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Nightlight: Reviews evolved, A “Halo” review

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A column straight from the unorthodox mind of Jamie Miller. Often written during the middle of the night, Miller provides reviews of TV shows and movies, books, and details life through from his perspective (artwork by Abby Haywood/The Collegiate).

By Jamie Miller 

Hello again Nighlighters, it is I, Jamie-998 here with yet another issue of Nightlight. Now dear friends, as you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of video games. From the “Mass Effect” series to “The Outer Worlds,” I just can’t get enough. One of the first real adult games I played was a little series by the name of “Halo.” One of my favorite childhood memories is my dad and I sitting down and playing co-op for hours. So when I learned Paramount+ were making a TV series based on the games I was beyond ecstatic though I had many questions. How would they pull off the aliens? Would the series be as brutal as the games? Could any TV show do the series justice? Read on to find out.

“Halo” premiered on March 24 and wrapped up season 1 on May 19 and tells the story of John-117 also known as the Master Chief who is a genetically enhanced super soldier known as a Spartan. The Spartans were designed to fight human insurrectionists on colony worlds, however they end up drawn into a fight with an enemy far more dangerous than any other in human history, an enemy not seeking conquest or subjugation but the complete eradication of every human in the galaxy. 

Unbeknownst to him however, John very well could be the very last hope for the human race. 

“Halo” stars Pablo Schreiber of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” fame as the legendary Master Chief. Danny Sapani, who has had roles in TV series such as “Doctor Who,” plays the part of Captain Jacob Keyes, a seasoned UNSC captain and friend of John. Natascha McElhone of “Designated survivor” fame stars as Dr. Catherine Halsey, a brilliant albeit highly amoral scientist with the Spartan program being her brainchild and as a result she has an almost quasi maternal relationship with John. 

The series also stars Olive Gray known for roles in TV series such as “EastEnders” as commander Miranda Keyes the daughter of Halsey and the captain and a driven young officer who hasn’t yet lost her moral center. Jen Taylor reprises her role as Cortana from the games, an AI created by Halsey to assist chief in his mission. Charlie Murphy, known for her role as Jessie Eden on “Peaky Blinders” plays the part of Makee, a woman raised by the Covenant since she was young, as the so called “blessed one” due to her ability to interact with Forerunner technology as the Covenant worship the long lost race as their gods, her character being a creation for the show.

This show is…pretty good. It’s far different from the games. It focuses far more on the messed up things humanity does than the Covenant, not to mention they show Master Chief’s face often which they never did in the games. It is also odd that Halsey and Cortana are played by different actresses. However, unlike some of the fanbase, I actually like the series, it’s different from the established lore but so was the “Battlestar Galactica” remake and that show was phenomenal. The action scenes are spectacular and the fact that the Covenant are not seen in combat as much genuinely makes the times they appear even better, as it really makes them seem like this unknowable force. Not to mention they had a blink and you’ll miss it reference to “Mass Effect” in episode 1. The costumes are phenomenal, the acting is also well done. Schreiber does a pretty good job of playing Chief. And it’s always great to hear Taylor’s voice. I give it seven and a half torches out of 10. I highly recommend it. 

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