The Handmaid's Tale season two trailer: hope, pain '“ and the colonies

A trailer for season two of The Handmaid's Tale has just been released. And it reveals some tantalising glimpses of what viewers can expect when we return to the dystopian world of Gilead.

Complete with stunning cinematography, we are finally introduced to the infamous 'colonies' where enemies of the theocratic regime are sent.

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Stark rural wheatfields, where prisoners are forced to work the land while guards ride around them on horseback, evokes imagery akin to chain-gangs and slave plantations.

We also see a haunted-looking Serena Joy, an anguished Aunt Lydia (who was shown to be steadily more and more conflicted last time around), and Commander Waterford apparently preparing to execute a prisoner.

Offred is also shown bearing the same hideous mouth-gag that Emily/Ofglen was forced to wear in one of season one's most horrifying episodes.

Things don't look good for our protagonist. But there are suggestions of hope.

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Nick and Offred share a romantic moment, while Offred is also seen with Luke and their daughter (though this is potentially another flashback).

What's clear is that the regime is clamping down - but that the resistance within Gilead is growing in response.

'Battle lines are being drawn'

This teaser trailer also continues the show's tradition for apt use of pop music.

Soundtracked by a mournful cover of Buffalo's Springfield's 'For What's It's Worth', we hear the lyrics: "There's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware", and "battle lines are being drawn".

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A not-so-subtle reference to Gilead's totalitarian tactics, and the rebellion that is brewing.

The climax of season one left things on something of a cliff-hanger, with a freshly defiant Offred bundled into a van by the Eyes, and facing an uncertain future.

Aunt Lydia is one character who has found her faith in the system shaken (Photo: Channel 4/MGM)

Her journey is unlikely to get less dangerous, or painful, anytime soon.

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The Handmaid's Tale, which recently won Golden Globes for Best TV Drama and Best Actress for star Elisabeth Moss, is clearly not pulling any punches with this second outing. And the stakes only seem to be raised.

Uncharted territory

Season two will go beyond the boundaries of Margaret Atwood's original source novel into "uncharted territory".

But Atwood herself is involved, and this new trailer suggests that the scope and scale of Offred's story is being expanded in new and thought-provoking ways.

In an interview with our sister title i last year, writer Dorothy Fortenberry suggested the show's power lies in its relevance and relatability.

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Offred is a thoroughly relatable protagonist (Photo: Channel 4/MGM)

"Offred's not a superhero and that’s part of what makes us think ‘that could be me, I could be caught up in a system that I never really anticipated while I was busy going to work and looking at my phone’.

"I think as much as possible, we need to be able to look at what’s happening around us. Try to be thoughtful about how quickly change can happen. Because actually, it’s happening all the time."

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 will air on Hulu in the US in April. Channel 4 will once again screen the drama in the UK, with broadcast dates to be confirmed.

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