Based on the trailers and images, it is very easy to write Silo Another post-apocalyptic story. It’s all gray and brown and miserable, the remains of humanity crammed into underground silos to avoid the toxic world outside. You’d be forgiven for misunderstanding something like this The Hunger Games Or Different. But aside, Silo Not common with other species. It’s a small-town murder mystery that takes place after the end of the world.
Silo, based on the novels of the same name by Hugh Howie, is set at a vague point in the future when the planet is seemingly doomed. The surviving humans manage to do so by living in the titular silo, a gigantic underground structure sealed off from the toxic outside world. The show picks up 140 years after the silo became the permanent home of 10,000 men.
There are some important mysteries at the heart of the story. One, for reasons that are at least initially unclear, is that all of human history has been erased from existence. Those inside the silo knew nothing of what came before. This includes culture (one of the main characters is Juliet, played by Rebecca Ferguson, no one knows where her name came from) and nature (residents can see stars in the night sky, but don’t know what they really are). Monuments from the pre-Silla period are considered dangerous and illegal, as benign as the Bess dispenser.
This leads us to the other mystery, which is what’s going on outside. Since the air is widely believed to be toxic and no one actually leaves the silo, it’s unclear what it’s really like. Residents can view the landscape through a large screen inside the restaurant. It depicts a typical post-apocalyptic scene: crumbling ruins, rubble strewn everywhere, and nothing that could be considered alive. If someone said they wanted to go outside, they were allowed in, but they could never return to the pit, so it was tantamount to a death sentence. (They’re also asked to clean off the camera if they feel like it, which everyone seems to do.)
These are all big existential questions. The show certainly explores them, but it does so intelligently on a very human level. Chilo is basically a small town: it has a mayor and a sheriff, a market and a farm, and everyone has some sort of job to keep things going. Things begin when Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo) and his wife Alison (Rashida Jones) receive approval to have a baby and spend the next 365 days trying to conceive. A lot happens that year, and over time, Alison begins to question many of the tenets taught within the silo, which rubs off on her husband. Eventually, he meets Juliet, a rogue mechanic who works on the generator below that keeps everyone alive.
Without spoiling too much, one dies and the investigation brings Holston and Juliet together. As they try to figure out what happened, they are drawn into larger mysteries about Shiloh and the world around it.
The show does a great job of balancing these two sides of the story. Often, it will be focused and grounded; The characters investigate by going door-to-door and asking people questions, and the larger storylines are all directly tied to specific characters and their histories. That includes a shady security chief (General) and an IT chief (Tim Robbins), both of whom clearly know more of the truth than they let on. Silo Slowly unfolds itself over 10 episodes, and it kept me guessing most of the time.
There are some obvious revelations, but these are often misleading from what is actually happening. Things you might easily guess from the start aren’t that important, or at least not in the ways you might expect. In the end, my view of the whole story changed.
I also have to commend the product design. A concrete tunnel in the ground does not look like a very interesting structure visually, but SiloIn Silo feels like a real residence. Offices and houses are painted in different colors to add a human touch, and since there are no photographs in the silo, everyone is surrounded by beautiful portraits of their families. Things feel weathered and used, which makes sense since the location is over a century old, but it doesn’t feel gross and dirty like many similar shows and movies. The views go a long way to sell this as an authentic destination. Further, Silo Follows other Apple series like Separation And Hello tomorrow In having some really cool retrofuturistic computers and gadgets.
It’s amazing how the first season uses a well-worn setting to tell a very classic story. Like that The Hunger Games But becomes a close one Go ahead. It doesn’t answer everything at the end – in fact, the mystery only gets stranger by the time the finale rolls around. Fortunately, Apple is usually willing to tell a complete story about strange mysteries. I mean, we’ve got four seasons Worker. Hopefully we’ll have the same kind of time to figure out what the heck is in the pess dispenser.
Silo Premieres May 5 on Apple TV Plus, with new episodes streaming on Fridays.