47: The Handmaid’s Tale – Show Notes


First Segment

  • Atwood in West Berlin and the Soviet Union
  • WWII and Countries Vanishing Overnight
  • The Origin of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  • Totalitarianism vs Old Tyrannies
  • Government Expansion
    • Control of the Press
  • The appeal of Totalitarianism
    • Devastation of stable societies
    • Escape from reality
    • Ideologies are the key to history

Second Segment

  • Margaret Atwood
    • Born in Canada in 1939
    • Lived in isolation until 8 or 9 years old
    • First published work book of poetry “The Circle Game” 1966
    • First novel “The Edible Woman” published in 1969
      • Hailed as a voice of the new feminist movement
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale”
    • Started writing in 1984 in West Germany
    • Inspired by current and historical events
    • Travel in eastern block countries greatly influenced writing
    • Everything in book must have Historical precedents
    • Published in 1985
    • Won the Arthur C Clarke award in 1987
  • Bruce Miller
    • Previous work on “Eureka”
      • Writer/producer
    • “E.R.”
      • Producer
    • “The 100”
      • Writer/producer
    • Worked closely with Atwood on adapting the show
    • Chose to shoot in Toronto partially because it is where Atwood lives
    • 4/5  out of the five directors for the show are women

Third Segment

  • Offred Being Lost to History
  • Should Have Been a Movie
  • How the TV Show Deals with Race
  • Best and Worst Dystopias to Live In