The new Halo show had a long road to its release, so now that it has dropped a few episodes, is it the blockbuster series that it hoped to become?
For a project that has been in development for the better part of a decade, Halo intended to blast onto the small screen as TV’s next big thing. Was there any question that Halo would rise to number one for the Paramount Plus streaming service? They currently do not have many original programs to compete with their sci-fi spectacle.
However, after two episodes, it is also clear that Halo will not be the next Mandalorian – a show that instantly gained a massive following when it premiered on Disney Plus in November 2019. They both had a built-in fanbase, with Paramount’s show based on one of the most popular videogame franchises of all time, while Disney’s streaming trailblazer is set within the Star Wars Universe. But, between their live-action shows, animated series, and cinematic features, we know that not everything attached to Star Wars receives a universally positive response. So a show like Halo definitely still needed to earn its success.
It is easy to see where Halo’s One hundred million dollars is being spent, with its smooth special effects and gorgeous scenery design. The localities range from the crisp and clean homeworld of Reach to a rocky, bustling asteroid base. The action sequences so far have been limited yet impressive.
Unfortunately in the storytelling department, Halo is already sliding slightly into complacency in its sophomore chapter. It is not required that sci-fi series need to have an explosive battle scene every episode, but there also isn’t an extraordinary amount of character development on display thus far.
Even if the series starts hitting its stride, the biggest obstacle in Halo’s path to prominence is that there are several offerings out there of comparable content. This ratings race has been around for a while; there have been consistently Star Trek shows competing with Battlestar Galactica or even Firefly. But now with an abundance of content dropping so often, Halo is vying for viewers at a time when Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios produce elite television and every streaming service is spending big bucks in an attempt at gaining market share.
How does Halo compare to other Sci-Fi shows?
Putting aside unrelated genre material, Halo will primarily struggle to stand out against science fiction series that look and feel analogous to it. Shows where human-like protagonists planet hop to various worlds on spaceships and interact with an assortment of alien beings. Between the Star Wars and Star Trek series, along with standalone works like Raised By Wolves and Foundation, Halo is in jeopardy of getting lost in that mix.
Raised by Wolves is an HBO Max series developed by Ridley Scott that started out very promising with an android couple taking care of human children on a seemingly unoccupied planet, only to go off the rails toward the end of its first season. The religious war had many meandering subplots and peculiar components, including the lead character giving birth to a giant flying reptile. The beginning of the second season preserves only small amounts of what once made the narrative intriguing.
then came Foundation, an Apple TV Plus show with incredibly compelling performances from Lee Pace and Lou Llobell, not to mention Jared Harris in a supporting role. There are a few lingering episodes, such as the one that takes place on a ghost ship, but the multiple storylines are comprehensive and the time jumps are exquisitely handled, making what comes next an enticing adventure for viewers.
And yet, Halo has the capacity to surpass both shows as it boasts such grand set pieces, you sometimes wish that you were watching a film in cinemas. In the opening battle, one can grasp the intensity of the Covenant’s body-shattering blasts. Though the core storyline, at least in the first few chapters, about the armored Spartan Master Chief protecting and escaping with a young mentee, is desperately similar to what made Star Wars fans fall in love with The Mandalorian.
Both Master Chief and the Mandalorian rarely remove their helmets. While Pablo Schreiber is emphatically serious in his tone and expressions of him, reaching the heights of Pedro Pascal’s notoriously impenetrable Din Djarin would be almost impossible. It’s safe to claim that Djarin recently surpassed Boba Fett in admiration, another “space cowboy” who is fresh off of starring in his own miniseries – The Book of Boba Fett.
Still, Master Chief’s arc seems to be progressing little by little, and with most of the season ahead of us, there is plenty of the Spartan rebel to look forward to. In the discussion of contemporary science fiction shows, Halo may go on to outshine Raised by Wolves and possibly Foundationand could likely fall somewhere between Book of Boba Fett’s divisiveness and The Mandalorian’s eminence.
What do you think of Halo so far? Will it join the ranks of other great sci-fi shows or fall short? Let us know in the comments below.