Halo: Nightfall (2014): Chapter 01 – It’s Only Just Beginning


Introduction

Halo: Nightfall is a live-action Xbox Originals webseries for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and other Microsoft devices which was released in late 2014 (part of the Halo Franchise).

Consisting of five episodes, the series was created by Scott Free Productions in conjunction with 343 Industries. Acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott was the show’s executive producer along with Scott Free TV President David Zucker; it was directed by television director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan.

In the series, “A strange and treacherous world exposes elite UNSC operatives to a much deeper danger.” The five episodes of Nightfall aired on the Halo Channel weekly, on Tuesdays at 4 PM PST, starting on 11 November 2014 and concluding on 09 December 2014.

Outline

The series opens with Colonel Randall Aiken, the Sedran Colonial Guard’s commander, looking upon a sunset over Sedra City in his apartment with his daughter Natalie. In a voice-over, Aiken monologues about the nature of being a soldier and ominously hints at the events to come.

The story proper begins on the outskirts of Sedra City, where Lieutenant Commander Locke and his four-man team trail a Yonhet smuggler. The alien meets with a Sangheili Zealot and hands him a device known to be used to contain bombs. The ONI agents split up; Ramos apprehends the Yonhet while Locke goes after the Zealot. Locke follows the Elite into a city access tunnel, but the Zealot escapes after a brief duel. In the city, ONI operatives Jordan Gaines and Mason Hundley are implementing lockdown protocols but fail to prevent the Zealot from entering a crowded mall. Locke confronts the Sangheili and attempts to force him to surrender, but the Zealot instead jumps off a ledge and activates the device. The weapon releases an energy pulse which covers the entire city and beyond but appears harmless at first. However, civilians soon start showing symptoms of infection, having difficulty breathing and their veins being turned into darkened tendrils. Gaines and Hundley, who were in the immediate vicinity of the blast, are also affected and are taken to a Sedran Colonial Guard hospital where Colonel Aiken initially refuses to let the agents in due to his dislike of ONI. However, Locke convinces the colonel to allow the injured operatives to be treated.

While Locke and his team undergo decontamination, reports continue to arrive of infections up to ten kilometers from the blast site. The bioagent, an entirely foreign element, appears to randomly break down human DNA, but does not affect the other species that also inhabit Sedra. Locke theorizes that the remote colony may have been chosen as a target to test the weapon before the terrorists move on to more populous worlds. The Colonial Guard find a colonial tug used to smuggle the element on the planet, but the pilots are nowhere to be found. Colonel Aiken reluctantly agrees to work with the ONI agents to track down the source of the element. Aiken violently interrogates the captured Yonhet, named Axl, about the identity of the tug’s pilots. However, Locke, speaking an alien language, manages to persuade Axl to divulge what he knows. The Yonhet reveals that the element originated from a place even Sangheili Zealots avoid, calling it “hell”. The Zealots instead buy it from smugglers who are willing to go there.

Tracing the tug’s positioning reveals that the vessel obtained the element from a fragment of Installation 04 that was thrown through slipspace during the ring’s destruction and ended up orbiting perilously close to a red giant. However, there is no record of the mystery element being previously present on the ring, but Sedran Private Talitha Macer points out that it may have been newly formed in the supernova-level temperatures of the ring’s explosion. A scan reveals that the element is found nowhere else in the observable universe. After detecting another tug approaching the ring, ONI opts to land there, capture the smugglers to gain proof of the Covenant breaking their peace treaty with the UNSC, and destroy the deposits of the element with a HAVOK nuclear warhead. The mission is particularly challenging because of the Halo fragment’s close orbit to the red giant and its rapid spin around itself; when it faces the star the shard’s habitable side undergoes extreme heat that is unbearable for any human. The fragment’s environment only experiences survivable temperatures during the sixteen hours of “night” when the habitable side is facing away from the star, forcing the team to complete their mission within this timeframe. Locke contacts Rear Admiral Goodwin who approves the mission. After Colonel Aiken’s daughter dies of the infection he and a Sedran Colonial Guard team join Locke’s ONI unit and head for the Halo shard on a Condor dropship.

Halo: Nightfall Series

You can find a full index and overview of Halo: Nightfall here.

You can find a full index and overview the Halo Franchise here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 11 November 2014 to 09 December 2014.
  • Rating: 12.
  • Running Time: 30 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

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