Hulu released the first look at its highly anticipated new drama The Handmaid's Tale Saturday during the Television Critics Association winter previews.
The streaming service's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's best-selling dystopian novel stars Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss as Offred, one of the few remaining fertile women in Gilead, a totalitarian society that used to be part of the United States and now treats women as property of the state. As a handmaid of the Commander (Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love), Offred is forced into sexual servitude in order to produce a child in a world where birthrates are dropping, but all she wants is to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.
Although the story is meant to be speculative fiction set in the near future, the fight for control over women's bodies is unfortunately a timely subject given the state of today's political climate.
"[The Handmaid's Tale] is showing us about the climate that we're living in," says Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black), who plays Moira, a handmaid who knew Offred during college and beyond. "Personal issues [right now] are specifically [related to] women and their bodies and who has control of that. Do I have control of it? Does someone else have control of it? It shows in the book, it shows in our show and it shows in the time that we're living in right now."
"I think the book has been around for 35 years, and every time someone reads it they say, 'Oh, well this is timely,'" adds executive producer Bruce Miller, who wrote the pilot script for the series during the political primaries. "We were, of course, mindful of that."
The Handmaid's Tale debuts Wednesday, April 26 on Hulu.