If you have been following Nerdgenic a while then you know that I am a huge Halo fan, and when I heard that we were getting a Halo TV series my initial thoughts were mixed. I was excited about a Halo TV series, and have a pretty good understanding of the overall story elements, but my primary concern was how these would be presented in live-action. I also wondered if this show would appeal to large audiences or solely fans of the video game franchise. The first episode left me feeling excited about future episodes but also feeling like the story may be trying to do too much too soon.
This review will only focus on episode one of the Halo TV series, and I may or may not review each episode as they release, but I promise to do a full final review once season one has been completed. There will be spoilers in this review since I will have to touch on some elements of the episode in order to fully review it for you.
What I Liked About Episode One
I’m going to start this review off on a positive note as I did enjoy the series. Even with its mistakes, which I’ll address in the second part of this review, the series surprised me with many of its cinematic elements. My primary thought when I hear that a video game will be adapted to live-action is we are going to get a lot of cheesy video game shots, which we do get a few in this episode, but they primarily keep those to a minimum. So they basically act as little easter eggs for fans of video games.
Episode one starts off with you learning how the outside world views the UNSC and the Spartans. There is an overall negative view of the actions of the UNSC which is to be expected, but I did enjoy the overall fear and lack of understanding the outsiders have of the Spartans. The Spartans are viewed as superhuman unkillable machines and this is how they should be viewed.
Shortly after this we are introduced to the Elites, and they immediately come in and vaporize people and this was a welcome surprise. I really didn’t expect to see this level of brutality in the show, and to see it very early on really helps set the tone of the Elite’s being something that normal people cannot overcome alone and emphasizes the needs for the Spartans when they show up later.
The Portrayal of Master Chief, and Doctor Halsey
I did enjoy the portrayal of the Master Chief and Doctor Halsey. Both of these characters’ performances really left me wanting to know more about them as the series progresses. Halsey is initially intriguing as you can tell she enjoys what she’s doing, and she appears to be very capable, but her overall motives are unclear and this is okay as it is only episode one of the series. For now, it does appear that she is playing along with the UNSC, but there have already been signs that she may not play well with others, especially at the end where she orders the Spartans to protect Master Chief at all cost, even if that means attacking UNSC marines.
It’s clear that the Master Chief will be much more than a walking tank in this series. In the Halo video games, Master Chief has undergone quite an evolution. He’s gone from a simple soldier that only is there to complete the objective at all costs to showing emotion when his personal connections are threatened. In this series, it seems that Master Chief will also go through a similar transformation, how deep this goes will be determined in future episodes. My personal hope is that they continue to build on this and we can learn more about why the Spartans were created, how they were created, and why what Master Chief does is so wrong.
What I Didn’t Like About The Halo TV Series
My first complaint about the show is the overall pacing. Personally, I am a fan of the slow build when it comes to shows like this. The reason is there are a lot of moving parts, and story elements that really should be explored in order for the audience to really care about the characters and what happens in the overall story. I would have loved to see Doctor Halsey working in her lab, and following orders to send the Spartans on their mission. While the outsiders were explaining why they fear the Spartans all we need is just a few lines of dialogue from Halsey talking about the Spartan creation or even THE spartan’s (Master Chief) creation would have been great.
Along with this, I would have liked to see the evolution of Master Chief happen a few episodes later. This way we understand more that he is a soldier following orders, we have at least a glimpse of his overall creation before he decides to completely defect from the orders he was given. I think this would have helped to make the moment he takes off his helmet a huge story moment and signify that Master Chief is also his own man now.
Admiral Margaret Parangosky
Let’s briefly talk about Admiral Margaret Parangosky which I am not a fan of. The performance of this actress was truly lacking here. It may have been the dialogue or even the director’s choice, but there really isn’t any emotion coming from this character whatsoever. She wasn’t intimidating but came off as really annoying when she was on screen. Now in the actress’s defense, a lot of this could have been due to the overall pacing of the show and what they have chosen to show us about the character.
I feel like all of the other cast members really came to bring us something great, but Admiral Parangosky is only there because the story just wants her there, and for what reason I am really unsure. It’s almost as if anyone could have played this role, and I hope that in future episodes her character and performance will evolve over time.
Now it’s time to hear from our readers. Did you enjoy episode one of the Halo TV series? If so, let us know what you liked by leaving a comment below.