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Reimagining ‘Fallout’ set in Portland

We think Amazon Studios missed a golden opportunity to really lean into our city’s post-apocalyptic reputation (which we all know is untrue).


Nuclear winter? Pshaw. Have the studio execs visited Portland in January?

Photo by Liz Lauren

Whether you’re new to the end-of-the-world genre or are a diehard fan of Bethesda’s original video games, “Fallout” — a popular show on Amazon Prime set in a post-apocalyptic Wasteland — is a thought provoking and morbidly funny take on mutual assured destruction.

Although this tale plays out in the arid, contaminated remains of Southern California, we think post-nuclear war Portland would’ve been a better setting — and here’s why.

Disclaimer: We are extremely happy that it’s water, and not radioactive particles, raining down on us. This is a fun story based on a TV miniseries — and intended to be taken lightheartedly.

A Vault Boy animated character from Fallout smiles and does finger guns at you, while people file into an underground vault in the background.

Vault Boy says not to stress.

Gif via Giphy

Vault dweller’s dream

The main protagonist, Lucy MacLean, is a vault dweller who’s grown up in a community deep beneath the surface. Their mission is to survive and one day repopulate America, but she and her fellow blue-and-yellow jumpsuit clad neighbors are woefully ignorant of the reality above. Portland is actually home to a bunker built for a similar purpose — the Civil Defense Underground Headquarters at Kelly Butte was constructed in 1956 with 26-inch concrete walls, in case we ever needed a subterranean city hall... or TV set?

S.P.E.C.I.A.L skills

The higher your experience, the better equipped you’ll be to weather what may come. Who better to train your star-studded cast — or any aspiring survivalist — in such abilities than the folks over at Trackers Earth? They teach handy classes on everything from blacksmithing to archery, foraging, and other wilderness techniques. Seems like those are the friends you want to have.

An elephant at the Oregon Zoo rests its trunk on a fallen tree.

We prefer our pachyderms of the pacifist variety.

Mutated monsters

True, the show’s characters already encounter some pretty terrifying creatures — think: giant cockroaches and a massive salamander thing called a gulper — but can you imagine what horrors would develop in the Oregon Zoo? Evolved elephants that spray acid out of their trunks or naked mole-rats that come for you in the night — no thank you.

Who knows, maybe we should hold out hope for Season 2.

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