March 31, 2023

Halo: Season One Blu-ray Review


Guest critic Brian Whipple takes a look at the Blu-ray release of Halo, the Paramount + series based on the wildly popular video game series.

The first episode of Halo starts the action right away. What I thought was unique was that it gave the television viewer a chance to see the “first person” view as if they were playing the video game. Soon into the opening action scene, it was clear to me that this television series was not meant for children in school still playing games. There were many graphic scenes including a group of children being killed. And the special effects were top notch. I believe that this series is marketed towards the kids that played the original Halo in 2001.

With that said, anyone can jump into watching this series and sincerely enjoy it as a pure science fiction action series. Playing the video game is far from being a prerequisite to understanding the show. While there were times where the pacing seemed to move slower than others, the character development kept me interested in what was going to happen next. The series does a nice job of showing flashbacks of main characters to explain how they got to their current position.

It is clear that the actors and the directors are focused on creating the world of Halo in an engaging way. By the time of the season finale, it feels more like a video game world with the alien planet and the multiple sound effects with the first person view that match closely to the view in the video game.

The series, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, perfectly cast Pablo Schreiber in the role of Master Chief. While the character of Kwan Ha, played by Yerin Ha, was found to be average at first, the character developed into a major character on the storyline. It was disappointing that Jin Ha, played by Jeong-hwan Kong, was killed in the first episode. It seemed like that he would have been an interesting character to follow and his acting was superb.

After watching the complete season, each episode did a great job in keeping me interested in what was going to happen next. The show does a great job of explaining the back story behind the main characters with definite surprises along the way. The show has already been renewed for a second season, and there are plenty of directions that the story can go.


The Blu-ray features over 5 hours of behind the scenes content that includes the show’s set design, to costumes and props, as well as the training undertaken by the Spartan actors. There was a piece that showed the home of Pablo Schreiber where he discussed how he got into shape to play the character Master Chief as well as his experience with playing the Halo video game.

It also comes with 7 physical collector cards, exclusive to the blu-ray set, featuring the main characters. The most intriguing part of the extras was the Halo Declassified series, which is similar to a recap show much like what recent shows such as The Walking Dead (Talking Dead) and Star Trek Discovery (AfterTrek) do.

I was disappointed in the lack of an audio commentary for at least a few episodes, as it would be interesting to learn about particular scenes as they happen, but the abundance of behind the scenes material almost made up for that deficiency.

In addition to captioning as an option, this set has English Audio Description which narrates each scene while no actors are speaking to describe the scenery. It was very useful to get a better understanding of each scene so that I became more educated in the story line so that I don’t miss anything.

Overall, the extras were nice. I would have taken the commentary tracks over the trading cards, but considering that most people watching this series probably played the video game, they will certainly be enjoyed by its primary audience.


Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.00:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.00:1


English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1


English SDH, Spanish

Blu-ray Disc
Five-disc set (5 BD-50)

Slipcover in original pressing
Figure/replica/props/memorabilia included

2K Blu-ray: Region A


Quick Scan

An engaging and effective adaptation of the popular video game.

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