The Handmaid’s Tale will return to Channel 4 for a second series

The dystopian drama has been a big hit with viewers and critics

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Channel 4 has announced it will air the “dark and thought-provoking” second series of The Handmaid’s Tale in the UK.

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Fans of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel were desperate to see the series when it started airing in the US on Hulu, but we had a long wait before the big announcement: Channel 4 had bagged the 10-part series starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley and Alexis Bledel.

Now the first series is over, we can definitively say: that was a good decision for the TV channel. Channel 4 says The Handmaid’s Tale has been its “biggest acquisition” since Homeland, attracting around 2.3 million viewers per episode. 

The first series has been a huge critical success, earning 13 Emmy Award nominations. With such a positive reception, the second series was commissioned almost as soon as the first had begun to air in the US

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The series is based on the award-winning, best-selling novel by Atwood, is based in the totalitarian society of Gilead – formerly the United States. Here, women like Offred (Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss) and Ofglen (Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel) are forced to serve elite men and their barren wives by bearing their children as “handmaids”.

Women’s rights have been suddenly stripped away and there is no escape from the role assigned to each person in this rigidly hierarchical society.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer, said in a statement: “The Handmaid’s Tale has been a stand out success for Channel 4.

“I’m delighted that audiences are also going to be able to enjoy its dark and thought provoking second season.”

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An air date has not yet been announced.