When the Halo TV series was announced in 2013, many fans were delighted. After much delay, it’s finally here and Geekster gave me the chance to watch the first two episodes.
Welcome to the planet Madrigal
The story begins on the planet Madrigal. A planet led by rebels, rebels who oppose the government’s “dictatorship” called the UNSC. There, stories are exchanged about the spartans, lethal, heartless killing machines who don’t question what they do. Soldiers as strong as 100 navy soldiers and invincible.
At Madrigal we know Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha). She is the daughter of a local manager and is out with some friends outside of their sheltered environment. Soon they were attacked by something unknown and forced to retreat to the camp. A fight breaks out and soon we see aliens, very much like predators, rushing in from all sides. They don’t seem to stop until help arrives from an unexpected source.
Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber), the main character from the game Halo, storms in with a superhero landing. Together with his Silver Team, a Spartan unit, he encounters aliens. It quickly becomes clear that they are the only ones who can stop the invasion.
Kwan Ha is the only rebel who survived the fight. After that, the survivors go in search of the ship where the aliens landed. Nearby, they found an artifact that activated when the Master Chief touched it. A flashing image flew across the screen and the Master Chief was clearly confused. This is where the Halo story really begins.
New story, familiar characters
The fight against aliens at first seems like what the series is going for. But the action remains fairly limited, and we can only be happy about that. In terms of CGI, this series is a flop. The effect is a bit like the high-end web series on YouTube, and the explosions and aliens look a bit unfinished and rushed.
With the discovery of the ship, the plot will work and we’ve already seen more familiar characters. In addition to John-117 aka Master Chief, Dr. Catherine Halsey, played by Natascha McElhone, whom we know from Californication and The Truman Show, also dives. It was also immediately clear that Dr. Halsey is not allied with the UN Security Council.
dr. Miranda Keyes and Captain Jacob Keyes, as well as familiar characters from the game, instantly get more depth than they’ve ever had in a game. We also see a side of The Covenant, a distinct racial grouping of aliens who are clearly looking for something greater called the ‘great voyage’. Little by little we learn more about who the characters are and what they do.
The series has a good, solid foundation, and understands what Halo: Spartan go pew pew is all about. But there are also lots of mysterious and interesting stories that keep things interesting. The film adaptation of Halo immediately picked up on that and partially changed the plot. The makers went their own way, so die-hard fans are sometimes left to guess. Hence the series stands alone and it is a good decision. You don’t have to play a game or read a book to really immerse yourself in the story.
Fans vs Beginners
I myself am a huge fan of the Halo franchise. I’ve read a few books, all the comics have been reviewed and of course I’ve played all the games. In the house there is even a shrine of Halo items. From my first collector’s edition Halo 3 to some action figures coming exclusively from America, not to mention the number of Funko Pops. Hello is important to me and has helped me through a very difficult time.
Fans of the franchise can initially enjoy new and familiar characters, while newcomers will be more likely to get involved in the story. The move was not exaggerated and tensions between the rebels and the Spartans stood out immediately. This way you get a clear picture of who chooses which side. I am quite happy with what has been shown. I had to work really hard to keep the series and games separate, especially since the series followed separate routes. But there are also game references that made me really like Halo. The first-person shot perspective is a great clarification of what the game is all about: shooters. The sound of the shield reloading. Guns and explosions. His armor and clothes. Like it came straight out of the game.
What’s new in the series, and one that will probably intrigue many fans even more, is that the Master Chief takes off his helmet. Something he never did in the game. John-117 walks around without a helmet for much of the second episode, but I believe that this is necessary as we delve deeper into the past. I have to get used to seeing Master Chief’s face becausena the fantasy that I could be in the armor itself is now completely gone, but this choice makes the characters in the series their own.
I was of course surprised. Halo is a series that everyone can enjoy. The characters are well cast and there’s a lot more variety, something I can only applaud. It moves away from the bench and focuses more on the story. The deep knowledge that was well hidden in the game and which you should have read the book can now be found in one medium. We can definitely enjoy the music. Martin O’Donnell’s original work was researched by Sean Callery. Composers of 24 and Jessica Jones put their own spin on the soundtrack.
Other than the mediocre CGI, I have no complaints for now and can only wait for the many shows that I hope will also hit the screens. Is this the perfect game display on the screen? Not really, but that’s also not worth it for a franchise like Halo.