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Silo Season 1 review: Great cast and fairly gripping narrative makes this sci-fi show a good watch

All 10 episodes of the first season of the show, based on Hugh Howey’s novel trilogy, are now streaming on Apple TV+

Silo Season 1 review: Great cast and fairly gripping narrative makes this sci-fi show a good watch
Rebecca Ferguson in a still from Silo

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024


Story: In a dystopian post-apocalyptic world, some 10,000 people live in an underground bunker called the Silo, spread across 144 floors, which shields them from a toxic outside world. They do not know why they are there, who built the Silo or why everything outside the Silo is as it is. They do not know when it will be safe to go outside. Most importantly, what they also do not know

When the sheriff of the Silo invokes his irrevocable right to go out, following in the footsteps of his wife, who had chosen to go a few years earlier, he names an unlikely successor to his post – an engineer from Mechanical called Juliette Nichols (Rebecca Fergusson). Top brass in the Mayor’s office, judicial and in IT, are not too pleased with this, but let her get on with work nevertheless. She has her own agenda – investigate the ‘murder’ of her boyfriend George Wilkins (Ferdinand Kingsley), but when more bodies begin to drop along the way, Juliette figures that there’s more to the mystery of his death. But will she be allowed to get to the bottom of it? There’s also a mystery from 140 years ago, when a group of ‘rebels’ supposedly destroyed all the documents about the Silo’s history. What happened and why?


Review: If you are not aware of Hugh Howey’s novel trilogy that Silo is based on, chances are that the fact it is a sci-fi show with a decent plot, and, most importantly, has a formidable cast on board, could just be the clincher. It was for me. Silo season 1 stars Rebecca Ferguson, Tim Robbins, Common, Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Dame Harriet Walter, Chinaza Uche, Will Patton, among many others.

A still from the show
A still from the show

On the surface, Silo comes across as a routine post-apocalyptic world show, where the last remnants of humanity have to fight for survival. The delicate balance between the available resources and the mouths to feed is maintained through strict population control, with only a select few allowed to procreate every now and then. Each person in the Silo has a duty towards its upkeep – right from the top, all the way to the bottom – which has created a clear-cut class divide among the residents. The elite – figures of authority - are up-top, those with white-collar jobs, like health practitioners, among others, are in the middle, while the bottom is divided between mechanical and the mines.

The narrative has two distinct forks – one is the investigation into the murders in the Silo and the second is about the mysteries of the Silo itself. What have the founders of the Silo been trying to hide from the people by making most items – relics - from before its inception illegal to possess? At the end of the first season, we are still left with a lot of the same questions, with a new plot point in the mix.

The problem with Silo is that it feels a tad too familiar. A confined space, a murder mystery to solve and the hope of a better, brighter tomorrow, outside of this premise – sounds a lot like Snowpiercer. What works for Silo is its cast, with Ferguson and Robbins, leading this pack. The series has been renewed for a second season, which is, apparently, already in production, and should shed light on some of the mysteries of this underground world. While many from the original cast are expected to return, given that last twist, one can only assume that new characters will be introduced when the show returns sometime in 2024.

Tim Robbins in a still from Silo
Tim Robbins in a still from Silo

Verdict: Silo is a gripping sci-fi series for the most part, largely owing to how the cast has held it together and not so much for its story. A 10-episodes only first season means that there are elements that remain unexplained – like, for instance, the fact that they do not know what cameras look like, what a video is, or that they all use 80s style computers, among others. While you may be tempted to get your hands on the books the show is based on – there are only three – and fill in these blanks, the show also leaves you with a feeling of wanting more of it. Silo will be back sometime in 2024.


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