I’ll be the first to admit that I was somewhat skeptical of the first pair of episodes of Silo, the new Apple TV Plus series about 10,000 people living in an underground bunker with no idea who built it or why the world outside seems to be poisoned.
Yes, it’s all very Fallout Vault side mission, but as of this week, I’m completely sold, because Silo delivered an intensely engrossing episode as good as any other sci-fi series currently on TV. And God knows I’ve been looking for one since The Expanse was prematurely killed, even though we’re underground instead of flying in space.
The world of Silo feels rich and detailed, like a budgeted $200 million show that Amazon might greenlight, except it costs a lot less and is really good. It’s based on Hugh Howey’s Wool-Shift-Dust series, so there’s plenty of source material to dig into rather than just making things up as you go along. It was supposed to be a movie ten years ago, but through a series of rights transfers and deals that fell apart, it eventually ended up becoming an Apple TV Plus series, and I’m very happy about that.
While the series seemingly begins with David Oyelowo and Rashida Jones, it quickly transfers most of the heavy lifting to Rebecca Ferguson as Juliet, an engineer cast in the high profile role of Silo Sheriff.
You know Ferguson from… a lot of things, two Mission Impossible movies, Doctor Sleep and most recently, Dune. It’s a testament to Apple TV’s ability to lure strong actors for their original series, and Ferguson absolutely destroys Episode 3 with his intensity, as the storyline focuses on an intensely time-limited solution to the generator that powers the installation, where failure means certain death. for everyone instead. It’s as exciting as anything else on TV right now, and I’m absolutely in for the long haul after this week, even though the first two didn’t captivate me as much. I liked Oyelowo and Jones’ story, and expect their characters to return over time, but Ferguson here is nothing short of stellar, and the series seems worth watching on its own performance.
Science fiction isn’t exactly in the best places right now on TV. I guess there’s The Last of Us, which is more of a zombie series. Horror. The Expanse ended early. The Orville is on indefinite hiatus. Raised by Wolves was suppressed by HBO. Picard ends. So it’s really Silo and then I guess For All Mankind and Foundation, both also on Apple TV Plus. Apple really seems to be the last streamer to seriously invest in sci-fi right now, and I’m grateful for that. Go watch Silo.
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