This article is sponsored by Paramount+.
Whispers surrounding Halo’s television or film adaptation have circulated the internet (and Hollywood) since 2013. With a slated release date of 2021, it was first announced that the show would appear on Showtime, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer, undergoing development for four years.
After multiple changes behind the scenes over the last few years — including directors, producers and writers, and production setbacks due to the pandemic — the show has finally arrived on Paramount+, with a massive lineup of pros behind the production.
While video game to small screen adaptations have caused some dicey discourse amongst fanbases in the past, fans of the classic Xbox series can rejoice that the series has opened to positive reviews from both die-hard fans of the game and your average sci-fi viewer. The show has already been renewed for season two, which is definitely telling of stakeholders’ faith in the show’s ability to appease long-time fans and appeal to newcomers.
Given the Halo franchise had sold over 82 million copies worldwide since its first release in 2001 when the trailer for the show first dropped in late 2021, the internet was set ablaze with commentary, with fans pondering how the epic game would shine as a TV show. So, if you’re ready to dive into the series (and make your own mind up), here’s everything you need to know.
Where Can I Watch It?
Halo is streaming exclusively on Paramount+, and episode one dropped on March 24th, with the remaining eight episodes released on a weekly basis. The final episode will arrive on May 19 if you’re looking to avoid all spoilers and binge the show in its entirety once released in full.
You can sign up and check out the Halo premiere for free and then continue with Paramount+’s monthly $8.99 fee to watch the remainder of the show. Paramount+ also features other titles like Yellowjackets, Star Trek: Discovery and The Gilded Age, so you’ll be getting bang for your buck.
What’s The Main Storyline & Who’s In The Cast?
Halo features Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Natascha McElhone as his war criminal mother, Dr Halsey and Charlie Murphy as Makee, a human who has been raised by the Covenant (whose perspective the show will also feature). The first series will follow Master Chief and his comrades as they attempt to stop an alliance of aliens known as the Covenant from wiping out humanity.
The series takes place in the ‘Silver Timeline’ — a new yet similar version of the Halo universe that already exists in the games and novels. 343 Industries released a blog post addressed to fans explaining that the timeline had been created as a way for the creators to craft a unique story that didn’t adhere precisely to events that had already taken place in the Halo universe.
Who’s Behind The Show?
While Steven Spielberg didn’t exactly make creative decisions, Darryl Frank, at the Winter 2022 TCA presentation, said Speilberg “godfathered” the series, as he helped steer much of the team across a lengthy development process.
While multiple changes were made to the writing team during the show’s development, Kyle Killen and Steven Kane — who’ve worked across shows like Alias, Lone Star and Awake — were behind the screenwriting of season one. In addition, the initial episodes of season one were directed by Otto Bathurst, who’s previously worked on Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders and Robin Hood.
What Are Critics Saying About It So Far?
A quick scroll through Twitter will show that fans are praising the show’s faithfulness to the game’s main plot, the epic graphic work and production design, as well as stellar performances from the cast. However, given there is only one episode out currently, many are curious about how the show will continue to incorporate other elements of Halo lore.
The press has also praised the show for similar reasons, with some noting how the show has taken the Halo universe fans know and love in a new direction — a sentiment echoed by IGN’s Jesse Schedeen.
“As much as the premiere focuses on capturing the iconic weapons and technology from the games, it also shows a willingness to move its story in dramatically different directions. This is hardly a 1:1 adaptation of the games, and that’s really the show’s biggest selling point right now.”
Loved #HaloTheSeries – I’m a complete newbie to the franchise as I’m not a gamer, so as a sci-fi action series it’s giving me everything I want so far! Watch on the biggest screen you can!#ParamountPlus pic.twitter.com/sBrhIRK9Lb— Darren Scott (@darren_scott) March 14, 2022
Absolutely loved the first episode of the Halo series. So many nice little tidbits for fans, production quality is great, Pablo as Chief is great. Excited to see more!— Klobrille (@klobrille) March 24, 2022
#HaloTheSeries is a crap load of fun. Pablo Schreiber is crazy good as Master Chief, and the other members of the cast only add to it. There are stunning visuals in the series, and the whole UNSC is great with technology. Arrives on Paramount+ on March 24. pic.twitter.com/XdQQwe1kgC— Brandon Matthews (@RCDiscussion) March 14, 2022
Watch the trailer for Halo below:
You can stream Halo exclusively on Paramount+ right now.