Series two of The Handmaid’s Tale will take us to into new territory – literally – as we visit Alexis Bledel’s Ofglen in exile in the Colonies.
Bledel has revealed more about what we’ll see in the second series, which takes us beyond the endpoint of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. And while much of the drama will focus on Elisabeth Moss’s character June/Offred, her pregnancy and her struggle to find her stolen daughter, we will also move into the wider Handmaid’s universe and beyond Gilead.
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As fans will remember, Ofglen (aka Emily) was banished to the Colonies, where rebellious or “useless” women (known as “unwomen”) are sent to clean up radioactive waste.
“Life in the Colonies is a last stop,” Bledel told Entertainment Weekly. “Emily does not have a great deal of hope for a future there; she knows her days are numbered.”
She added: “Being forced to exist in either Gilead or the Colonies threatens to destroy a person’s soul in different ways. Handmaids are forced to follow an extremely limiting set of rules to comply with the mandates of the Gileadean regime, including the horrific monthly ceremony.
“[But] anyone in Gilead would be terrified to be sent to the Colonies. Everything from the soil the unwomen turn over to the water they use to wash is toxic in the Colonies, so a person’s health begins to rapidly deteriorate as soon as they get there.
“They know they will die there, all the while forced to do hard labor without decent food to eat or clean living conditions.”
The Handmaid’s Tale returns for series two in the US in April on Hulu. The UK air date on Channel 4 has not been confirmed