After the success of series such as last year’s Severance, AppleTV+ is steadily building up a reputation as a creator of high-quality SciFi content. The first two episodes of the streamer’s newest original series, Silo, just premiered on the platform.
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Based on a best-selling series of dystopian novels by Hugh Howey, the show tells the story of a group of people forced to live in a giant underground city after the outside world’s collapse.
Graham Yost, who previously worked on The Americans and Justified, acts as showrunner, while star Rebecca Ferguson serves as executive producer. Silo features an all-star ensemble cast including Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Harriet Walter, and the rapper Common.
What is the premise of Silo?
Set in an unknown but deadly future, the last of humanity is hiding away in an underground silo that goes down hundreds of levels. The residents live by many rules, but the most important one is to never vocalize a desire to go outside. The outside is allegedly toxic, and anyone who asks for a walk supposedly gets sudden death instead of fresh air. But before that, they’re politely instructed to clean the sensors, so everyone left inside can continue enjoying the (mostly depressing) view.
As we learn from the first few minutes of episode one, no one knows what happened to the outside world or who was behind building their haven. There used to be records kept, but a mysterious rebellion wiped them clean nearly a century and a half prior. Strangely enough, asking questions about the past is considered illegal and could land anyone asking too many of them a one-way ticket to do some outside “cleaning.”
In the first episode, we meet Sherrif Holston (Oyelowo), who, three years after losing his wife, decides to follow her lead and asks to “go outside.” His deputy’s facial expression clearly shows how dangerous this decision is.
Is the outside world dangerous?
Three years prior, the Sheriff and his wife, Allison (Rashida Jones), were happily married and excited to receive approval to try for a baby. In their underground society, every personal decision must be sanctioned by the higher-ups.
They must hurry, though, as they are only allowed to try for exactly one year. As the deadline approaches, Allison’s frustration leads to her asking questions about the powers that be and whether they’re lying about the outside world. She becomes convinced that the ground is safe and that whoever is in charge is keeping it a secret.
Episode two introduces the lead, Juliette (played by Ferguson), a mechanic whose main job is to keep the generator running. A murder conveniently masked as a suicide leads her to seek Holston’s help and ignites her curiosity to try and figure out what’s happening in her underground society. The murdered man was looking for something and collecting illegal objects known as artifacts. Could it have anything to do with his untimely demise?
Is Silo worth streaming?
The nonlinear storyline and the show’s overall mystery make Silo an intriguing watch. It’s clear from the get-go that a conspiracy is at play, but peeling the layers of it is ultimately part of the fun. It’s the type of show that asks more questions than it answers and leaves the viewers wanting more.
Silo has a rather unique way of telling its story. Characters are introduced as mains, only to be discarded later to make way for new ones. It’s hard to tell what to expect or how relevant one character is to the overall plot, making the viewing experience as uncertain for the viewers as life inside the silo is for its residents.
It will be interesting to see where the series goes throughout the next eight weekly episodes. This show is worth checking out if you love clever and well-thought-out SciFi stories.
The first two episodes of Silo are currently streaming on AppleTV+, with new episodes released weekly.
Lori C. is an entertainment writer who studied Film and Television at University. She watches and reviews films and series from most genres, but some of her favourites include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and True Blood.