S*H gets to talk about Vietnam through the lens of the Korean War, we get to talk about the mess we’re in now through the lens of … 'What if everybody just gets on with it and destroys the fucking world?'"

In the Gamescom 2023 trailer, we get a couple of other plot elements possibly revealed. We see nuclear explosions around Los Angeles — though this could simply be a flashback. We also see what appears to be members of the Brotherhood of Steel. This faction has been involved across the entire Fallout games series and has been involved in California before. And now that we know Moten's Maximus is a member of the Brotherhood, it's clear they'll play a large role in the show's first season.

Amazon gave some more details in the first official teaser trailer though. "Fallout is the story of haves and have-nots in a world in which there’s almost nothing left to have. 200 years after the apocalypse, the gentle denizens of luxury fallout shelters are forced to return to the irradiated hellscape their ancestors left behind — and are shocked to discover an incredibly complex, gleefully weird and highly violent universe waiting for them."

We'll know more about this show as we approach April 12, but it seems the show kicks off with Lucy leaving the safe confines of Vault 33 against the wishes of some Vault members. From there she has to adapt to live in the post-apocalyptic wasteland where she'll run into ghouls, violent military factions and more. It's still unclear how the characters will all interconnect in the end, but one thing is for sure — so far the creators have captured the magic of what made Fallout so beloved to gamers.

Speaking of those gamers, the showrunners are saying that you can treat this show like a new "Fallout" game in terms of its standing in the canon. 

In an interview with Total Film, Nolan said that this project is "almost like we're Fallout 5" (h/t GamesRadar). In fact, it's because this show is "an original story" that it can sit firmly in the "Fallout" universe's canon and not worry about impacting past or future games.

Not that there weren't concerns the show would accidentally touch on stuff being saved for the real "Fallout 5." In an interview with Den of Geek, Howard said that there were instances in the show's production where he had to go, "Don’t do this because we are going to do that in Fallout 5." But it seems the show managed to avoid those problems by all accounts. We'll know for sure when it drops on Prime Video on April 11.

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.