Apple TV+’s new sci-fi television series, Silo, created and written by Graham Yost (Justified), is based on the successful novel series of the same name by Hugh Howey.
Set in a toxic dystopian future where thousands live in a giant silo deep underground with hierarchal levels, Silo begins with Sheriff Holston (played by David Oyelowo) breaking a cardinal rule which results in the mysterious deaths of residents. Engineer Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) then starts to uncover shocking secrets and truths about their home.
“I took it [this role] because I like the journey for the character,” Ferguson tells Supanova. “I like the idea of the world and what we’ve done to the world and the consequence of the human race.”
In preparing for the role, Ferguson discovered that anger and fear go hand in hand when it comes to Juliette’s motivations throughout the series.
“Gradually [Juliette] is finding out things and the unravelling of the truth is opening her up for the realisation of love and to be loved and accept bits of herself that she hasn’t ever looked at.”
It’s those human elements that really make Silo compelling and keep it grounded.
The Walking Dead’s Avi Nash, who plays Lukas Kyle, says, “Silo is so much about humanity being stuck together and trying to figure out what is the truth of their circumstance. ‘How can we live here and how can we not just survive?’”
Nash’s character in the series works in IT and spends his free time studying the stars he sees outside from inside the silo.
“There’s a real passion there, and there’s a real curiosity there that he’s willing to kind of extend himself, and he’s willing to go look and explore something that no one else is deemed important,” Nash says.
“I thought, ‘Okay, maybe this is where I can start to find this character.’ Someone who really takes his passion and zooms in on it and zeroes in on it and says, ‘Okay, that’s what’s important to me.’”
While the character’s scenes are brief in this series, the connection between Lukas and Juliette propels and highlights the similarities and differences of who they are in regard to the levels in the silo.
“They are two washers in a system that are not shaped quite like all the other washers,” Nash says. “And sometimes, when you run into someone that’s a little bit weird and a little bit strange and a little bit different, you can’t help but kind of see yourself in them. I think because they’re different from everyone else, there’s a kinship there.”
Another important character in the series is Martha Walker, played by Harriet Walter of Killing Eve fame. Martha is the veteran engineer who has stayed in her place within the silo, never leaving her self-made prison.
“I think it’s partly because she’s afraid of herself,” Walter says. “I think she is quite like Juliette in a way that she’s quite a rebel, but she doesn’t trust herself to not get into trouble with her rebellion. This is all on an instinctive level.”
Martha’s motherly bond with Juliette challenges her views of what she considers safe.
“She has a sort of tough love for Juliette,” Walter explains, “which is also in balance with her sort of admiration of Juliette as Juliette grows up into this quite extraordinary human being.”
Chinaza Uche plays Paul Billings, who is the polar opposite of Juliette. Paul is a by-the-book character with a deep belief there is nothing wrong with the rules of the silo.
“The society is based around this book called The Pact, which is a collection of rules to make the society work, passed down from its founders,” Uche explains. “So, everybody lives by these rules, and this is how the societies are kept safe and kept alive. There’s a lot of tension in that because there’s not always a lot of freedom when you have so many rules.”
Uche found that Paul’s dedication to the silo was what made his character complex and compelling, noting, “He thinks of himself as someone who does it right. And I think over the first season, he has to wrestle with that question, like, ‘Who are you really? What’s most important to you?’”
These thoughts are seeded into Paul’s mind through meeting Juliette, who doesn’t hesitate to question the truth of The Pact.
“They really [move] each other forward,” says Ferguson on Paul and Juliette being on opposing sides of the same coin. “Any person who contradicts or challenges [Juliette] makes her grow, which is great for me.”
The cast has nothing but praise for Howey and the world and characters he has created.
“Hugh just keeps pulling on this thread, and the more he pulls, it’s just a world you can get lost in,” Uche says.
Silo premieres on Apple TV+ on May 5