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Halo - Paramount + TV Series (was originally going to be on Showtime)


The Boatman
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I’ve become immune to the absolute drivel online that follows episodes of shows being aired these days. I watch TV shows with a fairly uncritical perspective, instead still touched by the magic that Television and Movies can make. So this is absolutely fantastic both in terms of a version of the game world brought to life and a sci-fi show in its own right.

 

I also actually really like that

Spoiler

John removed his helmet when he did and more so WHY he did it. Pablo Scheiber is a great actor, I fucking love him, so it’s great to see him unmasked. But it also touches on an aspect of the games that is actually fairly weak, because 117 as a character is quite boring and unlikeable outside of him being an absolute god level warrior. This adds more ‘humanity’ and charisma to 117 which is absolutely necessary given the focus on him. It’s clear Scheiber still has the physical attributes and talent (just like Pascal in Mandalorian) to convey things while the helmet is on but it’s a bold move and one that really works for me.

 

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7 hours ago, MardiganX said:

I’ve become immune to the absolute drivel online that follows episodes of shows being aired these days. I watch TV shows with a fairly uncritical perspective, instead still touched by the magic that Television and Movies can make. So this is absolutely fantastic both in terms of a version of the game world brought to life and a sci-fi show in its own right.

 

I also actually really like that

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John removed his helmet when he did and more so WHY he did it. Pablo Scheiber is a great actor, I fucking love him, so it’s great to see him unmasked. But it also touches on an aspect of the games that is actually fairly weak, because 117 as a character is quite boring and unlikeable outside of him being an absolute god level warrior. This adds more ‘humanity’ and charisma to 117 which is absolutely necessary given the focus on him. It’s clear Scheiber still has the physical attributes and talent (just like Pascal in Mandalorian) to convey things while the helmet is on but it’s a bold move and one that really works for me.

 

Totally get it. In the games 'you' are master chief. They've done well to add an actual persona here, not just blastyman. His intro as MC was perfect, his intro as a person just as much so. 

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An introduction definitely made for people who have played the games. The ships, the weapons, the big f'kin elites. 

 

Subsequent episodes have a shorter intro but that first one was a belter. 

 

Only thing I'm annoyed about is no grunts! Wort wort. 

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3 hours ago, yashiro said:

This series starts on Channel 5 tonight if you were never arsed enough to pirate it.

Looks like they're only showing the first episode. No sign of it next week 

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This is remarkably good. It feels like everyone involved is frantically pedalling to make the absolute best of it. People acting their hearts out, wringing every last drop from the script and setting and FX and lighting guys doing their best with whatever budget they were given in creative ways. It's such a contrast to the lazy, shit out Star Wars stuff recently. Obi Wan is just coasting down a hill, relying on nostalgia to gently drift towards a destination. The editing in particular is so far ahead of Boba Fett or Obi Wan it's embarrassing. Shots are also creative, moving heights, sometimes swirling in and through scenes, framing of characters is interesting, action scenes are pacey and well directed. It's not perfect, but if I were Disney I'd lift this entire team out and give them some proper cash to do whatever the next Tatooine based snore fest is and give it a mighty kick up the ass. 

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Hands down, it's a great show. I'd said before, starting the show on a ring would have been a very bad move. The show has massively expanded the backstory, although I can take or leave some of the subplots. It really fires on all cylinders when focused on the chief and the larger plot points. 

 

Some of the action scenes later on in the series *chefs kiss*

 

 

 

 

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Makes you think that maybe Halo Infinite could have been a multi-planet, Mass Effect-style adventure. Tight set pieces in unique environments with some narrative cool down inbetween. 

 

In the first episode alone they were tossing iconic locations around just to build a universe and keep things moving. But 343 (and I understand why) just tried to make that one-planet experience work in a way that will never beat what we all played decades ago. 

 

I bet Microsoft are annoyed this wasn't an xbox platform experience. Watch it included on game pass. See the story and then jump into a map & scenario to 'finish the fight' that talented writers, etc set up. It would be perfect. 

 

Somewhere, someone at EA in charge of Mass Effect should be planning their next pitch. Gaming needs to meet other media in the middle and this proves it. 

 

Well fucking played. 

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If they head toward the fall of Reach storyline, preferably the book version, then it could become something quite special.

 

Actually gutted to find out only the first 3 episodes are available at the moment but now have something to look forward to each week. Scheiber is superb!

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Watched the first 25 minutes. Seemed like Power Rangers for adults and some of the effects were pretty sketchy. 

 

The Halo games (not all) have entertained me over the years so regardless of any initial criticisms, I'm sure I'll see the series out. Some positive takes in here have piqued interest. 

 

 

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I kinda like the look of this. It all seems very toy-like which looks nice.....in a weird way. And bonus points for everything being lit in a way that I can see what's happening.

 

Enjoyed the back and forth with Cortana in episode 3. Hoping there's more of that going forward.

 

13 hours ago, cavalcade said:

Microsoft tried the TV game crossover thing before didn't they with a game I've forgotten the name of. Which wasn't great and nobody played.

 

Quantum Break? There was no TV show though, the live action stuff was spliced in with the game which everybody hated if I remember correctly.

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Episode 4 with the feels! 

 

I'm loving this. 

 

Quantum Break was a new IP and struggled as a result. I am struggling to articulate what I'm thinking but there is such an opportunity to segue this level of narrative into a playable experience. Finish the fight. 

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9 hours ago, Mars said:

Episode 4 with the feels! 

 

I'm loving this. 

 

Quantum Break was a new IP and struggled as a result. I am struggling to articulate what I'm thinking but there is such an opportunity to segue this level of narrative into a playable experience. Finish the fight. 

Can I ask how much Halo you’ve played?

 

For me, it’s my favourite game, but this was so far removed from what I recognised as Halo that I only lasted 3 episodes before ditching it.

 

I know they really needed to flesh out John as a character, but it feels so wrong to me to give him emotions, that it might as well be a different show.

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I've played every single Halo game to completion, apart from 5 (arse) and Infinite (largely played multi-player). I've also watched the whole series of Halo, which you haven't. 

 

It's clearly different but, as a piece of media that runs parallel to gaming, it does a good job of complimenting it, in my opinion. 

 

How else could you flesh out such a character, apart from adding humanity and the emotion into the mix? A new uniform skin? 

 

 

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I don’t really know to be honest, I just don’t find it very Halo. I might push on with it to see where it goes, but since they seem adamant that he should have his helmet off the majority of the time I’m not expecting much.

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I'd say it's worth watching some more as there are some excellent action set pieces and reveals later on. However I think there are also parts you'll probably hate based on what you've said and there could definitely be more battle/mission-based scenes. 

 

One thing to point out is that it also strives to build Spartan characters that aren't Master Chief. The market for this show is way broader demographically than the games and the writing reflects that. I don't want to spoil anything by saying more. 

 

I'm hoping there will be more series that get it closer to the game world. Like I said, the balance is slightly off in terms of action vs plot building but I put this down to it being series 1 and needing to do that. 

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I was pleasantly surprised by this! Only seen the first episode, but I rather liked it :) . I'm kind of glad it's doing its own thing, and there were more than enough things in it to remind me of the games. MC actor reminds me of Ryan Gosling...only a Ryan Gosling who's had his nose repeatedly smacked a few times. A definite improvement I think.

 

I may well have to spend another £6.99 for next month to see where it heads down (currently on the 7 day free thing).

 

Jolly good - a show that hasn't disappointed me, as I hadn't got any expectations at all!

 

Huzzah!

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9 hours ago, JPL said:

I don’t really know to be honest, I just don’t find it very Halo. I might push on with it to see where it goes, but since they seem adamant that he should have his helmet off the majority of the time I’m not expecting much.

 

I heard a recent interview with Pablo Schreiber for the UK launch of this and anybody expecting it to slavishly follow the games sounds like they are in for disappointment. It's a take on the mythos which seems to be concerned with exploring the human underneath the armour. This is another interview quote, but it seems to be similar to what he said on a podcast:

 

Quote

“I mean, Master Chief is really the epitome of the hero, right? I loved the fact that the show set out to get underneath his armour, to kind of expose the humanity beneath. The first season is Master Chief getting to know himself for the first time, so we get to learn some of his history, and then to really begin this dialogue between Master Chief, the soldier, and ‘John’, the human who’s inside.”

 

It's surprisingly decent, no worse than all the other branded stuff that's getting made at present for streaming.

 

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I’ve also really liked how it’s not went over the top with the action early on. Like it has confidence in the story it’s telling and how it’s doing that to not throw action at the screen for the sake of it. It’s clearly going to go bananas at some point in that sense but only 3 episodes in it already feels like every thing it does is going to be earned. That’s about as high praise as you can give any show these days, never mind one based on a video game!

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Why the hell would you want the TV show to slavishly follow the games? The story in the games is about 90% shit. 

 

And yes, "earned" is a good way of putting it. It reminds me a little of earlier series of The Expanse, when it was a little more poised. Like The Expanse it creaks in a lot of bits, but it has a coherent core direction and philosophy, which everyone seems to have bought into. And unlike The Expanse I don't want to drop most of the cast into a tar pit. 

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I'm one of the few poor souls who like the absurd story stuff going on in all the Halo games, but absolutely it would have sucked to see most of that in a TV series. I'm more than happy to take the bones of the thing and turn it into it's own beast, which I think they have very well really. It all looks suitably Halo to me, and I'm pretty invested in it now. God knows if people are going to give it enough support for multiple series though - I'm very glad it's not on Netflix, who seem to be just the absolute worst for spunking money on stuff and pulling the plug early.

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11 hours ago, cavalcade said:

Why the hell would you want the TV show to slavishly follow the games? The story in the games is about 90% shit. 

 

And yes, "earned" is a good way of putting it. It reminds me a little of earlier series of The Expanse, when it was a little more poised. Like The Expanse it creaks in a lot of bits, but it has a coherent core direction and philosophy, which everyone seems to have bought into. And unlike The Expanse I don't want to drop most of the cast into a tar pit. 

Agree with this, the story was an incoherent mess in the games.  The world it created on the other hand was fantastic, which this series gets across in abundance.  Got upto ep5 now and has stepped it up a gear.  Great pacing, cast and productions values.  Nice job Paramount!

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