Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1

Halo is one of the most iconic and influential franchises in all of gaming. Thus it was only a matter of time until a television adaptation came to fruition, and fortunately for us Paramount+ decided the time was right when it picked up the series early in 2021.

Prior to that the show had been in development limbo for several years. Initially it was set for a 2015 release, and was to be executive produced by Steven Spielberg in partnership with Microsoft’s ill-fated Xbox Entertainment Studios. Set in the 26th century, the premise of Halo is a war between humanity and a theocratic alien alliance known as the Covenant.

The show stars Pablo Schreiber (Mad Sweeney in American Gods) as Master Chief. Jen Taylor, who voices Cortana in several of the Halo games—as well as Microsoft's AI virtual assistant Cortana—reprises the role for the small screen. An accomplished voice actress, Taylor has also voiced many other roles including Nintendo icons Princess Peach and Toad.

Rounding out the cast are Olive Gray, Shabana Azmi, Charlie Murphy, Danny Sapani, Bokeem Woodbine and Natascha McElhone. Filming was done in Ontario, Canada and Budapest, Hungary. Total production cost for the first season is estimated at $90 to $200 million.

The show’s first season premiered on March 24, 2022. Within 24 hours of its release, it became the most-watched series premiere ever on Paramount+. The show was already greenlighted for a second season before the season 1 premiere. David Wiener is expected to return as showrunner and executive producer.

Season 1 of Halo consists of nine episodes total.

Season 1 episode 1

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

“Contact” (first aired March 24, 2022)

  • Director: Otto Bathurst
  • Writers: Kyle Killen and Steven Kane

In the year 2552, humans on the planet Madrigal fight for independence from Earth, but a fatal encounter with the Alien Covenant complicates things; Master Chief John 117 and his super-soldier "Spartans" join the fight. 

 

Season 1 episode 2

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Unbound" (first aired March 31, 2022)

  • Director: Otto Bathurst
  • Writers: Kyle Killen and Steven Kane

John takes Kwan to an old friend and learns more about the mystery object, which the Covenant and Makee are determined to steal. With the alien threat growing, Dr. Halsey has a plan to deal with John's unpredictable behavior. 

 

Season 1 episode 3

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Emergence" (first aired April 7, 2022)

  • Director: Roel Reiné
  • Writers: Kyle Killen and Steven Kane

John meets his new partner and discovers secrets in his own memory; Kwan wants to continue her people's fight for independence, but Soren has different plans for her; Makee's plan to retrieve the Madrigal object has deadly consequences. 

 

Season 1 episode 4

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Homecoming" (first aired April 14, 2022)

  • Director: Roel Reiné
  • Writer: Justine Juel Gillmer and Steven Kane

Guided by his visions, John takes Halsey and Cortana back to where it all began, looking for answers from his past. With Soren along for protection, Kwan goes in search of an army. 

 

Season 1 episode 5

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Reckoning" (first aired April 21, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Writers: Richard E. Robbins and Steven Kane

On the run and out of options, Kwan and Soren have a difference of opinion. With the possibility of finding the mysterious Halo on everyone's minds, John makes a horrible discovery. And the war rears its ugly head.

 

Season 1 episode 6

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Solace" (first aired April 28, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Writers: Silka Luisa and Steven Kane

Survivors of the battle with the Covenant return to Reach. John confronts Dr. Halsey and her lies. The new prisoner seems to know John better than he knows himself. The mysterious artifact shows John something startling. 

 

Season 1 episode 7

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Inheritence" (first aired May 5, 2022)

  • Director: Jessica Lowrey
  • Writer: Steven Kane

Kwan's journey to uncover her family's "true purpose" takes her deep into the deserts of Madrigal. Søren obsesses over unfinished business. 

 

Season 1 episode 8

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Allegiance" (first aired May 12, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Writers: Justine Juel Gillmer and Steven Kane

John and Makee come to terms with their shared vision. Halsey has one last chance to save her mission, and herself. As things come to a head, everyone must choose a side. 

 

Season 1 episode 9

Best television shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

"Transendence" (May 19, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Writer: Steven Kane

Beaten, battered, and betrayed, John 117 leads the Spartans on a suicide mission to find the Halo and save humanity. 

Wrap up

If you haven’t tuned in to Halo season 1, it isn’t too late to check it out before season 2 gets under way (we’ll let you know when a release date becomes available). Just head on over to Paramount+ to sign up. There seems to be an option to try it free at the time of this writing. Happy watching!

Featured image courtesy of paramountexpress.com. 

 

 

 

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