The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is “a return to traditional values” taken to its horrifying extreme. The famous novel, which had been made into a movie in 1990, is about to become a TV series in early 2017. Hulu has released its first four images. They’re as bleak as its source material.
In the 1985 dystopian classic, the United States has been superseded by Christian right-wing group, the Republic of Gilead, which has stripped women of all of their rights, including their right to read. Our protagonist, Offred (“Of Fred”), is one of the country’s few fertile women. Because of this, she’s forced to become a “handmaiden,” that is, a woman who will bear children for a Gilead commander and his infertile wife.
In the pictures we see Offred, played by the fabulous Elisabeth Moss, out of bed and in bed. We also Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) about to undress. A handmaiden, probably Offred, is lying on a bed behind him. In the shadows, also on the bed, is what looks like Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski), his wife. (Yes, Fred will have sex with Offred with Serena present.)
As with the image of Fred Waterford, the last image is one that appears ripped from the novel: The handmaidens, dressed in red, assemble for prayer. And all of the guards, who are forbidden to look at them, face away.
I can’t wait to see how Hulu will treat this chilling novel. Can you?