Apple TV’s 10-part series Silo is an adaptation of the first book in Hugh Howey’s bestselling trilogy of the same name. It’s claustrophobic, gray and grim, everything you would expect of a dystopian setting but that does not make it typical of the genre. This also has a small town feel with a Mayor and a Sheriff, they even have community celebrations one of which is the slightly ironic ‘Freedom Day’.
Silo residents are the last few thousand remaining humans on earth after an unknow toxic event, confined in the hundreds of stories deep subterranean silo. The occupants have no understanding of their history or past human culture. This is due to a rebellion that occurred over 100 years ago which erased human history from their records.
Some of the first people we meet are Sheriff Becker (David Oyelowo) and his wife Allison (Rashida Jones). They are granted permission to try for a baby, something that is difficult to get under strict population controls. Initial joy turns to frustration when Allison is unable to get pregnant, she starts to suspect lies which leads her down a route of conspiracy with a colleague and ultimately an outburst in front of everybody in which she screams she wants to ‘go outside’.
Under strict silo law once those words have been spoken out loud they cannot be undone and she is ejected from the silo. As the remaining residents watch on at the one screen they have available to view the outside world, which shows the world as a typical apocalyptic scene of misery and death. They watch on in anticipation of Allison’s fate.
The show takes quite a sharp turn to focus on a new character Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) she is an engineer who is in charge of the furnace upon which the entire silo depends, here is where we start to see a class divide. Juliette and her colleagues are manual workers who keep the silo functioning. It’s nowhere near the same level as the class divide in Snowpiercer, it’s much more subtle but it’s there.
Juliette’s discovery of ‘relics’ from ‘past times’ only fuels her questions and desire for truth as she follows clues left behind from others, she finds her way into the bowels of the silo as she looks to uncover a wider conspiracy.
Silo is gripping with multiple mysteries, what’s really going on outside and what really happens to the people who leave. Are there secrets being kept right under our noses in the silo and who is really in charge.
It’s atmospheric, gritty, well acted has perfect pace, it keeps you glued. It could become one of Apple’s best to date.
Apple TV’s Silo is currently streaming the first two episodes, the following eight will come weekly.