The brilliant original series Halo is back with a highly anticipated new season, exclusively on Paramount+. Dive in with our reasons to watch
By Jon Billinge, Senior Staff Writer
Suit up soldier! Halo is back on Paramount+, and we couldn’t be more excited for the continuation of this dark, cinematic sci-fi spectacular, following the journey of Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber, Orange Is The New Black) in a 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant.
If you loved the action-packed season 1, then this follow-up season promises so much more. As the fighting intensifies between the warring sides, nobody is safe. While the first season saw our heroes make sacrifices, this latest run of episodes will test their resolve like never before. Faith will be challenged. Choices will be questioned. Power dynamics will shift. Not everyone will make it out alive.
Feeling excited? Take a peek at the trailer now for season 2...
Halo is available exclusively on Paramount+. If you don’t have it yet, scroll to the bottom of this page to find out how to get it on your Virgin TV box.
But first, ahead of season 2, let’s remind you about everything that happened in the first season plus some teases for what happens next. Beware, if you haven’t seen season 1, spoilers are incoming. But you can catch up on season 1 now on Paramount+ before the new episodes drop on Thursday 8 February.
Season 1 was packed with simmering tension
Based on the celebrated video game franchise and drawing on that rich source material, Halo reinvented how people think about video games and has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon.
The series followed an intergalactic war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant – a theocratic-military alliance of advanced alien races on a mission to eradicate humans. Befittingly, there were some absolutely epic fights as veteran super soldier Master Chief John-117 led his troops into battle.
But when John found himself in possession of a mysterious artefact, we got a glimpse of the soul inside the suit. Beneath his hard exterior, a deeper sense of his own humanity was stirring. But did it serve to undermine or bolster his efficacy as the ultimate war machine?
Thankfully, you can find out right now, with all nine episode of season 1 – the most watched Original Series ever launched on Paramount+ within 24 hours of release – available right now. We’d strongly suggest doing so before diving into season 2 to ensure you’re up to speed.
The casting is epic
Doing justice to the most legendary super human soldier is no easy feat, but Pablo Schreiber is more than up to the task. On top of bringing an awesome physicality to the role of Master Chief, he also creates genuine pathos in the big man’s more reflective moments, which are built on in season 2.
Among the other returning cast members are Jen Taylor as Master Chief’s AI companion Cortana (who also voiced the original Cortana from the game), the most advanced AI in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.
Natascha McElhone (Designated Survivor) is Dr Catherine Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator of the Spartan supersoldiers.
Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo) plays Soren-066, a morally complex privateer at the fringes of human civilisation whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.
Expect some HUGE moments
Like season 1, this new season features familiar characters and locations, but approaches the story differently than the games. With the Covenant’s war effort ramping up significantly, humanity is losing the war, battle after battle, planet after planet.
It seems only Master Chief truly knows the awful shape of things to come. He’s in a race against time to prove that the Covenant are preparing for an unprecedented attack against humanity’s greatest stronghold.
From the action-packed trailer and whirring rumour mill it seems possible he could be referring to the infamous event that came to be known as the “Fall of Reach” – one of the largest and most brutal engagements between humanity and the Covenant. The scope and scale of season 2, along with new battle and action sequences, will put viewers at the centre of the battle-hardened factions, questioning what Master Chief will do next.
And as Chief continues to discover his humanity, his role as the ultimate war machine might start to conflict with his new-found emotions.
The worldbuilding is spectacular
Those familiar with the video game will be right at home among the show’s futuristic military tech – from the rumbling, Jeep-like Warthogs and stealthy Ghost vehicles to the dazzling Energy Swords wielded by the Covenant and Spartans alike.
But in addition to all the flashy weaponry, the show shines in spotlighting its conflicted characters’ motivations and desires, weaving deeply drawn, personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future in which bureaucracy and military duty are the order of the day.
When does season 2 of Halo start on Virgin TV?
The first 2 episodes of the eight-part second season of Halo will be available to stream on Paramount+ on Thursday 8 February.
How to watch Paramount+ with Virgin TV
If you’re a Virgin TV 360 box or Stream from Virgin Media customer, you can get Paramount+ direct on your telly once you’ve got a subscription to the service. Simply sign up online, then log in on the box. And because Paramount+ is fully integrated into Virgin TV 360 and Stream, you can search without even going into the app. Just select Search & Discover from the Home menu and type in the name of the show or movie you’re after. You can also voice search Paramount+ shows with your remote, or say “Paramount Plus” to get to the app even faster.
TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.
HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.
Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.
Paramount+: Paramount+ subscription required at extra cost. TV 360 and Stream customers only.
Image credits: Halo © 2024 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.