The Handmaid’s Tale made its debut on our screens in 2017, immediately capturing the hearts and minds of viewers. This thought-provoking series, based on the best-selling novel by acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, has since delivered five unforgettable seasons. With the Season 5 premiere last fall, it was officially confirmed that Season 6 will mark the conclusion of The Handmaid’s Tale. This news has left fans eager to uncover the intriguing possibilities that the upcoming farewell season may bring.
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When and Where Is The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 Releasing?
Since the exciting announcement of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6, fans have been eagerly anticipating its release date. During a special New Year’s Eve episode of The Graham Norton Show in 2022, Madeline Brewer, who portrays Janine, shared some insight, saying, ‘We have one more season, and that’ll be coming in 2024.’ It appears that we’ll have to wait a bit longer for new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, but based on the series’ history, we can confidently say the wait will be well worth it.
The Handmaid’s Tale is an original Hulu series, and it has been confirmed that the sixth and final season will be available on the Hulu platform when the time comes. For those interested, all previous seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, along with thousands of other shows, can be streamed starting at just $7.99 per month.
Fans in the United Kingdom will also have the opportunity to watch Season 6 of The Handmaid’s Tale. It will be available on Channel 4 and its free on-demand platform All 4, as well as on Prime Video. As a bonus, all previous seasons can already be streamed on these platforms.
Is There a Trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6?
At this moment, there hasn’t been a trailer released for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6. However, by considering the timing of trailer releases for previous seasons and the production schedule for Season 6, it’s reasonable to speculate that the highly anticipated trailer might make its debut sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. Be sure to keep a close watch on this page so you can be among the first to catch the trailer when it finally drops.
In the meantime, if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic or need a quick recap, you can reacquaint yourself with the Season 5 trailer below.
What Is The Handmaid’s Tale About?
The Handmaid’s Tale is a thought-provoking dystopian television series that delves into themes such as oppression, religious extremism, feminism, and resistance. It unfolds in a not-so-distant future, where viewers follow the journey of the resilient protagonist, June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss). June’s struggle for survival takes place within the confines of Gilead, a nightmarish regime that has risen from the ashes of North America.
In this grim world, plummeting fertility rates due to environmental factors and diseases have paved the way for an extremist group known as the Sons of Jacob. This group insidiously imposes their new world order upon the beleaguered nation. The Sons of Jacob ruthlessly seize control, dismantling the previous government and instituting their own draconian rule.
As a key aspect of their brutal system, they categorize women into different roles. June, our central character, finds herself in the harrowing position of a Handmaid. We first encounter her in the household of Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena (Yvonne Strahovski). In the dystopian hierarchy, Handmaids like June are tasked with a monthly ritual: the Ceremony. This ritual involves sexual intercourse between the Handmaid and her assigned Commander, with the ultimate goal of conceiving a child for the Commander and his wife.
How Did The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5 End?
For dedicated fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, the season finales have always been a rollercoaster of shocking cliffhangers and unresolved tensions. Season 5, true to form, leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, eagerly speculating about what comes next. The Season 5 finale opens with June once again facing a brush with death, but this time it’s not at the hands of Gilead. Having sought asylum in Canada, June and her loved ones find themselves increasingly concerned about a violent anti-refugee movement that poses a grave threat. Their fears are tragically validated when June is struck by a car outside her home, leading to her hospitalization.
In a fit of rage, her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) takes justice into his own hands, confronting the assailant, who later succumbs to his injuries. Luke becomes a fugitive, and June, along with her youngest daughter Nichole, embarks on a perilous journey to escape Canada. In a heart-wrenching decision, Luke sacrifices his freedom to ensure June and Nichole can leave without the specter of retribution hanging over them. As June boards a train destined for Hawaii, she is unexpectedly face-to-face with none other than Serena Joy Waterford.
Elsewhere in the episode, Nick’s (Max Minghella) anxiety about June’s safety reaches a boiling point, compelling him to agree to act as a Gilead informant in exchange for her protection. Blaming Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) for the recent attack on June, Nick confronts him and is subsequently arrested. His wife, Rose (Carey Cox), the daughter of an influential Commander, decides she’s had enough of Nick’s behavior and cuts ties with him. Meanwhile, the mentally fragile Handmaid Janine (Madeline Brewer) faces her own arrest during this nail-biting season finale. Her outburst directed at the new Mrs. Lawrence, Naomi (Ever Carradine), who received Janine’s newborn daughter earlier in the series, leads to her detention. Years of pent-up anger finally burst forth, and as she is dragged away from the Red Center, seemingly resigned to her fate, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) watches on, her emotions boiling over as she pleads with the Gilead soldiers to release Janine.
At the end of Season 5, the fate of nearly every character hangs in the balance. With Season 6 confirmed as the final installment, the stakes have never been higher, and the safety of any character is far from guaranteed.
What Do We Know About the Plot of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6?
As of now, the details regarding the plot of the upcoming final season remain shrouded in mystery. However, we can indulge in some speculation based on the way the previous season concluded and how the show might begin to bridge the narrative gap towards Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel, The Testaments (2019). Do note that there will be some spoilers from the book in the following discussion, so tread carefully if you haven’t read it yet.
We left Season 5 with June and Serena aboard a train seemingly bound for Hawaii. Yet, it’s worth considering that Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger) orchestrated June’s “escape” (and possibly Serena’s, though her presence on the train remains unconfirmed). Given that Tuello is well aware of the invaluable insights these women possess about Gilead’s inner workings, one might question whether he’d allow his most prized assets to venture so far out of his grasp. Alternatively, he might opt to keep them closer, perhaps in a place like Commander Lawrence’s recently established enclave, New Bethlehem. While this new community upholds Gilead’s principles, it also promises its inhabitants more freedom. Regardless of their destination, it’ll be fascinating to witness the evolution of the newfound accord between June and Serena.
We can also anticipate the repercussions of Nick’s and Luke’s arrests. Nick has shown considerable loyalty to Gilead thus far, but in the Season 5 finale, we saw him agree to become an undercover agent. It’s plausible that he’ll manage to negotiate his way out of this precarious situation and secure his release. However, his new role as Tuello’s informant could lead to dire consequences. On the other hand, Luke is likely to face a far tougher time in custody. As a refugee confined to a Canadian prison for killing a Canadian citizen, he’s unlikely to be a favorite among his fellow inmates. With the lives of both men hanging in the balance, it’s entirely possible that, by the series’ end, June’s children will be without fathers.
In Atwood’s Testaments, we’re introduced to a new role for Gilead’s women: the Pearl Girls. These individuals are tasked with crossing into Canada to recruit young women and bring them back to Gilead. In light of Janine’s sudden arrest at the end of Season 5, we might anticipate her undergoing some form of “retraining” in Gilead to become the first Pearl Girl. The Testaments portrays Aunt Lydia as a pivotal figure in Gilead’s downfall, and witnessing Janine’s arrest could serve as a turning point for her character. It’s conceivable that she will intercede on Janine’s behalf, persuading the Gilead Commanders to spare her from a death sentence, and thus play a crucial role in establishing the Pearl Girls. While we currently rely on speculation, one thing’s for certain: Handmaid’s Season 6, however it unfolds, promises to deliver an unforgettable conclusion.
Who Is in the Cast of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6?
Elisabeth Moss, our steadfast leading lady, will naturally reprise her role as June Osborne in Season 6. Given the Season 5 finale, we can confidently anticipate the return of several key characters for the upcoming season, including Yvonne Strahovski as Serena, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, and Max Minghella as Nick. Both Madeline Brewer and Bradley Whitford have already confirmed their participation in the final season, adding to the excitement.
However, there’s one notable absence we need to acknowledge – Alexis Bledel, who portrayed the Doctor-turned-Handmaid, Emily Malek. Prior to Season 5, it was announced that Bledel “felt [she] had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale at this time.” In the storyline, it was explained that Emily had chosen to return to Gilead, opting to fight from within after struggling to adapt to a peaceful life in Canada. While we await news of any guest stars for Season 6, it’s advisable to keep an eye on updates in this space for the latest developments.
Who Are the Creators of The Handmaid’s Tale?
Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopian novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale found its inception on television under the guidance of Bruce Miller (known for The 100). Miller, who also served as the showrunner for the first five riveting seasons, has decided to step aside from the showrunner role for Season 6. His reason? A dedicated focus on the sequel series, The Testaments, an endeavor that promises to captivate fans anew.
While Bruce Miller may be relinquishing the showrunner’s reins, he remains an integral part of Season 6, contributing his creative talents as a writer. He joins the esteemed list of executive producers, which includes Warren Littlefield (acclaimed for Fargo), Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Yahlin Chang, Rachel Shukert, Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Steve Stark, Kim Todd, and Eric Tuchman (known for Anastasia).
With Miller’s transition, Season 6 will see Eric Tuchman and Yahlin Chang stepping up as co-showrunners, taking the narrative helm of The Handmaid’s Tale. This gripping series is produced by MGM Television, with Hulu spearheading its distribution in the United States.
When Is The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 Filming?
In a candid February 2023 interview, Bradley Whitford, the master of witty retorts known for his role as Commander Lawrence, shed some light on the production status of the show’s highly-anticipated final season. When asked about the commencement of filming for Season 6, he divulged that he had just received word that it won’t kick off until August. For context, previous seasons of the series typically spent approximately five to six months in production. Hence, it’s reasonable to anticipate a somewhat similar timeline for Season 6.
However, it’s worth highlighting a potential wildcard in the form of the ongoing WGA Writers’ Strike, which could potentially have a cascading effect on production schedules. Additionally, there’s a looming possibility of an actors’ strike, further adding uncertainty to the mix.