Fans of the Fallout franchise finally received the news we've all been waiting for, as Bethesda announced on Thursday that Fallout was being turned into a TV series on Amazon, with the Westworld creative team of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy bringing it to life. It's actually happening this time, and at a studio willing to pay for expensive projects with creators that have already broken new ground in the sci-fi genre. More importantly, the adaptation of Fallout is happening on television, not as a feature film, which will allow them to tell as much of the story of the franchise as possible. There are so many different ways for Nolan and Joy to take this series, with multiple different games to choose from as a jumping-off point, but it's Fallout 3 that seems to make a little more sense than the rest.
Yes, there were two games in the franchise before Fallout 3 ever arrived, but it was this third installment that brought the series to a wide audience and helped make it the hit that it's become over the years. Fallout 3 presents the best opportunity to take new fans into the world of the Wasteland for the first time, connecting them with a clear-cut storyline and extremely compelling characters.
Fallout 3 takes place in the ruins of Washington D.C., which immediately helps people understand how horribly things have gone. Seeing the Washington Monument and National Mall in shambles really sets the stage. It's also the nation's capitol, which makes it easy to connect the story to locations like Boston, West Virginia, or Las Vegas. D.C. just provides a central hub for a much bigger universe in the future.
More importantly, though, is the airtight story of Fallout 3. There are side missions throughout the game, many of which would be great for the series. But the main saga of Fallout 3 stands totally on its own, and it'll be fairly easy for casual viewers to follow.
The game tells the story of your character, The Lone Wanderer, who escapes from Vault 101 and sets off on a mission to find your missing father. You eventually find out that he's been working on creating a clean water supply and you're tasked with helping him complete it. Along the way, your character gets involved in the war that's been erupting across the Wasteland, which helps explain the grander universe of the franchise without a ton of exposition. Following the story of Fallout 3 provides an easy introduction and compelling story, while also planting seeds for a much bigger adventure later. The creation of the water system will help connect things to the stories of Fallout 4 and Fallout: 76. Meanwhile, the bits about the war help shine a light on the events of Fallout: New Vegas. Everything in the franchise can stem from Fallout 3 without too much mess.
Let's also remember that Fallout 3 provides the franchise with a perfect narrator in Three Dog. Admit it, it's hard to even read that name and not hear "Thanks for listening, CHILDREN" in your head. In Three Dog, the Fallout series will have a voice to guide the audience through the troubled times they're witnessing on screen. He can provide any and all context, and he's an ultra-compelling character to boot.
Fallout is so much better suited for TV than film because of the vast amount of story and world it has at its disposal. Because of the TV format, we could realistically see elements, stories, and characters from all of the major Fallout games come into play. Fallout 3 shouldn't be the only element of the franchise the TV show focuses on. It should, however, be the place where the series begins.