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Alias Grace

Watch the trailer for Margaret Atwood’s next TV adaptation

Alias Grace is the historical tale of a young ‘murderess’, tackling themes of gender, social constraints and political order that run through the Handmaid’s Tale

Following the wildly successful, masterful, and particularly timely adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s tale of dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale, another of her bestselling novels is set to hit our screens.

Alias Grace, heading to Netflix, is a six-hour miniseries orbiting the historical crime story of convicted murderer Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon) in 19th century Canada. Marks, an Irish immigrant, was sentenced to life in prison for the double murder of her employer, Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper-slash-lover Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin). Her partner in crime, stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan), was hanged for the brutal murders. Marks was exonerated after 30 years in jail. 

“I think of all the things that have been written about me,” Marks asks in the teaser. “That I am an inhuman female demon. That I am an innocent victim of a blaggard, forced against my will and in danger of my own life. That I am cunning and devious. How can I be all of these different things at once?”

The true story became a major part of contemporary gossip: was she forced to commit the double murder as an accessory, or a willing, callous killer? The miniseries will trace the tale set out in Atwood’s book, with the addition of a fictional doctor, Simon Jordan, who researches, experiments and falls in love with Marks. 

While a totally different era, tone and direction, it looks like Alias Grace will explore similar themes of social constraints, gender and the contemporary political order that were present in Handmaid’s Tale, all with biting commentary from a captivating protagonist. 

Watch the fascinating teaser below.

Alias Grace will be released in November first on Canada’s CBC