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Open this photo in gallery:Episode 1. Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo in "Silo," premiering May 5, 2023 on Apple TV+.

Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo in Silo.Rekha Garton/APPLE TV+

Something strange is going on at Apple TV+. Over the past five months, the no-longer-nascent streamer has been pumping out a deluge of new, extremely expensive, big-name series without anyone paying much attention.

Did you know that there is – available to view in its entirety right now! – an eight-episode sci-fi drama called Extrapolations starring Meryl Streep, Edward Norton and Diane Lane? Or a 10-episode futuristic comedy called Hello Tomorrow! starring Billy Crudup? Or a seven-episode thriller – The Last Thing He Told Me – based on the bestselling book and starring Jennifer Garner?

No, of course you don’t. Because for whatever reason, Apple spends ungodly sums of money on high-profile, sometimes actually quite good television – this year’s best new sitcom is the streamer’s Shrinking, starring Harrison Ford, a gosh-dang movie superstar – and either fails to properly promote and market them, or just moves on to the next big-but-unplaced bet.

Will Apple’s new series Silo fall victim to this same strategy-free strategy? Given the lack of chatter or even basic advertising, perhaps, yes. But the high-concept thriller deserves better. Not, like, HBO-level better. But at least a modicum more of attention than Apple is currently generating.

Based on a series of novels by Hugh Howey, Silo is a slick hybrid of the dystopian nightmares of Snowpiercer and See (the latter another one of Apple’s you’ve-never-heard-of-it spectacles).

Hundreds – maybe thousands? – of years in the future, Earth is a toxic wasteland that cannot support human life. Instead, the remains of the population exist in a gigantic underground silo, hundreds of storeys deep, where society has been rebuilt according to a rigid set of regulations and hierarchies.

There is lots of shadowy talk of a long-ago “rebellion,” the fatal dangers of venturing outside, and forbidden history records. And the further down the silo you go, the more desperate the reality of this society reveals itself to be. (It’s as if Lost took place entirely in the infamous “hatch.”)

Created and written by Canadian television veteran Graham Yost (Justified, The Americans), with the first three of 10 episodes directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), Silo starts off surprisingly strong and fantastically slick – however many millions Apple put into this production are right up there on the screen.

The sets are expansive and tactile, all brutalist concrete and retrofitted tech. There are major-deal performers, including David Oyelowo (as the silo’s straight-arrow sheriff), Rebecca Ferguson (the tough engineer who manages the giant generator that keeps the lights on), Common (a stern member of the silo’s “judiciary” force), and Tim Robbins (the slippery manager of the silo’s IT department).

Open this photo in gallery:This image released by Apple TV+ shows Common in a scene from "Silo," premiering May 5. (Rekha Garton/Apple TV+ via AP)

Common in a scene from Silo, on Apple TV+.Rekha Garton/Apple TV+ via AP

And there is a third-episode nail-biter set piece that looks like it cost more money than however much the striking members of the Writers Guild of America are currently fighting over.

Does it all work dramatically? Mostly, at least over the course of the first three episodes that I viewed. Mysteries are developed, characters grow, and the world of the silo is expanded, one story (and storey) at a time. And while the premise has an inherent goofiness to it, Yost delivers it with a dead-serious tone that serves his episodic ambitions surprisingly well.

This is a heavy tale of humanity’s last stand, with each actor committing to their dark world through and through. Ferguson, best known for her work in the later Mission: Impossible films, is a standout here, a hero of steel nerves and unbreakable determination.

While the next seven instalments could prove that the whole thing might have been best served as a feature-film adaptation instead – you’d be hard-pressed to find someone championing the three-season Snowpiercer series over Bong Joon-ho’s original movie – Yost’s and Tyldum’s work is impressive enough to keep me venturing down the silo stairs. (The strangest thing about the titular structure: It has computer-powered technology, but no elevators.)

Maybe you’ll even watch it, too. Don’t let Apple’s silence convince you otherwise.

Silo streams on Apple TV+ starting May 5, with new episodes added weekly.