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How The Handmaid's Tale season 2 will advance beyond the book

 'The anti-Gilead organization is not necessarily a friend to June or a friend to handmaids," the showrunner has teased. "If I was going to try to hurt Gilead, the first thing I might do is kill all the handmaids"

Offred being loaded into a van was an abrupt but powerful ending to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, but as an ending to a TV show it felt more like a cliffhanger.

Fortunately, showrunner Bruce Miller has no intention of leaving things there, and, with Atwood's blessing, will continue the story in a second season, which arrives on Hulu on 25 April.

This doesn't, however, mean the narrative will be a complete departure from the novel.

"Everybody says, 'You got to the end of the book!' And I’m like, 'No, there’s still a whole bunch of stuff we didn’t even touch,'" Miller told The New York Times shortly after season 1.

"I read the book a lot. I pick out clues here and there, not so much to alter it, but to say, “O.K., let’s logically extrapolate it.” And that’s where Margaret Atwood has come in so essentially to our conversation.

"It’s like when you meet the other lunatics who are inpatients at the same asylum you are — the only other people who care about it as much as you do and have gone so deep into thinking about one sentence of the book!"

Miller initially tried to conceive of the show as ten seasons in case it "hit a home run" with season 1 (which it ultimately did, scooping a ton of awards), these presumably leading up to the book's epilogue.

As for what the writers' room focused on for season 2, Miller added to the NYT: "Aunt Lydia is one of my most fascinating characters. We would like to explore her backstory, and what the lives of the aunts are like. The networks between the Marthas. What is the commander doing all day long, and what is his life like? What are his responsibilities?

"The Mayday resistance is going to be a big part of Season 2," he continued, adding ominously: "The part that I’ve been thinking about is that Mayday is not the handmaid rescue organization — it’s the anti-Gilead organization. And the anti-Gilead organization is not necessarily a friend to June or a friend to handmaids. If I was going to try to hurt Gilead, the first thing I might do is kill all the handmaids."

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 arrives on Hulu 25 April in the US, with a Channel 4 broadcast expected to follow fairly soon after in the UK.

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