|Created by||Graham Yost|
|Based on||Wool series|
by Hugh Howey
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Production location||United Kingdom|
|Running time||43–62 minutes|
|Production companies||Mímir Films|
|Original network||Apple TV+|
|Original release||May 5, 2023 –|
Silo is an American science fiction dystopian drama television series created by Graham Yost based on the series of novels of the same name by author Hugh Howey. Set in a dystopian future where a community exists in a giant underground silo comprising 144 levels, it stars Rebecca Ferguson as an engineer who becomes embroiled in the mysteries of its past and present. Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Common, Tim Robbins, Harriet Walter, Avi Nash, Rick Gomez, and Chinaza Uche also star.
Development on a film adaptation of Wool began in 2012. By the end of the decade, the project was shelved, and was picked up as a series by Apple TV+ in May 2021. Principal photography began in August 2021 and the ten-episode first season began streaming from May 5, 2023. It received positive reviews from critics, particularly for the world-building, production design and Ferguson's performance. In June 2023, the series was renewed for a second season.
In a dystopian future where a community exists in a giant silo that extends hundreds of stories underground, 10,000 people live in a society bound by regulations they believe are meant to protect them.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Freedom Day"||Morten Tyldum||Graham Yost||May 5, 2023|
|In a massive underground bunker called the "Silo", a community thrives without knowing their history, as records were supposedly destroyed 140 years earlier during a failed uprising. Sheriff Holston Becker tells Deputy Sam Marnes that he wants to "go out". Three years earlier, Holston and his wife Allison receive permission for her doctor to remove her birth control implant, but they are unable to conceive. During this time Allison learns subversive beliefs about the Silo from Gloria Hildebrandt, a fertility expert, and helps IT expert George Wilkins explore a forbidden hard drive dating from before the rebellion. Allison tells a skeptical Holston that those in power are lying to them and that the view on Silo's screens of a dead outside world is fake; she offers as evidence her birth control implant that had not been removed. Allison declares that she wants to "go out", and promises to clean the Silo's external camera if the outside is beautiful. Following the Silo's Pact, Allison is dressed in an environmental suit and exits on a one-way journey. Silo residents watch Allison clean the camera and then collapse, dead. Two years later, Holston investigates George's death, and meets Juliette Nichols, an engineer who claims he was murdered.|
|2||"Holston's Pick"||Morten Tyldum||Jessica Blaire & Cassie Pappas||May 5, 2023|
|Holston learns from Juliette that George, her lover, collected forbidden historical relics. Upon learning that George and Allison worked together, Holston agrees to investigate and promises to send Juliette a signal when he finds something. A few months later, Holston leaves the Silo and is shocked to see that the outside is lush and beautiful like Allison claimed. He cleans the camera, takes off his helmet, and crawls to Allison's body before dying. Mayor Ruth Jahns learns that Holston left behind a statement nominating Juliette to be his replacement as sheriff. Juliette knows that George was looking for a door, and tries to retrace his steps in the watery dig space underneath the Silo.|
|3||"Machines"||Morten Tyldum||Ingrid Escajeda||May 12, 2023|
|Ruth and Sam trek down 144 levels to meet Juliette. Along the way, Ruth meets Juliette's estranged father, Dr. Pete Nichols, and Juliette's engineer friend, Martha Walker, for opinions of Juliette's character. Despite the disapproval of Judge Meadows, head of Judicial, and Bernard Holland, head of IT, Ruth offers Juliette the role of sheriff. Juliette initially declines but changes her mind when she's given Holston's badge, which has the word "TRUTH" carved on the back. Juliette requests that Ruth allow the main generator to be switched off for repairs, which has never been done in living memory. At shutdown, the Silo's screens briefly show a healthy green view of the outside. The Mechnical team successfully fixes the main generator. Before leaving for her new job, Juliette asks Martha to study a camera she found among George's relics. Sam and Ruth confess their love for each other, before Ruth collapses with blood in her mouth.|
|4||"Truth"||David Semel||Remi Aubuchon||May 19, 2023|
|Ruth is dead; Sam believes she was poisoned, and that he was the real target because they drank from each other's water flasks. Bernard, as Mayor Pro Tem, signs Juliette in as the new sheriff. Juliette asks Sam to help her investigate George's death, in return for her helping him investigate Ruth's death. Robert Sims, of Judicial, tells Sam that Judge Meadows is ready to remove Juliette as sheriff, but Sam tells him to let Juliette quit on her own. Later, Sam is attacked in his apartment. Juliette meets Lukas, a resident who spends late nights in the cafeteria. Juliette finds Holston's file on George, but cannot find George's hard drive that Holston confiscated. In flashback, Juliette leaves home at thirteen after the deaths of her mother, Hanna, and younger brother, Jacob.|
|5||"The Janitor's Boy"||David Semel||Graham Yost||May 26, 2023|
|Sam is found dead. Paul Billings, Judicial's original choice for sheriff, is made Juliette's chief deputy. Sandy, who works in the sheriff's office, tells Juliette to find Sam's killer before Judicial picks a scapegoat. Juliette discovers that Doug Trumbull, who works for Judicial, planted evidence to frame resident Patrick Kennedy for Sam's murder. Robert tells Doug that his father was supposedly a janitor but in actuality had a secret job that was crucial to the Silo's survival. Robert kills Doug before he can be arrested, and Doug is posthumously blamed for Sam and Ruth's murders. Juliette learns that Lukas has been studying the cafeteria's display screens at night to observe the movement of the "lights" in the sky, Silo residents being ignorant that these lights are stars. Martha shows Juliette that the camcorder's technology is more advanced than what is typical and permitted in the Silo. Juliette retrieves one of George's relics in the hopes of reopening the investigation into his death.|
|6||"The Relic"||Bert & Bertie||Aric Avelino||June 2, 2023|
|Juliette arranges for the relic to be found in Doug's apartment, and uses it as an excuse to track down supposed relic dealer Regina Jackson, who turns out to be George's previous lover who bought relics for him. Robert learns about George's connection to the relic and formally confronts Juliette; Bernard accepts Juliette's claim that she didn't plant the relic, but he orders her to stop investigating Doug's motives for murdering Ruth and Sam. Juliette and Paul argue over her difficulty in trusting him, and she reveals that she knows he has the Syndrome, a medical condition that should disqualify him from being a deputy. Regina tells Juliette that she didn't report George's hard drive to Judicial, but she did tell "the man who knows everything" about it, after he threatened her loved ones. Regina gives Juliette a cherished relic she received from George: a children's travelbook dating from before the Silo. While Juliette browses the book in her apartment, she is watched by a surveillance team that has numerous cameras all over the Silo, with equipment much more advanced than the rest of the Silo.|
|7||"The Flamekeepers"||Bert & Bertie||Jessica Blaire||June 9, 2023|
|Robert is part of the surveillance team and monitors Juliette's movements via the cameras. Juliette seeks out Gloria, who is being drugged on Meadows' order. Despite Juliette's offer to resign as sheriff, Meadows says she can't lift the order. Paul confronts Juliette when she neglects her duties; she tells him about her investigation into George's murder, and he decides to cover for her. Lukas tries to kiss Juliette, but she rebuffs him. Bernard tells Juliette that he fears Meadows will move against them, and encourages her to find a way to control Meadows. With her father's help, Juliette is able to question Gloria, and learns that she is part of the Flamekeepers ― a secret group dedicated to remembering the past, and whose members are being systematically wiped out. Juliette's mother befriended Flamekeepers, but Juliette's father obeyed orders to prevent Flamekeepers from having children. Juliette realizes that surveillance cameras are behind the Silo's wall mirrors, and retrieves George's hard drive from where Holston hid it in Gloria's room. Robert's raiders arrive at Gloria's room to apprehend Juliette, who isn't there.|
|8||"Hanna"||Adam Bernstein||Jeffery Wang & Ingrid Escajeda||June 16, 2023|
|Judicial searches the sheriff's office for the hard drive but cannot find it. Juliette retaliates by using Paul's knowledge of the Pact to temporarily arrest Robert. While Robert is in custody, Juliette searches his office and finds files on Hanna, Martha, and Shirley Campbell. Hanna's file confirms that Judicial's surveillance cameras are how they knew that Hanna had built an illegal multi-lens magnifier; Hanna and Juliette had believed that Pete told Judicial. Juliette reconciles with Pete, and he tells her that Hanna's subversive behavior and suicide were a response to Jacob's death, which Hanna believed the magnifier technology could have prevented. Juliette is unable to access the hard drive's content — Lukas is too afraid to help, and Judicial's checkpoints prevent her from reaching Martha. Bernard finds Juliette and reveals himself to be the true person in charge of the Silo, and responsible for Ruth and Sam's deaths. Bernard and Robert arrest Juliette, take the hard drive, and fraudulently claim that Juliette has asked to "go outside". Juliette jumps off the Silo's central stairs to escape with the hard drive.|
|9||"The Getaway"||Adam Bernstein||Lekethia Dalcoe||June 23, 2023|
|Juliette escapes and evades Judicial's cameras. Paul investigates Juliette's apartment and finds the children's travelbook; he keeps one page but burns the rest. Juliette breaks into Robert's apartment and uses his computer to access the hard drive, on which she finds a video message George made for her. Bernard arrests Lukas and learns the hard drive's serial number, which he uses to find Juliette's location. Robert and his raiders rush to the apartment, but Robert's wife allows Juliette to escape. Juliette gets Patrick's help with Danny, IT contact, to access the hard drive. She watches the rest of George's video, in which he tells her that he loves her and that she needs to find the door underneath the Silo. Following George's advice, Juliette, Patrick and Danny watch a video from a past cleaning, which shows a lush green landscape with birds flying outside the Silo.|
|10||"Outside"||Adam Bernstein||Fred Golan||June 30, 2023|
|Juliette has Danny broadcast the outside footage to the whole Silo, but the broadcast is quickly shut down by Bernard. Paul is questioned by Robert on his condition, and Paul later tells his wife that they are making an exception so he can be sheriff. Juliette escapes to Mechanical, where she talks to Martha before being arrested. Bernard offers Juliette a deal: if she will go out willingly, he will tell her what happened to George and ensure that Mechanical will not be punished. Bernard shows Juliette footage of how George was arrested and jumped off the stairs to avoid interrogation. Bernard destroys the hard drive, but later recovers the disc after Juliette mentions a door underneath the Silo. Bernard sentences Lukas to the mines. Juliette goes outside and her helmet's display shows the exact same video footage of a lush landscape from the previous cleaning. She realizes the deception, discovering that the reality is the desolate view of the Silo's screens. Because Martha has arranged for the heat tape on Juliette's suit to be good quality, instead of dying there, Juliette is able to walk out of the crater that surrounds the Silo's camera and out of view of the Silo's residents. The Silo's crater is surrounded by dozens of similar craters, each with a structure similar to a silo entrance, and the hazy skyline of a ruined city in the far distance.|
Michael Dinner and Amber Templemore will direct episodes of the second season. Templemore will direct four episodes, including the last episode.
The project's development was announced as a feature film at 20th Century Fox, which entered negotiations to acquire the self-published e-book Wool by Hugh Howey on May 11, 2012. Five days later, 20th Century Fox acquired the rights, with Ridley Scott and Steven Zaillian among those attached to produce. On November 28, it was announced that J Blakeson was in negotiations to write and direct. It was then announced on June 5, 2015 that Nicole Perlman would rewrite the screenplay, with Blakeson no longer involved in the project. The film was ultimately shelved as a result of the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney.
By July 30, 2018, a new iteration of the project was in development for television at AMC, with LaToya Morgan attached to write under her overall deal at AMC Studios. The series eventually moved to Apple TV+ on May 20, 2021, receiving an order for ten episodes. Graham Yost to replace Morgan as creator and writer, marking his third series at Apple TV+ under his overall deal with the network. Morten Tyldum was also attached to direct and executive produce, with Yost as showrunner. The show was renewed for a second season in June 2023.
Alongside Yost, Jessica Blaire, Cassie Pappas, Ingrid Escajeda, Remi Aubuchon, Aric Avelino, Jeffery Wang, Lekethia Dalcoe, and Fred Golan served as writers.
With the series order announcement, it was also announced that Rebecca Ferguson had been cast in a lead role. Tim Robbins joined the cast in August 2021, and Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Common, Harriet Walter, Avi Nash and Chinaza Uche joined in the following months.
Principal photography began in late August 2021 in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, and was scheduled to last until the second quarter of 2022. Mark Patten, David Luther, and Laurie Rose were cinematographers. Gavin Bocquet was the production designer, credited with the design of the silo. The main set consists of three levels of stairs decorated to represent particular locations.
The second season began filming in late June 2023 at Hoddesdon Studios, using the same set as season one. Filming was officially suspended in July due to the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike.
In March 2023, Atli Örvarsson was announced as the series' composer. He collaborated with Tyldum on the Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob.
|1.||"SILO Main Title"||1:39|
|3.||"I Want to Go Out"||1:32|
|11.||"Time With You"||3:04|
|13.||"We Do Not Know"||3:54|
|15.||"Leaving the Silo"||3:26|
|18.||"Race to the Top"||2:04|
Silo had its special screening during the 2023 Canneseries on April 14, 2023. The television series premiered on Apple TV+ on May 5, 2023, with the first two episodes available immediately and the rest airing on a weekly basis through June 30.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 88% approval rating with an average rating of 7.5/10, based on 64 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "With deft writing, awe-inspiring production design and the inestimable star power of Rebecca Ferguson, Silo is a mystery box well worth opening." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the series "holds our interest with intriguing characters and effective twists and turns", and took note of how Silo "shifts gears through a number of genres, from conspiracy thriller to big-picture social commentary to police procedural to end-times romance". Lucy Mangan of The Guardian opined that the "world-building is meticulous" and "the story is equally thrilling". Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson found the show to be a "feat of production design", adding that "Ferguson—in all her stern command—lends the series a necessary heft". Barry Hertz of Globe and Mail also picked up Ferguson's performance as a "standout".
Conversely, Brian Lowry of CNN believed that the "inherent mystery [...] feels stretched to the point of strained, exacerbated by characters that don't consistently pop". The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg also praised the world-building and Ferguson's performance, but was critical of the performance of Common, whom he termed "the weak link in the cast".