Following the culmination of the hugely successful first series, which has wowed critics and audience alike, Channel 4 is thrilled to announce that it will air the second series of The Handmaid’s Tale.

What makes this even better news, is that yet another British Black actor has landed a secure role, in a critically acclaimed series. British Nigerian actor O-T Fagbenle has had roles in all the usual UK TV rites of passages –  EastEnders (2002), Casualty (2004), Doctor Who (2008), Death in Paradise (2011). He’s stomped the boards of the West End in productions notably in Porgy & Bess (2006) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the National Theatre. A few more critically acclaimed series’ roles and now we get to see Fagbenle’s talent as Luke, husband of lead character Offred (Elizabeth Moss –West Wing, Mad Men).

Based on an adaption of Canadian writer Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a dystopian near-future, where the U.S. is at civil unrest and ruled by a Totalitarian / Christian fundamentalist government Gilead. This is a time where women are not allowed to work, read or control money.

The main character Offred, is the Handmaid assigned to the home of Gileadean commander Fred Waterford (Ralph Fiennes). We see Offred’s flashbacks to the “time before” when she was married and had a daughter, but to survive she must abide by the strict rules and constant scrutiny to avoid execution in order to once again live free.

Where we used at first only saw Fagbenle’s Luke in flashback, as the series drew to a close he started to have more ‘in the now’ scenes and how the series ended, he’s set to have a lot more important scenes.

The series has performed as Channel 4’s biggest acquisition since Homeland and attracted a current series average consolidated audience of 2.3 million viewers per episode.

The first season of the incredibly timely series The Handmaid’s Tale has garnered an impressive 13 Emmy Award nominations in the drama series, writing, and directing categories, as well as a lead actress nomination for Elisabeth Moss, and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nominations for Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley, and a guest actress nomination for Alexis Bledel, among others.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief Creative Officer said: “The Handmaid’s Tale has been a stand out success for Channel 4. I’m delighted that audiences are also going to be able to enjoy its dark and thought provoking second season.”

Starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Yvonne Strahovski, O-T Fagbenle, Alexis Bledel and Ann Dowd, the series was created for television by Bruce Miller (THE 100), who serves as the series’ showrunner.

The Handmaid’s Tale is executive produced by Miller, Warren Littlefield (Fargo), Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears and Ilene Chaiken. Margaret Atwood is a consulting producer for the series. The Handmaid’s Tale is produced by MGM Television and internationally distributed by MGM.


Read TBB’s #OutOf100 (early review) of The Handmaid’s Tale here.