Master Chief has finally made his long-anticipated television debut, so it’s the perfect time to ruminate on everything we know about the Halo TV series as things kick off. We know who’s playing Big John Halo – which is definitely listed as Spartan 117’s given name on his birth certificate. We know how many episodes Paramount has planned for the show’s inaugural season. Hell, we even have a fair idea about the story. Sort of.
Despite all of this, even the most devoted fans of the Halo games will likely be in for a surprise this time around, which makes sense when you consider how convoluted the Halo timeline is – it’s not just a matter of what happens between Combat Evolved and Infinite. That’s where we come in.
Whether you’re a die-hard Halo head who wants to digest as many details as possible before launch next week, or you’re just the kind of person who tunes into the vast majority of upcoming sci-fi tv shows, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about the Halo TV series, including details pertaining to the release date, the cast, and story, along with where to stream the Halo TV series, both in the US and UK.
When is the Halo TV series release date?
The first season is nine episodes long, all of which are set to run for approximately an hour each. After the pilot launched on March 24, all subsequent episodes are set to air at weekly intervals.
That means that if you're looking to binge the entire show in one go, then you'll have to wait until May 26 before you can embark on your epic Halo voyage.
Where to stream the Halo TV series?
Paramount’s Halo TV show is airing exclusively on Paramount Plus from Thursday, March 24. At the time of writing, this is the only service the show will be available on, meaning that viewers from countries without access to Paramount Plus will be unable to tune in at launch.
If you’re in the UK and you’re wondering whether this affects you, it does – but it won’t for long. Last year, Sky confirmed that it will be incorporating Paramount Plus into its ecosystem at no additional cost later this year, meaning that all Sky Cinema and Sky Q subscribers will be able to watch the Halo series for themselves very soon.
Halo TV series cast
Perhaps one of the most important elements to consider when discussing the Halo TV series is its cast. Who’s going to play Master Chief? Cortana? The Arbiter? The obligatory Grunt who yells “Hey, Demon! The jerk store called, and they’re all out of you!”?
As it turns out, we’ve got quite a lot of information about the Halo cast. Here’s a brief list of some key characters and the people slated to play them, as well as some details about where you might have seen them before.
Master Chief – Pablo Schreiber
Television aficionados may know the actor cast as Master Chief from a variety of different roles, the most notable of which include George “Pornstache” Mendez in Orange is the New Black and Mad Sweeney in American Gods.
Cortana – Jen Taylor
Halo fans will be glad to know that Cortana is actually being played by the same actress who voiced her in the Halo video games. Jen Taylor has played Cortana in every mainline Halo game since Combat Evolved, and is also known for her other video game roles in Left 4 Dead (Zoey), Mario (Princess Peach from 1999 until 2006), and more.
Dr. Catherine Halsey – Natascha McElhone
Natascha McElhone is known for her roles in Solaris, The Truman Show, Californication, and more. She is currently listed for all nine episodes of season one, implying that Halsey – who Halo fans will recognize from the games – has a pretty big role to play in the series. Not very surprising when you consider that she’s the one who chose John to become the Master Chief, eh?
Dr. Miranda Keyes – Olive Gray
Olive Gray isn’t quite as experienced as some of the other cast members, but given how important Dr. Miranda Keyes is to Halo, it’s likely that they were chosen for a reason. They're also set to appear in all nine episodes.
Captain Jacob Keyes – Danny Sapani
Danny Sapani has made minor appearances in blockbuster movies like Black Panther and The Last Jedi, although his role as Captain Jacob Keyes will likely pull him into the spotlight here. If you’ve played Halo: Combat Evolved, you should be able to easily guess why.
We’ll also get to see Master Chief’s parents (Duncan Pow and Sarah Ridgeway), a bunch of Spartans he fights alongside (“Soren-066,” Bokeem Woodbine; “Vannak-134,” Bentley Kalu; “Kai-125,” Kate Kennedy; “Riz-028,” Natasha Culzac), an orphan raised by the Covenant (“Makee,” Charlie Murphy), and lots more.
Halo TV series trailers
While the Halo TV show was announced in March 2021, we didn’t get our first teaser until November. This reveal was unfortunately pretty tight-lipped, as was the next trailer that debuted the following month – all they really showed was Master Chief being Master Chief.
It wasn’t until January 2022 that we finally got a good idea of what to expect from Paramount’s Halo series. This trailer was accompanied by some intel from the folks at Paramount, offering us our first decent glimpse at the company’s take on Microsoft’s behemoth video game series. Among other aspects of the show, some of the matters Paramount discussed pertained to canon, continuity, and the overarching story it’s aiming to tell.
What is the story of the Halo TV series about?
While we don’t have exact details about the story Paramount wants to tell, there are some things we know for sure about the Halo TV show.
Obviously, we know it’s going to focus on the intergalactic war between humanity and the Covenant, a fiercely fundamentalist religious sect of aliens who worship an ancient civilization known as the Forerunners. The addition of more Spartans to the main cast – as well as Chief’s parents and a bunch of until-now unknown characters – suggests there will also be more insular, human stories woven into the series’ main narrative.
Perhaps the most important thing to note, however, is that this adaptation does not adhere to the canon established in the games. “We’re referring to this as the Halo Silver Timeline as a way of differentiating it from core canon,” executive producer Kiki Wolfkill said on Twitter (opens in new tab) back in December. “By that I mean being able to give ourselves the chance to evolve both and for both to be what they need to be for their mediums without colliding with each other.”
Given that there are lots of characters who appear in both the video games and the TV show, there is sure to be at least some overlap between the two. How significant said overlap ends up being remains to be seen.
Who is writing, producing, and directing the Halo TV series?
One of the most infamous aspects of the Halo TV show is how many times it’s changed hands over the years – hell, Paramount wasn’t even originally the studio fronting the money for it. Interestingly, one of the only people who has stuck around since day one is legendary director Steven Spielberg with his production company, Amblin Entertainment. The exact amount of influence Spielberg has had is unknown, although his perseverance through development hell implies he really wants to get this show made.
On the writing front, Halo is being co-developed by Kyle Killen (Lone Star, Awake) and Steven Kane (The Last Ship, The Closer). At least the first episode of season one will be directed by Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror).