PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The wrenching loss of an infant to a totalitarian society is explored in season two of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” star Elisabeth Moss and the show’s producers said.
The drama series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel begins with Moss’ character on the run when it returns April 25 on streaming service Hulu. Offred, also known as June, is a pregnant “handmaid,” one of those used to breed children in a futuristic society where many women are infertile.
Moss said she and series creator-executive producer Bruce Miller often discussed “this child growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb,” one destined to be born in tragic circumstances.
“When she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her. She can’t be its mother,” Moss said told TV critics Sunday. “It makes for good drama.”
Season two also visits the colonies that are mentioned in Atwood’s 1985 book but not depicted, executive producer Warren Littlefield said. A bigger production budget helped the series venture afield.
MGM Television and Hulu “embraced that we were ambitious. We’re still in a world of television, it’s a pretty controlled budget,” Littlefield said. He didn’t offer specific figures.
Broadening the story doesn’t mean the series will desert its source material, Miller said.
“I don’t think anything we do is post-Atwood,” he said. “It’s an expansion of that world. I certainly don’t think we’re going beyond the story that she was telling. She remains the mother of the series.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a landmark program for relatively new Hulu, drawing critical acclaim, an armload of 2017 Emmys and, earlier this month, a best series Golden Globe and best-actress trophy for Moss. Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei guest stars in episode two, the producers said.
They were effusive with praise for Moss when asked why the former “Mad Men” star was right for the role of Offred.
She’s talented, professional, has an “amazing work ethic” and an extraordinary relationship with the camera, the producers said.
A smiling Moss called the Television Critics Association panel discussion her favorite yet.