We’ll conduct a debrief for you… Silo, dystopian sci-fi behind closed doors

We’ll conduct a debrief for you… Silo, dystopian sci-fi behind closed doors

With a strong story and an oppressive atmosphere, Silo offers an excellent series between science fiction, thriller, political questioning and philosophical reflection.

What is silo? In a future where the atmosphere has become toxic, Earth’s last ten thousand survivors are locked away in a vast underground silo. Nobody knows when or by whom the silo was built, but everyone is asked to respect a strict rule: never express a will to leave the silo, otherwise his wish will be respected and he will be sentenced to death if he is outside. In a social structure that governs the lives of all residents, Sheriff Holston (David Oyelowo) enforces the rules, but his wife Alison (Rachida Jones) discovers information that astonishes her… Then it triggers dramatic events in Engineer Juliette Nichols (Rebecca Ferguson) becomes unwillingly involved in what could change the future of the silo’s residents forever.


New series aired by Apple TV+ since May 5th silo is an adaptation of a series of novels by Hugh Howey. In a post-apocalyptic future where the Earth’s atmosphere has become toxic and deadly to humans, the last ten thousand survivors now live in a vast underground silo under the authority of a totalitarian “government” that rules the most humble aspect of society. A classic starting point for this type of story, but in the hands of showrunner Graham Yost (Justified), the series works brilliantly and knows how to use the beginnings to build a gripping story and powerful reflection.

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In this subterranean microcosm with retro-futuristic views behind closed doors, history has been obliterated: the residents They don’t know when, how and by whom the silo was built, they don’t know exactly why they live there, they don’t know anything from the outside and they don’t have any information about what existed “before” – except for old objects called ” Relics” and possession of which is strictly forbidden. A totalitarian government controls every aspect of their lives, including the birth rate, and quashes any attempt to challenge them. But some are wondering how the sheriff’s wife, Alison, will set off a series of chain reactions. And in particular the death of Juliette’s lover, an engineer who is locked in the lower floors of the building and who will decide to investigate…

Rachida Jones, exceptional heroine of the first episode

The first episode is a hit, one of the best pilots we’ve seen in a long time. What strikes you first is the stunning aesthetic of the series, the way it creates an eerie and claustrophobic environment immediately plunges us into the heart of this silo sinking into the earth. At the narrative level, the series immediately lays the foundation for the plot and its universe in an almost exhaustive way through a long flashback of great power; There is a dramatic depth right from the start, which is due both to the post-apocalyptic context and to the psychological dimension of the main characters. And it has to be said that the cast is superb, notably with Tim Robbins, Common and David Oyelowo, but above all with an exceptional Rachida Jones in the first episode and Rebecca Ferguson taking charge from the second episode.

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silo however, is a complex series. First off, its structure is a jigsaw puzzle of flashbacks, subplots and characters. A construction that sometimes destabilizes and suffers from an unsteady rhythm: we alternate between spectacular and suspenseful moments (the third episode, exceptional) and slightly more boring detours in the mid-season episodes. In the genre then, silo essentially belongs to the category of science fiction, but also gives it elements of a thriller or even thriller. Holston, and then Juliette, who takes his place (by circumstances you’ll quickly discover), will investigate a mysterious death, and through this the plot grows until it approaches the real mystery: the silo itself.

Juliette and Sheriff Holston have no idea what’s in the silo…

Because the real question obviously concerns this building: who built it more than a century ago, for what reason and why is the information being hidden? Which leads to a more disturbing question: what if everything was wrong, if everything was a lie? It’s not hard to guess that the heart of the series is precisely the confrontation between those who put themselves in danger to find out the truth and those who try to hide it at all costs. And it’s basically this aspect that makes it possible silo to develop an underlying political and social reflection. In this dystopian environment, there is a kind of heavy resignation among the inhabitants: we obey the rules and submit to arbitrariness because it protects, even if this comes at the expense of the freedom to act, express ourselves or think.

If these topics have already been covered (we are thinking of classics like 1984 by George Orwell but also to The story of the maid to another topic) silo expands the subject and almost takes on the sort of “ cave myth revisited. In his famous allegory, Plato explains (we will summarize roughly) that those who do not have access to knowledge remain prisoners of fear and lies and that in order to free themselves from them they must face the truth by abandon all social, religious, and philosophical prejudices, etc. In short, get out of the cave…or silo.

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A sci-fi series of pure and harsh dystopia, Silo is a challenging, ambitious, intelligent, and stimulating proposition in terms of the questions it raises. The show is sustained by remarkable cast, a terrific first episode prologue, masterful aesthetics, and great moments throughout the season. So, despite some misgivings, we remain completely caught up in this complex but fascinating story, in these perfectly written characters and, above all, in the mystery that surrounds the silo of the same name. Knowing full well that not all questions will be answered – and we are therefore hoping for a second season.

10 episodes of approx. 55′.
Available on Apple TV+