“We never wanted the show to be this relevant," star Elisabeth Moss told Entertainment Weekly of The Handmaid's Tale, which is based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood. Yet, there is a sense of prescience about the newest adaptation, showrunner Bruce Miller and cast members acknowledged at the winter Television Critics Association press tour, Variety reports.
The show is set in the dystopian Republic of Gilead where men rule all. The show (and novel) follow the story of Offred (Moss), a child-bearing slave in a theocratic autocracy that has replaced the United States after an extreme Christian sect orchestrated a coup. Women in this world are subjugated, reduced to roles that boil down to wives, servants and breeding slaves (the handmaids of the title). “I had another name, but it’s forbidden now,” Offred explains in the trailer. “So many things are forbidden now.” Offred once had a husband, and child, who are taken from her in the trailer. We see Alexis Bledel, also a handmaid, with a gag over her terrified face being escorted by men in uniform, Offred being hit with a whip and many other disturbing scenes. But the trailer reveals the show isn't just about the world Offred is in, but also where she came from. We'll get a look at her past, and how it will shape her choices. Offred tells us in a voiceover that she will survive. The 10-episode series will debut on Hulu on April 26.