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Rebecca Ferguson Captivates in Apple TV+’s Impressive, Must-Watch Sci-Fi Mystery 

Apr 25, 2023

Mantras can be a powerful tool for suppression. Especially when they’re used in Apple TV+’s new science-fiction series, “Silo.” Simple words have been drilled into the minds of over ten-thousand residents who live in an underground bunker. They don’t know how they ended up there or who built it; they only know that the world outside is toxic. Perhaps one day, they’ll be able to leave the silo, but that day is not now. Based on the dystopian science-fiction series “Wool” by Hugh Howey, “Silo” is an edge-of-your-seat mystery where absolutely no one is safe. Led by executive producer and star Rebecca Ferguson, “Silo” is instantly one of Apple TV+’s must-watch series. 
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The two-episode premiere introduces the silo where the last inhabitants of Earth live out their days. It’s an elaborate self-sustaining system with crops and electricity, built to sustain life ad infinitum. Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo) holds one of the upper-echelon jobs in the silo. He must oversee and provide law and order to the residents while also satisfying the whims of the Judicial branch managed by Sims (Common). Holston and his wife, Allison (Rashida Jones), have been given special permission to procreate since resources are at a premium, and the government offers population control as a solution. This also means that everyone in the silo knows when a couple is trying to become pregnant, adding additional pressure to conceive. Sure enough, even though she had her birth control removed, Allison has difficulty becoming pregnant. This trouble leads her to question the world around her, and in her search, she runs into a man named George Wilkins (Ferdinand Kingsley). Wilkins carries around a series of relics–objects from before the creation of the silo that are contraband. The most dangerous relic he processes is an old hard drive that contains some of the most elaborate secrets of the silo. Together with Allison, they begin to dig deeper into the mysteries of their home, but as they dig deeper, danger is right around the corner. If caught, they could be sent outside the silo to clean, a punishment equal to death.
Juliette (Ferguson) enters the story in the second episode as one of the mechanics responsible for keeping the silo powered. She lives in the bottommost sector of the silo, a place those on top levels consider bottom dwellers. An overarching class system determines what kinds of privileges you can have–from deciding who can procreate to who ultimately gets better, more reasonable living accommodations. Even though the residents at the bottom of the silo don’t have much, they are governed by the same rules as those at the top. Juliette has become interested in a mysterious suicide case in the vicinity of where she works, and she’s certain what happened was murder. She enlists the help of Sheriff Holston to find out exactly who the murderer was and just how deep the rabbit hole goes. 
READ MORE: ‘“Silo”’ Trailer: Apple TV+’s Dystopian Thriller Series With Rebecca Ferguson Premieres On May 5
Ferguson was smart to get attached to “Silo” because she’s incredible in this role. That might not be surprising to fans of her work as she’s put together quite the portfolio with her work in “Mission: Impossible,” “Doctor Sleep,” and “Dune.” But as Juliette, she gets to play a woman who has the physical strength to face the steep challenges in front of her, as well as the willpower to see her convictions to the finish. There’s a lot asked of her regarding the physicality of the role as she battles her way up the many floors of the silo. There’s also her emotional side as her relationship with her estranged father, Dr. Pete Nichols (Iain Glen). Juliette didn’t start her life in mechanical engineering, and how her history with her father unfolds is one of her most captivating story arcs. 
“Silo” might sound like a solo tour de force from Ferguson, but it’s filled to the brim with fantastic supporting roles. In the ten-episode first season watched for review, the cast includes appearances from the aforementioned Oyelowo, Jones, and Common, as well as Tim Robbins and Dame Harriet Walter. Robbins plays Bernard as the head of IT, who oversees the status of the silo. In contrast, Walter plays recluse Martha Walker who has become a mother figure to Juliette during her time in mechanical engineering. Walter is particularly great as she battles her inner ghosts for what really matters to her. Some characters haven’t been mentioned, but they undoubtedly leave a huge mark on the world of “Silo.” 
Right from the start, “Silo” was in good hands. Showrunner Graham Yost (“Justified,” “The Americans”) has created a thrilling science-fiction mystery from the pages of Howey’s novel series. The first few episodes were directed by Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game,” “Passengers”) and quickly set the tone of this cerebral drama. Each episode delivers plenty of action and questions, emphasizing killer cliffhangers. This momentum often seems more at home if the series was streaming all at once. “Silo” really demands to be watched in one continuous sitting, so, unfortunately, the release structure favors a weekly launch. 
Given all the characters in different professions inside of the “Silo,” how this civilization functions is slowly uncovered. Not only is the murder case unveiled, but also different areas of the silo, from mechanical and agriculture to medical and IT. That also coincides with one of the bigger issues that “Silo” has, and while it might be a feature of the show, the lack of investigation into this tiny world was a misfire. “Silo” operates under the premise that everything about it is unknown; not only are the characters engaging in a mystery, but where they live is a mystery in and of itself. How did they end up in the silo? Who determined the hierarchy of the silo? Who thought having one sheriff oversee ten thousand people would be a good idea? “Silo” presents all these questions right from the start, and there are countless others to unveil. If more time was spent living in this world as opposed to simply using it as a catalyst for action, it could be even more fulfilling.
If a hard science-fiction mystery show is what you’ve been looking for, then “Silo” more than fits the bill. Ferguson’s Juliette is the full package, a hard-hitting hero with plenty of range to carry the dramatic parts with equal power. Not to be outdone is a fantastic supporting cast that makes even the briefest of appearances memorable. “Silo” is a riveting and equally start-studded series whose next season can’t come soon enough. [B+]
“Silo” premieres May 5 on Apple TV+.

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