All about Spartan creator Doctor Halsey in the Halo show

By Nicholas James

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Apr 10, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

An iconic figure from the Halo games has made their way into a central role in the live-action adaptation, but who exactly is Doctor Halsey in the Halo show?

Catherine Halsey, formally known as Doctor Halsey, is the founder of the Spartan-II program and its chief scientist. She is a figure of considerable moral ambiguity, given that she spearheaded a program that kidnapped children from the outer rim in order to turn those children into super soldiers created to violently suppress rebellions on those same outer rim planets. Here’s everything you need to know about what has and hasn’t changed about Doctor Halsey in the Halo show.

Who is Doctor Halsey in the Halo show?

Doctor Catherine Halsey is the founder of the Spartan program, the creator of Cortana, and the mother of Miranda Keyes. She is a dedicated scientist with few moral scruples about what she’s willing to do in the name of the United Earth Government and her own advancement within the United Nations Space Command and the Office of Naval Intelligence. In the new Halo show, Doctor Halsey is played by actress Natasha McElhone.

Catherine Halsey began her career as a promising ONI scientist who rapidly progressed all the way to chief scientist. From there, Halsey helmed the Spartan-II project, developing superhuman soldiers for use against rebel colonies. This followed project ORION, which had attempted similar augmentations on abducted children. During this process, Doctor Halsey had to root out children who fit the strict genetic criteria of the Spartan augmentations and surveyed many planets in the galaxy to locate suitable candidates. It is here that she develops a close personal relationship with Captain Jacob Keyes, with whom she later has a daughter named Miranda Keyes.

From here Halsey becomes a sort of maternal figure and even mentor to the Spartans as they are brainwashed and augmented to become brutal killing machines.

In the Halo show, Halsey has just begun the creation of the artificial intelligence known as Cortana. This AI is made from clones of Doctor Halsey herself, using reproductions of her brain to build out the neural network for Cortana. Doctor Halsey in the Halo show is shown to be distrusted by most everyone around her, but that hasn’t stopped her from advancing towards her goals.

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