Sunday, 30 January 2022

HALO TV show to launch on 24 March

The long-gestating Halo television series now has a launch date. The show will drop on Paramount+ in the United States (and other territories where Paramount+ is available) on 24 March. The plan for territories outside the United States where Paramount+ is unavailable is unclear.

The trailer sets up the premise of the show, which is similar but not quite identical to the video games. The premise sees the now-multi-planetary United Nations at war with the Covenant, an alliance of several hostile alien races united by a common religion. The Covenant are somewhat technologically superior to humanity and are dedicated to the human race's destruction on ideological grounds. Key to the battle are the Spartans, powerful warriors clad in state-of-the-art armour. The protagonist is Master Chief Petty Office John-117, mostly known as "Master Chief," a legendary soldier even among the Spartans, as he learns that the fate of the war with the Covenant depends on finding an unknown alien artefact known in the records of a dead race as "Halo."

The series also features a number of other Spartan soldiers, a group of scientists monitoring the progress of the Spartans, and a powerful AI known as "Cortana."

The Halo video game series began in 2001 with Halo: Combat Evolved, becoming arguably the signature series of the Microsoft Xbox series of video game consoles. It has since expanded to six games in the main series (divided into two sub-series), a prequel and an interquel, and a number of spin-offs, including the Halo Wars strategy series. There are also novels, graphic novel and both live-action and animated shorts (as well as the tangentially-related Red vs. Blue online comedy series). The most recent game in the series, Halo Infinite, was released at the end of last year. To date, the series has sold over 81 million copies.

The Halo TV series retells some of the stories from the games, but in a modified form, most notably to be more of an ensemble piece whilst the games focus much more on Master Chief alone as the protagonist. According to the writers, the TV show takes place in the "Silver Timeline," a distinct (but similar) continuity from the video games. 

The TV show stars Pablo Schreiber as Master, with Jen Taylor reprising her role from the video games as Cortana. The series also stars Natascha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, Shabana Azmi as Admiral Parangosky, Olive Grey as Miranda Keyes, Rafael Fernandez as Jacob Keyes, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066, Kate Kennedy as Kai-125, Natasha Culzac as Riz-028 and Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134.

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