Elisabeth Moss in a scene from The Handmaid's Tale. Supplied by SBS-TV.
Elisabeth Moss in a scene from The Handmaid's Tale. Supplied by SBS-TV. George Kraychyk

Tension builds in new season of The Handmaid's Tale

Praise be!

Fans of The Handmaid's Tale have only a couple of days to wait until the third instalment of this award-winning and gripping dystopian drama kicks off.

Golden Globe-winner Elisabeth Moss is back as Offred (June Osbourne), the handmaid who refuses to go quietly despite ongoing threats of beatings, rape and general torment.

The end of season two saw Offred given a chance to escape Gilead and take her baby Nicole (also known as Holly) away from a life of oppression and drudgery.

But in true Offred style she handed her baby to her friend Emily in the dying moments of the season two finale and stayed on in Gilead to try to liberate her other daughter Hannah.

Where the first season adapted most of Margaret Atwood's original novel, the second season departed from it drastically, and it looks as though this new season will continue to expand from that original story.

There are no spoilers here.

But spanning 13 episodes, season three threatens to build on the turning tide evident towards the end of the last season - where Commander Waterford's wife Serena Joy (played by Aussie Yvonne Strahovski) corralled other wives into asking to change the law to let females read the Bible and lost a finger as punishment.

As season three opens Gilead is burning, the tide is turning, and an uprising seems inevitable.

And with Offred back in Gilead and with nothing but her life left to lose, season three will see her hard at work formulating a revolution against her oppressors and hunting for allies to help her.

Startling reunions, betrayals and a journey to the terrifying heart of Gilead force all characters to take a stand, guided by one defiant prayer: "Blessed be the fight.”

It promises to be an explosive season.

New cast members include Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) and Elizabeth Reaser (The Haunting of Hill House).

The Handmaid's Tale season three arrives with a double episode on SBS and SBS On Demand on Thursday.