Are You Watching “Silo”? (My Thoughts)

We’ve been racing through Apple TV’s “Silo” over the last few weeks, just in time for tomorrow’s season 1 finale. If you like dystopian sci-fi, I recommend the show.

Silo is based on a series of books from author Hugh Howey. As I recall, he originally released at least some of the books chapter by chapter online, almost like a blog, and later compiled them as books (the Wool series). I may have read one of them many years ago, but I can’t remember anything that would spoil the mysteries of the show.

The core concept is that 10,000+ people live in a massive underground concrete silo (presumably on Earth) and have been there for quite some time, long enough for them to forget why they’re there or what the outside world is like. The show absolutely loves to display the central staircase that connects the silo’s many levels.

Silo is a mystery. Both the literal purpose of the silo and what’s outside is a mystery to the viewers, and there are also many mysteries to unravel about the people in the silo. I care about some of these mysteries more than others–the show can be a bit slow at times when it spends too much time on the wrong mysteries.

However, I think Silo does some really interesting things with its characters. The lead character doesn’t appear at all until the very end of the second episode. Some important characters don’t survive; some major characters appear quite a bit in some episodes and not at all in others. And there are other characters who, in another show like this, would appear for one episode and then become completely irrelevant, but not in Silo–a brief appearance may result in a new primary character. This approach to characters and casting makes the show feel so much more cohesive and alive.

I’m enjoying the show and am curious to see at least a few of the mysteries answered in the season finale (there will also be a season 2 in the future). Are you watching it? What do you think?

7 thoughts on “Are You Watching “Silo”? (My Thoughts)”

  1. I’d not seen anything about the show until the thumbnail popped up on my Android TV. A headshot of Rebecca Ferguson was enough to pique my interest (I’ve been a fan ever since both “The Snowman” and “The Greatest Showman”). Once I looked into what it was about I became hooked and can hardly wait to watch the finale after work tomorrow.

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  2. I’m loving it. Having read and enjoyed Wool (the first book in the series), one of the things that has impressed me the most about the show is how well (most) of the things they’ve chosen to change have worked. For the most part, I think that most of the changes to the plot have resulted in a narrative that is overall more cohesive and compelling than the original novel, which is hard to say for television adaptations (just look at Apple’s other sci-fi epic, Foundation, for proof of that).

    The one thing I don’t really care for was the addition of the Judicial system and their enforcers. I kind of understand why they may have wanted to add some antagonists who represented the threat of physical violence early in the story for the tv adaptation. However, I thought that one of the things that made the novel so original among dystopian literature was the LACK of any physically threatening forces for the majority of the novel. The deceptively cozy atmosphere of the Silo created an unsettling atmosphere and provided a unique tone, whereas in the tv show the addition of the Judicial Department and their enforcers makes the society feel much more similar to every other depiction of a futuristic dystopia.

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    • That’s an interesting observation about the show vs the books. I agree that Judicial’s role has been one of the less interesting mysteries to me, though episode 9 made me a bit more intrigued.

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  3. I’m loving it, but I already love all of Hugh Howey’s work so it wasn’t a big leap for me. He always has such strong, interesting female characters and writes with such an ease of style that you can’t help but be drawn into whatever world he’s creating. Hugh was talking about the set (on the Facebook group) and how many floors they built of that staircase – it’s pretty impressive!

    I was really happy to hear that there will be a season 2! For those interested, Hugh is doing an AMA on reddit this Sunday at 2pm eastern.

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