'The Handmaid's Tale' Will End After Season Six — But 'The Testaments' Is Coming to Streaming, Too

Blessed be the end of this hit dystopian drama, which'll wrap up after a six-season run — and score a sequel.
Sarah Ward
Published on September 09, 2022

Since 2017, watching The Handmaid's Tale has meant wishing for one thing: the end of Gilead, the totalitarian, male-dominated society that rules the show's dystopian version of the United States. (No, not the masterplanned Sydney community of the same name.) In the award-winning series adapted from Margaret Atwood's book, that outcome is finally coming in a way — with American streaming platform Hulu announcing that the hit show will finish up when its sixth season airs.

That said, it's highly likely that The Handmaid's Tale won't truly wrap up with the destruction of Gilead, because Hulu also has revealed that The Testaments in the works. It too is based on an Atwood novel — on her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, which hit shelves in 2019 — which means that her fictional nightmarish realm isn't going far.

The news that The Handmaid's Tale will end after season six comes ahead of the show's fifth season, which starts airing from Thursday, September 15 — so fans still have two more batches of episodes to soak up, sweat and stress through, and enjoy.

"It has been a true honour to tell the story of Margaret Atwood's groundbreaking novel and chillingly relevant world, and we are thrilled to bring viewers a sixth and final season of The Handmaid's Tale," said creator, showrunner and executive producer Bruce Miller in a statement announcing the news.

"We are grateful to Hulu and MGM for allowing us to tell this story, which unfortunately has remained as relevant as ever throughout its run, and are in awe of our incredible fans for their unwavering support, and without whom we never would have gotten to this point," Miller continued.

If this all sounds a bit familiar, that's because The Handmaid's Tale isn't new to plotting out its future a couple of seasons in advance. Back in 2020, it was renewed for this fifth season before the fourth even dropped, too.

Miller will also work on The Testaments, which doesn't yet have a release date — and neither does The Handmaid's Tale season six. If you haven't read the book, The Testaments is set 15 years after the events of its predecessor, and also includes familiar characters. How that'll play into the end of The Handmaid's Tale on-screen obviously hasn't been revealed.

For now, blessed be your streaming queue with The Handmaid's Tale season five, which promises one helluva reckoning. Of course, things are never well here — but now June (Elisabeth Moss, Shining Girls) faces the fallout from her actions in the show's last go-around, and Serena's (Yvonne Strahovski, Stateless) in-mourning getup speaks volumes. In the show's recent trailers, June doesn't just navigate more than a few consequences. Still fighting Gilead from afar, with Luke (O-T Fagbenle, Black Widow) and Moira (Samira Wiley, Breaking News in Yuba County), she admits how much she enjoyed her most recent choices.

As for Serena, she's in profile-raising mode in Toronto, as Gilead's influence creeps into Canada — and Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford, Tick, Tick... Boom!) and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd, Rebecca) are endeavouring to reform Gilead.

Also returning among the cast in season five: Max Minghella (Spiral: From the Book of Saw), Madeline Brewer (Hustlers), Amanda Brugel (Snowpiercer) and Sam Jaeger (The Eyes of Tammy Faye).

Check out the trailer for The Handmaid's Tale season five below:

The fifth season of The Handmaid's Tale will hit start airing in Australia and New Zealand from Thursday, September 15 — on SBS TV, and to stream via SBS On Demand and Neon, with new episodes arriving weekly.  Season six doesn't yet have a release date and neither does The Testaments, but we'll update you when they do.

Images: Sophie Giraud/Hulu.

Published on September 09, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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