It's finally happening. Halo, arguably one of the most popular and influential first-person shooters of all time, is getting its own TV show, courtesy of Showtime.
Master Chief is getting some screen time with a 10-episode series that's currently in production, and as massive Halo fans, we at FANGRRLS couldn't be happier to see the story be given a chance to shine in another medium. Yes, we've seen live-action stories told throughout the Halo universe before, but this will mark the first official serial production on a premium cable channel. This is big — and it has to be done right.
If the Halo series can transcend the bargain bin status so many video game movie and TV adaptations tend to assume when they finally debut, it'll go down in history as one of the few adaptations from game to series that hasn't been a complete and total disaster. But to achieve that, it must first deliver on a few things and refrain from doing others. Here's what we want (and don't want) to see out of the upcoming Halo TV series.
No romance subplots (except for Cortana)
As many Halo fans are no doubt aware, Master Chief's AI companion Cortana has transformed into something of a love interest for him. After an emotional separation in Halo 4, she returned in Halo 5 as an antagonist, but that hasn't stopped fans from pairing the characters and launching a million fanfics exploring how they could finally be together, once and for all. It would be so satisfying after seeing the pair build such an incredible relationship over the course of the franchise. With that said, we hope there's no prospect of some human relationship for Chief, because there's no one else out there who knows him like Cortana does. We don't need sexy Chief and some random partner getting it on. Either focus on a thread that makes sense or don't include romance at all, pretty please.
Easter eggs for die-hard fans
Halo has a massive, inordinate amount of lore. It's also spanned several video games, spinoffs, and other types of media over the years. Starting fresh with no connections to the games that made the series such an important part of sci-fi history isn't warranted here. However, fans who have been there since the beginning would undoubtedly appreciate plenty of nods to the classic Halo games by way of Easter eggs, references, and even plot threads taken from the older games. Whether it's a Grunt that, when killed, explodes into confetti or even some more obscure dialogue pulled from older scripts, fans would get it and feel seen, and it wouldn't hinder the viewing experience for novices.
Chief with his helmet on
Look. Pornstache (Pablo Schreiber) playing Master Chief is all well and good, but that doesn't mean we want to look at his face the entire time the show is on. That's because Chief is a character we've come to know with his helmet on, Judge Dredd style. The whole series is practically built around us not knowing what the super-soldier John-117 even looks like, so to see his actor gallivanting around without the helmet at all times would be a bit odd. Even if there is a face reveal, let's try to refrain from every other scene with him running around without it. He wears the helmet for a reason, after all.
No new, boring sci-fi weapons
Halo's weapons are just as well-known as Master Chief himself: the energy sword, gravity hammer, needler, plasma pistol, etc. They're all unique-looking arms that everyone who knows a thing or two about shooters will recognize — especially the battle rifle. If the showrunners know what they're doing, they won't suddenly take all of this iconic weaponry and replace it with boring, run-of-the-mill sci-fi guns and weaponry. The designs will mirror that of the games and franchise. Things will look as they should. Otherwise, the show will absolutely lose some of its "authentic" feeling that it's undoubtedly going for, 343 Industries involved.
Story arcs pulled from the games
While it's all well and good to look for new story threads to explore in terms of the TV show's narrative, it would benefit the Halo series to pull some of the same story arcs from the games themselves. Most of the action took place in third-person, so seeing it from another perspective (and in another medium) would be a boon for players who fell in love with the games first and Chief as a character later. Giving the show time to explore some well-established plot threads would be beneficial not only to new viewers but the writers, who would have plenty of guidance on where to take the show next.