The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has been much anticipated, and early reviews reveal the series is so far living up to the hype – especially given its rather timely airing (you know, being all about a near-future dystopia in which women’s rights have been destroyed, leaving their wombs the property of the state).
But, with great TV shows comes the end of great TV shows, and many a viewer is no doubt already anticipating the mourning that follows the last episode of a particularly gripping story.
However, these viewers may be pleased to know that just a week after the premiere of the 10-part first series on 26 April, a second has been confirmed.
According to Variety, Hulu’s head of content Craig Erwich said the programme-streaming service would be bringing another run to screens in 2018, and described the response to the show as “absolutely incredible”.
“It has been an honour to work with this talented team of cast and creators to develop a series that has struck such a chord with audiences across the country.
“As we continue to expand our strong slate of original programming, The Handmaid’s Tale is exactly the type of gripping and thought-provoking storytelling we want to bring to viewers. We can’t wait to explore the world of Gilead and continue Margaret’s vision with another season on Hulu.”
Given the first series – starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel and Samira Wiley – covers events in the book, it seems the second will have to explore new stories, though it’s not yet clear if this will be in the same time period or looking back years later.
Atwood, a consulting producer on the show, told The Globe and Mail she was pleased with the positive critical reception and said the second series will be an “interesting challenge”.
“The reaction to the series so far has been off the charts […] The fact that a second season is already being planned speaks to their enthusiasm,” she said.
“For me, it will be an interesting challenge, since I myself have never known what happened to Offred once she got into that van […] except that she (or her recorded tapes) made it into a foot locker that was found in the former Bangor, Maine.”
The first three episodes dropped at once on the streaming service, and the remaining seven are released weekly.
Set in Gilead, Atwood’s book details how the United States transforms into a dystopian society where fertility is prized above all else due to falling birth rates, and thus women’s roles are defined by their ability to reproduce: fertile women are forced into being ‘handmaids’ to the upper echelons.
The author has already penned a new ending for a special-edition audiobook expanding on the original ending, in which a professor is giving a lecture discussing Gilead generations later.
Which means there’s plenty of material for a sequel…