You have heard this premise earlier than: In a post-apocalyptic world, the remnants of civilization stay in a stratified society, ruled by oppressive guidelines as they wrestle to keep up their humanity. Then, a hero seems and threatens to topple the social order. We have seen this story repeated so usually all through the historical past of dystopian fiction — most notably in Fritz Lang’s masterpiece, Metropolis — that I wasn’t instantly excited when Apple first introduced Silo, an adaptation of Hugh Howey’s wildly fashionable Wool novels. Certainly, this could’t high Bong Joon-ho’s bonkers Snowpiercer (itself tailored from an ’80s French graphic novel), so why even trouble?
Effectively, I used to be unsuitable. Spearheaded by Graham Yost (Justified), Silo exemplifies every part I like about nice science fiction. It wrestles with complicated concepts and ethical questions, it is stuffed with memorable and practical characters, and it contains a really distinctive setting: a 144-story self-sustaining underground metropolis that is harking back to The Matrix’s Zion. On this case, although, the inhabitants appears largely content material with their state of affairs. There isn’t any reminiscence of the world earlier than the silo, so most individuals concern themselves with preserving the town working as a substitute of breaking out. Why rock the bunker?
However, echoing a theme from HBO’s wonderful Station Eleven and Deep Area 9, survival is inadequate. Some can not help however marvel in regards to the nature of the silo: Is the video feed of the destroyed exterior world actual, or is it some form of lure to maintain them underground? Who, precisely, determines who can get pregnant? And what can they study from the artifacts left behind from the earlier civilization?
Silo makes a robust impression from the beginning. We’re launched to Sheriff Holsten (David Oyelowo), a popular legislation man who goes about his morning and makes a surprising announcement: He desires to go exterior. The gravity of his declaration is immediately made clear, though the present would not clarify it up entrance. We later study that anybody who asks to exit can, however it’s basically a demise want. All of that is conveyed nearly wordlessly at first, because of the energy of Oyelowo’s efficiency.
I can not assist however love a present that begins so confidently. All through the primary two episodes, Silo makes it clear that you just’re in good palms. Yost and his writing group — which incorporates Jessica Blaire (On Turning into a God in Central Florida) and Cassie Papas (Tyrant) — take time to introduce each character, set up their motivations and construct a higher thriller. The impeccable manufacturing design makes the silo appear genuinely lived in. And the course from Morten Tyldum deftly balances intimate drama with epic visuals (the silo has no elevator, only a very lengthy stairwell that appears to go on ceaselessly).
Silo is the uncommon present the place each phrase speaks volumes, each gesture appears significant, and each component of the body tells a narrative. It is also stuffed with grounded and plausible performances throughout the board: There’s Rashida Jones as Allison, the Sheriff’s spouse, somebody who’s keen to begin a household but additionally can not help however be curious in regards to the historical past of the silo. Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Not possible: Rogue Nation and Fallout), ostensibly the star of the present, would not actually get a lot display screen time till the second episode, however she paints a convincing portrait of a world-weary engineer who simply desires to unravel the homicide of her buddy.
In fact, this wouldn’t be a dystopian story with out some form of higher conspiracy happening. The silo’s management is clearly hiding one thing from its residents – although the mayor (performed by Geraldine James) additionally appears genuinely involved in regards to the well-being of her individuals. There is a sense that even these in energy are solely attempting to do their finest, however could also be confronted with arduous choices to maintain society going.
You’d assume after being considerably burned by Misplaced, The X-Recordsdata and different exhibits centering on main sci-fi mysteries, I’d be much less inclined to decide to yet one more one. However Silo is so compelling, I simply can’t assist it.