You’ve got 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 battle to take care of their humanity. Then, a hero seems and threatens to topple the social order. We have seen this story repeated so typically 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 widespread Wool novels. Certainly, this may’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 incorrect. Spearheaded by Graham Yost (Justified), Silo exemplifies all the things I like about nice science fiction. It wrestles with advanced concepts and ethical questions, it is stuffed with memorable and sensible characters, and it incorporates a actually distinctive setting: a 144-story self-sustaining underground metropolis that is paying homage to The Matrix’s Zion. On this case, although, the inhabitants appears principally content material with their state of affairs. There is not any reminiscence of the world earlier than the silo, so most individuals concern themselves with conserving the town working as an alternative of breaking out. Why rock the bunker?
However, echoing a theme from HBO’s glorious Station Eleven and Deep House 9, survival is inadequate. Some can not help however surprise concerning the nature of the silo: Is the video feed of the destroyed outdoors world actual, or is it some kind of lure to maintain them underground? Who, precisely, determines who can get pregnant? And what can they be taught 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 regulation man who goes about his morning and makes a stunning announcement: He needs to go outdoors. The gravity of his declaration is immediately made clear, although the present does not clarify it up entrance. We later be taught that anybody who asks to exit can, however it’s basically a loss of life 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 fingers. Yost and his writing workforce — which incorporates Jessica Blaire (On Changing into a God in Central Florida) and Cassie Papas (Tyrant) — take time to introduce each character, set up their motivations and construct a larger thriller. The impeccable manufacturing design makes the silo appear genuinely lived in. And the path 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 aspect 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 concerning the historical past of the silo. Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Inconceivable: Rogue Nation and Fallout), ostensibly the star of the present, does 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 needs to unravel the homicide of her pal.
After all, this wouldn’t be a dystopian story with out some kind of larger conspiracy occurring. The silo’s management is clearly hiding one thing from its residents – although the mayor (performed by Geraldine James) additionally appears genuinely involved concerning the well-being of her folks. There is a sense that even these in energy are solely making an attempt to do their finest, however could also be confronted with exhausting selections to maintain society going.
You’d assume after being considerably burned by Misplaced, The X-Information 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.