'The Handmaid's Tale' gets season 5 release date and first-look images

Elisabeth Moss stars in The Handmaid's Tale. (Hulu)
Elisabeth Moss stars in The Handmaid's Tale. (Hulu)

The Handmaid's Tale has released its season five air date as well as some first-look images appearing to show Serena Waterford in funeral clothes.

Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel starring Elisabeth Moss as Gilead rebel June is set to debut its fifth season in the US on 14 September.

Read more: Liam Gallagher shares Idris Elba bobble hat feud story

While UK viewers will have to wait for Channel 4 to begin airing the new episodes, they are expected to make their way to our screens shortly after the Hulu debut.

In a tweet announcing the return date, the show also offered fans a glimpse of season five with two first-look images - one close-up of Moss as June with a steely look in her eye, and another of Yvonne Strahovski as her nemesis Serena Waterford, dressed in a black veil that appears to be a funeral outfit and smiling.

Few details of the season five plot have been released so far as the TV series extended beyond the novel some time ago.

But as last series finished with Serena's husband Fred (Joseph Fiennes) being extradited back to Gilead from prison in Canada and killed by June and her fellow handmaids, it seems likely that Serena could be at his funeral.

The first-look image only shows Serena from the shoulders up, so it is unclear whether she is still pregnant in the new episodes.

Read more: Amber Heard will stand by trial testimony until 'dying day'

June's former abusive masters the Waterfords had forged a deal with Canada to swap information on Gilead while in prison in order to avid tougher punishments. But June, who has escaped to Canada, managed to push through a deal of her own to have Fred deported back into the lawless border area of Gilead where she and her friends tore him to pieces for his crimes against women and posted his severed finger to Serena in jail.

Elisabeth Moss stars opposite Ann Dowd.(Channel 4, Hulu)
Elisabeth Moss stars opposite Ann Dowd. (Channel 4, Hulu)

Meanwhile, June's home life has been difficult as she struggles to adjust to being back with her husband and younger daughter, while her eldest is still stuck in Gilead.

Her return to Canada saw her spend time with other former handmaids who she had first met in Gilead, but university professor Emily will not return for series five.

Alexis Bledel who played Emily said: "After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time.

"I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support."

Watch: Elisabeth Moss talks embarrassing fangirl moments with Sandra Bullock and Bill Murray