Review of 'Silo' Season One - Starring Rebecca Ferguson

10 July 2023
Silo, the Apple TV+ drama series based on Hugh Howey's best-selling science fiction novels, takes viewers on a captivating journey through the 144-floor structure that holds the last remnants of human life on Earth. The first season, comprising 10 episodes, establishes a carefully plotted world-building narrative that keeps audiences engaged from the start.

The pilot episode serves as a prologue, introducing Sheriff Holston Becker (David Oyelowo) and his wife Allison (Rashida Jones), setting up the mysterious power dynamics within Silo. The true protagonist, Juliette Nichols (Rebecca Ferguson), only appears towards the end of the episode, after significant time has been spent establishing the unique environment, language, rules, and class system of Silo. This deliberate approach lays a strong foundation for the series.

Throughout the season, many unknowns are emphasized, such as the time period in which Silo takes place, the reasons behind the 10,000 people living underground, and the identity of the structure's builders. Silo creator Graham Yost skillfully avoids frustrating viewers by providing answers and information at a steady pace. The series offers a mix of both predictable and surprising twists, keeping the audience on their toes. The finale, in particular, delivers a dramatic climax by revealing that Juliette and her fellow survivors are not alone in the post-apocalyptic world.

The ensemble cast of Silo is a major strength of the series. Tim Robbins and Common play compelling characters involved in a broader conspiracy, while Geraldine James and Will Patton leave a lasting impact with their performances, despite their characters' inevitable demise. The chemistry between Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo effectively portrays the disintegration of a once-happy marriage in a single episode. The lived-in dynamic between these characters is memorable, with Jones performing a particularly memorable act of impromptu surgery in a desperate search for answers.

The series excels at distilling complex information through economical storytelling techniques. Annual celebrations and other rituals provide insight into a failed uprising that occurred 140 years prior, avoiding excessive exposition. Flashbacks fill in the gaps, and certain items, like a Pez dispenser and a guidebook called the "Amazing Adventures of Georgia," serve as recurring motifs. Juliette's quest for truth is intertwined with her late boyfriend George (Ferdinand Kingsley), highlighting her limitless curiosity and desire for answers. The introduction of the Georgia guidebook exposes the silo citizens to an unknown world, leaving them suitably bewildered.

The partnership between Juliette and Deputy Paul Billings (Chinaza Uche) is one of the most rewarding dynamics in Silo. Their storyline constantly surprises with unexpected turns. Uche's performance is measured and powerful, particularly in moments of despair, as he portrays a character who uses his knowledge of the silo's regulations as a shield against his own medical condition. The pendulum swings between fear and bravery within the silo community, adding depth to the narrative.

Rebecca Ferguson (Dune) shines as Juliette Nichols, demonstrating her versatility as an actress. She delivers a fierce and physically demanding performance, using prickliness as a means of self-protection. Over the course of the season, barriers break down as Juliette interacts with her father, Dr. Pete Nichols (Iain Glen). The emotional range displayed by Ferguson is remarkable, and her teary reaction to a video message from her late boyfriend in the penultimate episode is a standout moment.

The attention to detail in Silo is commendable. Production designer Gavin Bocquet ensures that every aspect of the world feels textured and believable, from the industrial environments to the characters' homes. The performances, production design, and Atli Örvarsson's evocative score work in harmony to create a riveting viewing experience.

Silo transcends the typical dystopian drama by seamlessly blending post-apocalyptic thriller, murder mystery, and conspiracy genres with elements of horror. While some twists may be predictable, the overall execution compensates for it. The first season covers a substantial amount of ground and ends with an enticing and surprising cliffhanger. Despite inconsistent accents among the cast, the ensemble elevates every moment, with notable performances from Chinaza Uche, Harriet Walter, Tim Robbins (War of the Worlds), David Oyelowo, and Rashida Jones.

Silo is a claustrophobic world that feels both expansive and immersive. Creator Graham Yost has crafted a compelling series that captivates viewers with its meticulous world-building, intriguing characters, and an enthralling storyline. Rebecca Ferguson's portrayal of Juliette Nichols and the ensemble cast's performances make Silo a must-watch series.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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