Of course, like a lot of sci-fi fiction, “Silo” has a great deal to say about the society of the people who are watching it too. It doesn’t feel coincidental to watch a show about a society that’s essentially impacted by a lockdown in the 2020s. And themes of control over women’s bodies and control over what history we can be taught have reflections in the real world in 2023, of course. Who gets to decide what history matters? Who determines the value of knowledge? There will likely be fantastic readings of “Silo” from a religious angle—the silo being this plane of existence, with its divided narratives of how we got here in the first place, and outside being the great beyond that some believe comes when we leave it. It’s a show with so much to unpack in every episode that one wishes they could engage in discussions like a great book club after every episode.
Inspired by the writing and involvement of Yost, “Silo” attracted a great cast that includes a few familiar faces I haven’t even mentioned, like Iain Glen, Harriet Walter, and Will Patton—all excellent. But the show belongs to Ferguson, who imbues Juliette with just the right blend of skepticism and intelligence. She’s the Ripley of this “Alien 3” enclosure—someone who has been burned before but realizes she may be needed in this current time of crisis. It’s another engaging, magnetic performance from a great actress.
The abundance of characters and ideas in “Silo” can be a bit of a drawback. Over the first half of the first season screened, I almost wanted it to slow down, to explain more of what’s happening in the Silo and how these power dynamics have been formed over generations. Of course, this momentum is intentional and often beneficial, but it’s such a rich show that I found myself wanting to live in its world more than just trying to keep up with its plotting. Still, it’s a minor complaint for a major show, one of the best of 2023 so far.
Five episodes were screened for review.