Watch the brutal and unforgiving first trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale

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Kayleigh Dray
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Ever since we learned that Margaret Atwood’s iconic dystopian novel was being adapted into a star-studded TV show, we’ve been counting down the days to its launch on 26 April 2017.

And now, at last, we’ve been given our first trailer of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The teaser is just 30 seconds long – but, in under a minute, it’s managed to tell us everything we need to know about the beautiful nightmare speeding its ways to our televisions.

The first few fleeting images show women under attack by a totalitarian and misogynist society (sound familiar?); they take to the streets with placards, they beg for their rights to be recognised, and they are ignored.

Instead, fertile females are rounded up and forced into a life of servitude and surrogacy.

Elisabeth Moss stars as Offred, and, like so many others, she has donned the anonymous red capes and white caps worn by Gilead’s Handmaids. However, as you will see in the teaser, her life was not always this way; she was alive during the protests, she was a fighter, and she had a family of her own.

Now, she is alone – but her spirit remains unbroken.

Watch the trailer for yourself below:

The visuals are striking, brutal, and unrelenting; we see stark birthing chambers, a bloodstained wall, Offred bending down to be whipped, and Alexis Bledel’s character, Offglen, being marched towards an unknown fate whilst wearing a face gag.

Samira Wiley’s character, the rebellious and tenacious Moira, also makes an appearance – and, while her time on screen is fleeting, it immediately feels as if she has some secret all of her own.

However one thing is immediately apparent in the trailer; this teaser is all about the female prisoners of Gilead, not those who benefit from the regime.

We are offered only the slightest glimpse of the Commander, the so-called Angels and Guardians of the state are missing, and the Wives (all dressed up in blue) are all but invisible.

Instead, the focus is on the women they have reduced to nameless shells of their former selves – as well as the lives they are forced to lead, and the lives they were forced to leave behind.

As we’ve waxed lyrical about in the past, the cast for the show looks phenomenal; as well as Moss, Wiley, and Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale also boasts the talents of Dexter’s Yvonne Strahovski, who will bring Serena Joy – one of the state’s more privileged ‘Wives’ - to life on screen.

Joseph Fiennes will play the Commander, while British actor O-T Fagbenle will play Luke, Offred’s (Moss) husband from the world before Gilead.

And Max Minghella (The Social Network) and Ann Dowd (The Leftovers) are also set to take on leading roles in this tale of gender relations and the patriarchy.

Speaking about the 10-part series, Atwood said: “I am thrilled that MGM and Hulu are developing The Handmaid's Tale as a series, and extra thrilled that the very talented Elisabeth Moss will be playing the central character.  

The Handmaid's Tale is more relevant now than when it was written, and I am sure the series will be watched with great interest.  I have read the first two scripts and they are excellent; I can hardly wait to see the finished episodes.”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale debuts on 26 April.