Best TV Shows Inspired by Video Games: Halo Season 1

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Halo is one of the most iconic and influential franchises in all of gaming. So, it was only a matter of time before a TV adaptation came to fruition, and luckily for us, Paramount+ decided the time was right to pick up the series in early 2021.

Prior to that, the series had been in development limbo for several years. Initially, it was slated for release in 2015 and was to be produced by Steven Spielberg in partnership with Microsoft’s ill-fated Xbox Entertainment Studios. Set in the 26th century, Halo’s premise 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 Cortana, Microsoft’s AI virtual assistant, is reprising the role for the small screen. An accomplished comedian, Taylor has also performed many other roles, including Nintendo icons Princess Peach and Toad.

Rounding out the cast are Olive Grey, Shabana Azmi, Charlie Murphy, Danny Sapani, Bokeem Woodbine and Natascha McElhone. Filming was done in Ontario, Canada and Budapest, Hungary. The total production cost of the first season is estimated between $90 million and $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 of all time on Paramount+. The show was already green light for a second season before the Season 1 premiere. David Wiener is expected to return as showrunner and executive producer.

Halo Season 1 consists of nine episodes in total.

Season 1 episode 1

“Contact” (first aired March 24, 2022)

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

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

Season 1 episode 2

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

“Unbound” (first aired March 31, 2022)

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

John takes Kwan to an old friend’s house and learns more about the mysterious 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 TV shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

“Emergence” (first aired April 7, 2022)

  • Director: Roel Reine
  • Screenwriters: 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 TV shows inspired by video games: Halo season 1 - OnMSFT.com - September 6, 2022

“Back home” (first aired April 14, 2022)

  • Director: Roel Reine
  • Screenplay: Justine Juel Gillmer and Steven Kane

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

season 1 episode 5

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

“Account” (first aired April 21, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Screenwriters: 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 mind, John makes a horrifying discovery. And the war rears its ugly head.

season 1 episode 6

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

“Comfort” (first aired April 28, 2022)

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

The survivors of the battle against the Covenant return to Reach. John confronts Dr. Halsey and his lies. The new prisoner seems to know John better than he knows himself. The mysterious artifact shows John something surprising.

Season 1 episode 7

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

“Legacy” (first aired May 5, 2022)

  • Director: Jessica Lowrey
  • Screenwriter: Steven Kane

Kwan’s journey to discover his family’s “true purpose” takes him deep into the deserts of Madrigal. Søren is obsessed with unfinished business.

season 1 episode 8

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

“Allegiance” (first aired May 12, 2022)

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

John and Makee accept their shared vision. Halsey has one last chance to save her mission and herself. When things come to a head, everyone must choose sides.

Season 1 episode 9

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

“Transendency” (May 19, 2022)

  • Director: Jonathan Liebesman
  • Screenwriter: Steven Kane

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

Wrap

If you haven’t listened to Halo Season 1, it’s not too late to check it out before Season 2 begins (we’ll let you know when a release date becomes available). Just head to Paramount+ register. There seems to be an option to try it for free at the time of this writing. Good viewing!

Image courtesy of paramountexpress.com.

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