THE Handmaid’s Tale has taken the US by storm as one of 2017’s surprise television hits – and now it’s about to take the UK the same way.
Here’s the lowdown on the gripping new series that continues tonight on Channel 4…
When is The Handmaid’s Tale coming to Channel 4?
The Handmaid’s Tale will continue on Channel 4 TONIGHT (Sunday June 18) at 9.00pm with the fourth episode.
In the US, it is currently airing on streaming service Hulu, and has already been guaranteed a second season due to the runaway success of the first.
The show will run for 10 episodes and will be available on 4OD shortly after the episode comes up on TV.
What is The Handmaid’s Tale about?
The show is based on the 1985 book of the same name by Margaret Atwood.
It follows the story of Offred, a handmaid in a dystopian future where a Christian fundamentalist government has taken over the US.
As a civil war rages and fertility is all but eradicated due to contamination, Offred is adapting to the new life of hierarchy and social classes where woman are deemed lesser.
Among the changes, women are taken away from their families, essentially owned and are not allowed to own property, control money or read.
Handmaids are fertile women who are given to homes of the elite and are forced to have sex with the men of the family to carry on their bloodlines.
The rape scenes have caused controversy due to their graphic nature and length.
Any wrongdoing could end up with the Handmaids being executed and gay people are referred to as “gender traitors”.
Who is in the cast?
Elisabeth Moss (Offred)
Elisabeth Moss’ career has spanned the past 27 years – and through it she has become a highly acclaimed and sought after actress.
From 2007-2015, she played the long-suffering but ballsy Peggy Olsen in Mad Men.
Before this, Elisabeth was seen as Zoey Barlet in political drama, The West Wing.
She also starred as the eternally burned Polly in Girl Interrupted alongside Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder.
Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy)
Australian-born Yvonne has appeared in some of the US’ most-loved TV shows, including Dexter, 24:Live Another Day, and The Astronauts Wives Club.
She also had a long-standing role in Sarah Walker which lasted from 2007-2012.
The star is currently filming the latest instalment of the Predator franchise alongside Olivia Munn, which is pencilled for release in 2018.
Alexis Bledel (Ofglen)
Alexis is recognised by most as Rory Gilmore in the long-running, smash-hit series, Gilmore Girls.
She recently returned to the character for a one-off Netflix series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
As well as Rory, Alexis has appeared in a string of cult favourite films, including Sin City and Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
In 2013, she also starred in the short-lived US remake of Gavin And Stacey, renamed Us and Them, playing Stacey opposite Jason Ritter as Gavin.
It was cancelled after seven episodes.
Joseph Fiennes (Commander Fred Waterford)
The Bafta-award winning actor is most known for playing William Shakespeare in the Tom Stoppard written film, Shakespeare in Love.
Joseph was most recently seen on TV as the corruptable Monsignor in American Horror Story: Asylum.
He recently came under fire for his portrayal of Michael Jackson in the later pulled episode of TV series Urban Myths.
Samira Wiley (Moira)
Samira is most known as lovable prison inmate Poussey in Netflix’s smash-hit, Orange Is The New Black.
As well as that, Samira has worked on TV series You’re the Worst, and has appeared in films including Nerve and The Sitter.
There are two more films currently in the works, both due to be released by the end of this year.
She has recently married her long-term girlfriend, Lauren Morelli.
O-T Fagbenle (Luke)
The British actor has made his way over to the US after getting wide success on UK TV.
Series include comedy Grownups, Material Girl and several appearances in Doctor Who.
He was last seen on the mystery drama The Five, which focused on a cold case disappearance of a five year old boy.
TV IDOL’S DRUG HELL
Ant and Dec’s Ant McPartlin checks into rehab — after confessing to problems with substance abuse, prescription drugs and booze
‘HELP ME, MATE’
TV star Ant McPartlin broke down in tears as he confessed his drink and drug addictions to best friend Dec
THE BEY-BIES ARE HERE!
Beyoncé and Jay Z ‘thrilled’ to have welcomed twins, according to multiple reports
SHE SAID YES
Mario Falcone proposes to girlfriend Becky Miesner less than a YEAR after they started dating
THE BOOB IS OUT THERE
The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, 48, has a little slip after taking a dip on a romantic trip in the Med
SEVENTH TIME LUCKY?
Corrie’s Steve McDonald to propose to Leanne Battersby as he prepares for ANOTHER wedding
‘We’re trying, It’s tougher than you think’
Ant McPartlin opens up on how he longs to have children with his wife Lisa
STODDEN GOES STARKERS
Courtney Stodden poses for fully nude Instagram snap to celebrate ‘feminism’ and ‘sexuality’
SHARING BEAR’S LAIR
Charlotte Crosby announces she is moving in with boyfriend Stephen Bear in excited tweet
AFFAIR OF THE TART
Corrie’s Eva will go full bunny boiler on Aidan when she discovers his affair reveals Catherine Tyldsley
Coronation Street’s Bethany Platt terrified as she realises Nathan Curtis plans to sell her abroad
NAME AND GAME
Jon Snow’s REAL name has been revealed and it changes the entire Game of Thrones dynamic