SILO – Review by Susan Granger

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If you enjoy sci-fi thrillers, stream 10 episodes of the first season of Silo on Apple TV+. Based on a series of dystopian novels by Hugh Howey, it revolves around the inhabitants of a 144-story subterranean bunker built to shelter 10,000 people after an apocalyptic event left Earth uninhabitable.

Designed with a huge spiral staircase in its center and no elevator, living space in the Silo is strictly stratified. Those in authority and the elite occupy the top floors; the white-collar labor force is in the middle; and the blue-collar mechanical workers are down below.

There’s very little upward mobility since the Founders left a manual called “The Pact” that dictates rules which are administered by Mayor Ruth Jahns (Geraldine James), going into the 40th year of her tenure, and enforced by highly respected Sheriff Holston Becker (David Oyelowo) and Deputy Marnes (Will Patton).

Yet the crux of power seems to lie within the I.T. department, headed by soft-spoken Bernard Holland (Tim Robbins) and his Judicial Enforcers, led by smirking Robert Sims (Common). The ultimate form of punishment is banishment because nobody who has ever left the Silo has been able to survive in the toxic wasteland.

Adapted by showrunner Graham Yost, the storyline revolves around Juliette ‘Jules’ Nichols (Rebecca Ferguson), an outspoken mechanical engineer who is inadvertently thrust into the limelight. Ferguson (Mission Impossible, Dune) is compelling and her job – maintaining the massive generator – is one of the most essential.

Contributing to the mystery of memory, identity and survival are persuasive supporting players like Harriet Walters’s Martha Walker, Rashida Jones’ Allison Becker, Avi Nash’s Lukas Kyle, Patrick Kennedy’s Rick Gomez, and Chinaza Uche’s Paul Billings.

The second season was in production in England until the Writers’/SAG-AFTRA strike shut down the set, yet Rebecca Ferguson hinted that it may reveal what happened hundreds of years earlier – before humanity was forced underground.

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, Silo is a thought-provoking 8, streaming on Apple TV+

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.