The Handmaid's Tale


Series 1 - Episode 1 Offred



Elisabeth Moss is mesmerising in this finely controlled adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. She plays a young mother whom we first meet as she is chased by armed police through woods and brutally parted from her daughter.

We later learn they were fleeing a regime that has turned America into a puritan dystopia. Moss’s character is given a new name – Offred – and because there has been “a plague of infertility”, she is assigned to a military commander (Joseph Fiennes) to bear him children, via a sex ritual known as the Ceremony.

In this and other scenes, the series renders its imagined future in chilling detail, from ritual punishments to the religious sayings that characters swap in conversation (“Under His eye”, “Blessed be the fruit” and so on).

It’s all chokingly bleak: “I need to scream, I need to grab the nearest machine gun,” Moss says in internal monologue, but her face remains a mask.


Dystopian drama based on Margaret Atwood's novel about a future American theocracy, in which declining birth rates have led to a new social order, where the few remaining fertile women are kept as slaves to carry children for the regime's leaders. Elisabeth Moss stars as one of these women, who struggles to cope with her repressive existence and the resentment of her owner's wife.

Cast & Crew

Offred Elisabeth Moss
The Commander Joseph Fiennes
Serena Joy Yvonne Strahovski
Ofglen Alexis Bledel
Janine Madeline Brewer
Aunt Lydia Ann Dowd
Luke O-T Fagbenle
Nick Max Minghella
Moira Samira Wiley
Rita Amanda Brugel
Director Reed Morano
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