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SILO (2023)

Season One [The First 2 Episodes]

Aired On: Apple TV+

Release Date: 05/05/23

"Men and women live in a giant silo underground with several regulations which they believe are in place to protect them from the toxic and ruined world on the surface."


“I want to go outside”

Silo is the latest Apple TV+ series about a dystopian future where hundreds of people live inside a giant silo that stretches hundreds of stories. This community is bound by strict regulations and laws governing virtually all aspects of life, including employment and human connection. But a few citizens began questioning the story told to them by the authority in charge.

The series stars Rebecca Ferguson, with supporting roles from David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones, Common, Geraldine James, Will Patton, Harriet Walker, and Tim Robbins. Silo is based on a series of the same name written by Hugh Howey. This first season will span ten episodes. If the first two episodes indicate things to come, this series promises to be a treat for sci-fi and mystery fans. Silo carries vibes reminding me of a cross stitch of Westworld, Clue, and Apple TV+’s Foundation.

Having never read or even heard of this book series before the show, I had no expectations for Silo other than it was a sci-fi Dune-esque series that Apple TV+ was releasing. With a few notable exceptions such as Ted Lasso and Severance, critic and audience reception of Apple TV+’s lineup of original series have been a mixed bag. But I kept an open mind when going into Silo, and I am so delighted that I did. 

Silo’s pilot episode sharply takes on a huge responsibility, as all pilot episodes do, by introducing most of the characters, their motivations, where they live, and a basic context of the show. What is the Silo? Who built it? Many of these questions are asked early, setting up hopefully a great pay-off as the season winds down. The pilot’s opening sequence shows the community’s sheriff, played by Oyelowo, wanting to “go outside.” His deputy of sorts, played by Will Patton, looks despondent and bemused by this request. We soon learn that this community, which has strict regulations for conduct, will immediately cast you out of the Silo should you utter those words. The episode then cuts back in time to when the sheriff’s wife (Rashida Jones) stumbles into something of a conspiracy. I was intrigued by how quickly the plot introduces the mystery aspect. The pilot plays it smart and only slightly breadcrumbs the mystery while Jones interacts with other supporting characters while she pulls the thread on big questions such as: “Who built the Silo? Can we leave? Will we die if we go outside?” The pilot concludes smartly, finally introducing us to Rebecca Ferguson’s character, an engineer who works to keep the Silo running. 

The second episode also employs time jumps as a story-telling convention, a device sure to run the length of the season. But Silo handles this well, balancing a character’s arc with supplying appropriate information to the audience. Silo’s second episode not only expands the world of this community but also ramps up the bigger mystery of why, how, and when. Silo doesn’t lay out too much too soon with either intrigue or answers. This show allows breathing room for its characters to develop. Simultaneously, Silo’s world-building does not feel undercooked or exhausting. Creator Graham Yost and director Morten Tyldum smartly pace out the beats of Silo, charting out an atmosphere of whodunit against the backdrop of a credible dystopian setting. 


Where will Silo end, and more importantly, where will it take us? If you’re like me and have a flavor palette for science fiction, mystery, and even a little romance, Silo’s pilot episode might be worth a watch. The show is smartly written and, so far, has avoided appearing pretentious or half-baked. I became invested very early with these first two episodes and am eager to see what the next eight installments have in store for the viewers. It’s presumptuous to know now if all of the mysteries introduced will be reconciled and if there will be a satisfactory conclusion at the season’s end. If Silo stays the course it began with, Apple TV+ may have another tentpole property on its hands.

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