I will be the first to admit 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 appears to be poisoned.
Yes, it’s all very Fallout Vault side-mission, but as of this week, I’m fully sold, as Silo delivered an intensely gripping episode as good as any other sci-fi series currently on TV. And lord knows I’ve been looking for one since The Expanse was prematurely killed, even if we’re underground instead of flying through space.
The world of Silo feels rich and detailed, like a $200 million budgeted show that Amazon might greenlight, except costing far less and actually good. It’s based on Hugh Howey’s Wool-Shift-Dust series, so there’s lots of source material to pull from rather than things just being made up as it goes. It was going to be a movie as long as a decade ago, but through a series of rights transfers and collapsing deals, ultimately ended up as an Apple TV Plus series, and I’m very glad it did.
While the series starts out apparently starring David Oyelowo and Rashida Jones, it quickly transfers the bulk of the heavy lifting over to Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette, an engineer thrust into the high profile role of being sheriff of the Silo.
You know Ferguson from…many things, two Mission Impossible movies, Doctor Sleep and most recently, Dune. It speaks to Apple TV’s ability to draw powerhouse actors for their original series, and Ferguson absolutely destroys episode 3 with her intensity, as the storyline focuses on an intensely time-limited fix of the generator that powers the entire facility, where failure means certain death for everyone instead. It’s as thrilling as anything else on TV right now, and I’m absolutely in for the long haul after this week, even if the first two didn’t grab me quite as much. I liked Oyelowo and Jones’ story, and I expect their characters to return as time goes on, but Ferguson here is just stellar, and the show feels like it’s going to be worth watching for her performance alone.
Sci-fi isn’t exactly in the greatest of places right now on TV. I guess there’s The Last of Us, which is more of a zombie series. From is horror. The Expanse ended early. The Orville is on indefinite hiatus. Raised by Wolves was put down by HBO. Picard is ending. So it’s really Silo and then I suppose For All Mankind and Foundation, both also on Apple TV Plus. Apple really seems to be the last streamer seriously investing in sci-fi at the moment, and I’m thankful for it. Go watch Silo.
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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.