Women are the property of the state, denied agency over their own bodies, reduced to breeders or barren wives. This is the fictional world of Gilead, but it is also an eerie evocation of contemporary society.
To be broadcast this April, Margaret Atwood's Booker-winning 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale has been adapted into a 10-episode television series – and it's never felt so timely. The new full-length trailer foregrounds this familiarity to chilling effect.
The Tale posits a near-future dystopia set in a republic that was formerly the USA. Women are slaves, vessels or trophies; their lack of choice is enforced by a combination of puritanical brainwashing and corporeal punishment. Atwood based her fictional world on real atrocities suffered by women throughout history. Now, as abortion rights are repealed and the American president boasts about grabbing female genitals, The Handmaid's Tale feels chillingly relevant. So much so that activists in Texas donned the red and white Handmaid robes described in the novel as a part of a protest over two anti-choice bills.
While there's always some trepidation over an acclaimed novel being re-worked for the small screen, The Handmaid's Tale TV adaptation benefits from a superb cast and creative team, with Atwood herself as consulting producer. Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) is Offred, around whom the Tale takes shape, alongside Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame as Ofglen, Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black) as Moira and Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) as the Commander.
The Handmaid's Tale premieres on Hulu on Wednesday 26 April
|What||Full trailer: The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu|
|Where||Hulu | MAP|
26 Apr 17 – 31 May 17, 9:00 AM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£Sign up to Hulu: $7.99 a month|