Rebecca Ferguson in the down deep as Juliette in Apple TV+'s 'Silo'

More People Need To Watch the Best New Sci-Fi Show on TV

Apple TV+ has cornered the market on dystopian visions of our future. While we wait for the streamer’s wildly popular and lauded Severance to return, a new science fiction show has climbed the charts and won critics’ praise. Based on the Wool stories by Hugh Howey, the series was created by veteran screenwriter and producer Graham Yost (Speed, Band of Brothers, Justified, among many credits that span all the way back to Herman’s Head). In Yost’s capable hands—plus a stellar cast and showstopping set design—Silo has become one of the summer’s best TV offerings. Yet for reasons unknown, not nearly enough genre fans are talking about this gem. 

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While Silo debuted as the #1 drama in the history of Apple TV+ and received enthusiastic reviews (it has an 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and audiences), social media chatter hasn’t risen to reflect just how good the show is. Whenever I mention Silo to friends and coworkers, I encounter blank stares. The tide seems to be turning, however: no less an authority on fictional sagas than Stephen King just gave the series a ringing endorsement. And Apple TV+’s recent announcement that Silo will receive a second season suggests viewing numbers have stayed impressive. 

Silo kicks off with an intriguing premise that escalates each week with heightened suspense and unraveling secrets. In a not-so-distant future, the last ten thousand survivors of humankind live deep in the earth in the titular underground chamber. Their lives are stratified by the levels that they live on, with more privilege up top and an underclass that does grueling maintenance work down in the depths (think a stationary Snowpiercer). Leaving the silo is anathema due to the widespread fear that the world outside is poisoned and unviable; being sent outside is reserved for the worst offenses, as it means near-instant death. (Or does it?) Most of human history seems to have faded from the memory of the silo’s citizens, and in fact, commonplace items from our era—a watch, a Pez dispenser, a children’s book—are considered dangerous relics with their own black market. It becomes clear that swathes of history are being forcibly repressed, and that some power is interested in keeping the silo-ites as ignorant as possible of how they came to occupy their bunker world. Why? This is why we’re watching.

One of my favorite elements about Silo is how cleverly it mashes up genres. A dystopian look at environmental catastrophe and ever-present class systems also turns out to be a murder mystery and a police procedural. What results is a delicious sort of sci-fi noir. If cop dramas aren’t normally your thing, the good news is that the sheriff in question here doesn’t want the job either and was the most unorthodox pick imaginable. 

Rebecca Ferguson looks concerned in a field on Apple TV's 'Silo'

Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) is a suffer-no-fools engineer working in the lower levels who jumps into the fray for personal reasons; she is also living at the lower levels for personal reasons that are slowly revealed. Ferguson brings the same intensity and physicality to the role that we saw from her as Jessica Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and she commands the screen—an impressive feat considering the cast she’s playing off of and with. To name just a few of Silo’s many luminaries: David Oyewolo, Tim Robbins, Rashida Jones, Common, Will Patton, Chinaza Uche, Iain Glen, and Anne with an E’s exceptional, scene-stealing Geraldine James.

Geraldine James as the major stands with the cast of Apple TV+'s Silo

Speaking of standouts, Ferguson sparks well with a bright-eyed Ferdinand Kingsley (who played Hob Gadling in Netflix’s The Sandman) and the steely-eyed Harriet Walter, who thankfully seems to be everywhere on TV this year. The other stars of Silo are its stunning set design, prop work, and scenery. The endless spirals of the silo stairs and hulking machines often appear jaw-dropping in scope, and the evocative set-dressing always works to center us in this strange subterranean existence and believe every moment. 

Ready to investigate Silo? Have you been along for the ride from the beginning? Great, now we just need to keep yelling the good news from the ramparts. Those who don’t have Apple TV+ or haven’t clicked into the show’s promotion on the platform should know that there’s a unique and ever-compelling series unfolding as we speak. Silo arrived in May 2023, but there are still three more episodes remaining (set to drop June 16th, 23rd, and 30th), which means now is the perfect time to start your binge-watch and join us for the next few weeks of excellent appointment TV. See you in the Down Deep.

(images: Apple TV+)


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Author
Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.