Fallout TV show production designer explains why they made a big last-minute change to the episode 1 ending, and shares shooting plans for season 2

(Image credit: Prime Video)

Warning: Fallout season one spoilers ahead!

Prime Video's live-action TV adaptation of Fallout is both stunning and game-accurate – and production designer Howard Cummings says it was a team effort to make those seemingly impossible ideas come to life. The series has been renewed for a second season, which will likely adapt New Vegas as its central location.

"For various reasons we actually shot Fallout season one in New York City <laugh> except for parts in Africa, in Namibia, for the Wasteland, for when Lucy comes out of the Vault door, that crazy location," Cummings tells GamesRadar+. "And Utah for the Brotherhood of Steel stuff – that's near the Bonneville Salt Flats in a semi-abandoned air base there.  I don't know exactly where we're shooting [season 2]  but it's gonna be on the West Coast – which should make it somewhat easier because don't have to go to Africa necessarily."

The Wasteland was created not by pouring sand in front of a green screen, but by constructing a set in the Namib desert – namely the Skeleton Coast, which is home to the ghost town of Kolmanskop. The house that Lucy enters in episode 2 is real, it's the arid conditions of the desert that keep the walls and decorations preserved. At the end of episode 1, Lucy goes to the surface for the very first time and looks out over the ruins of the Santa Monica Pier. Cummings says this seemed impossible at first, but executive producer Jonathan Nolan was able to help him see the vision.

"That was a brilliant idea on Jonathan Nolan’s part to go [to Africa]. We were standing there – originally the script wasn't [set] by the water and I said, ‘Oh wow, this ocean is so violent, too bad we can't see the water.’ And he goes, ‘What if we can?'" Cummings explains. "And he ran off and rocked it and ran to the show, and talked to the writer. We're scouting and the executive producer walks up and she goes, ‘What's that all about?’ And I said, ‘We're looking at the Santa Monica Pier. This looks like the curve of the landscape and everything. It’s the Santa Monica Pier!’ It was great. What fun to put the Vault 33 coming out of the Santa Monica Pier."

Fallout is streaming now on Prime Video. For more, check out our coverage on:

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.