is a British teen drama that follows a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England, through the two years of sixth form. The controversial plot line explores issues such as dysfunctional families, personality disorders, eating disorders, mental illness, homosexuality, and death. The show was created by father and son television writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain for Company Pictures, and premiered on E4 on 25 January 2007.
The show is notable for its casting of amateur actors and young writers. The cast are entirely replaced every two series, when the characters leave sixth form. E4 commissioned a fifth and sixth series of Skins
to air during 2011 and 2012. As in previous series, an entirely new cast will be introduced. Bryan Elsley had previously revealed that the new series would feature an entirely new cast, dubbed the "third generation". Asked if any characters might remain in the next generation, writer Georgia Lester replied: "I can't imagine anyone at the moment. I just love James Fitch, but he is not at the right age to join the main cast!" Open auditions were held in April 2010 for the new cast. So far, Joann Condon has been confirmed as a guest in Series 5, playing a character called Ginny.
Bryan Elsley also revealed through his E4 blog that Series 4 would be the last series he would write for, stating that "the time has come to hand over to the fantastically talented group of young writers" who co-wrote series 1-4.
Although the show airs in the United States on BBC America, MTV announced that they will be adapting the British teen drama into an American version set in Baltimore, Maryland. Executive Produced by Brian Elsley, the series began filming in February 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A movie was confirmed on the E4 website for summer 2011 release, filming will begin in Bristol and the Isle of Man in late 2010. Scripted by Jack Thorne and directed by Charles Martin, the film will be based around the Second Generation but will have appearances from the First Generation and also the Third. It has been confirmed that Dev Patel and Nicholas Hoult will be part of the cast.
The First Generation (Series 1 and 2)Series 1 Episodes: 1.
Tony / 2.
Cassie / 3.
Jal / 4.
Chris / 5.
Sid / 6.
Maxxie & Anwar / 7.
Michelle / 8.
Effy / 9.
Episode one, "Tony", is an ensemble piece, which introduces the characters and the format. The gang are all friends to begin with, and Tony is seen to be effortlessly attractive, popular and intelligent; he tries to arrange for all his friends to crash a party by posh girl Abigail Stock (Georgina Moffat). The second episode, "Cassie", focuses on Cassie's time in an eating disorder hospital under the supervision of Dr Stock. Throughout her day-to-day life, she experiences hallucinations of messages instructing her to eat, and her burgeoning feelings for Sid. Jal's episode showcases on her ambitions to win BBC Young Musician of the Year, and her strained relationship with her famous musician father. Jal's father is instrumental in getting Madison Twatter to leave the gang alone. In "Chris", Chris left alone with £1,000 left to him by his mother, and his eventual move into temporary student accommodation. He develops a sexual relationship with his psychology teacher, Angie (Siwan Morris). Episode five, "Sid", shows Sid's struggle with his dysfunctional family and his victimisation at the hands of Tony's manipulations; Tony organises a scheme to set Sid up with Michelle so that he can demonstrate his superiority and effortlessly win Michelle back, despite Tony's affair with posh girl being in the open. A consequence of Sid's attempts at earning Michelle's affections come when Cassie, heartbroken, attempts suicide by drug overdose.
"Maxxie and Anwar" focuses on the two named characters and the conflict between Maxxie's homosexuality and Anwar's Muslim faith. In the episode, Tony tries to solicit Maxxie's affection and passionately kisses him semi-naked , and Michelle oversees the act. In her episode, Michelle reaches an understanding of Tony's manipulative and cheating ways, and gradually accepts that a relationship with him is not good for her. Michelle begins to date Josh Stock (Ben Lloyd-Hughes), who is as mentally unstable as his sister. Tony breaks them up by engineering four naked photos of Abigail to be sent to Michelle from Josh's phone. In "Effy", Tony's younger sister Effy is lured into a trap by Josh, who drugs her and insists Tony has sex with her as a revenge ploy. After stripping Tony down to his boxers, Josh tells Tony to beg. After Tony does so, he allows them to leave. Between his breakup with Michelle and the incident with Effy, he concludes he does not want to be the superficial guy with no friends anymore. In the finale episode, it is Anwar's birthday. Several storylines are resolved: the dispute between Anwar and Maxxie is abated when Anwar's father has no personal qualms with Maxxie's sexuality; Chris's relationship with Angie is ended following interruptions from her fiancé. As Tony is confessing to Michelle that he loves her and wants to change his manipulative ways, he is struck down by a passing bus, to Effy's horror. The episode then turns musical for the closing scene; Sid sings "Wild World" by Cat Stevens, occasionally backed by other characters, such as Tony's unconscious body, until he is able to find Cassie, who is shortly due to move to Scotland.
Series 2 Episodes: 1. Tony & Maxxie / 2. Sketch / 3. Sid / 4. Michelle / 5. Chris / 6. Tony / 7. Effy / 8. Jal / 9. Cassie / 10. Everyone
The second series premièred on E4 on 11 February 2008, however the first episode was available in four parts to MySpace users prior to airing. "Maxxie and Tony" starts the series, showcasing Tony's impairments following his accident. The episode also reveals more about Maxxie's life; we learn of his ambitions to be a dancer, his surname, his difficulties with homophobic bullies, and encounter his parents (played by Bill Bailey and Fiona Allen). The second episode introduces a new character in Maxxie's stalker, young carer Lucy, also known as "Sketch". Sketch disrupts the school play organized by drama lecturer Bruce (Shane Richie) in order to steal a kiss from Maxxie. To spite Maxxie, Sketch begins a sexual relationship with Anwar. Episode three focuses on Sid's life, coping with Cassie's departure to Scotland, and he suspects her of cheating. When his Scottish relatives visit, his father is driven to despair, drinking and smoking himself to death unintentionally. Sid reconnects with brain-damaged Tony when he is able to open up to him about the incident. For "Michelle", the group go on a camping trip to Michelle's father's home in Wales. Maxxie discovers Sketch having sex with Anwar, and Sid sleeps with Michelle, starting a relationship; he comes home to find Cassie waiting for him, who is horrified. In "Chris", Chris agrees to start a job and Jal learns to start being more open to new things, and the two end up in a relationship. Although Chris cheats on her with Angie, they move back in together, and Jal discovers she is pregnant.
"Tony", directed by recurring actor Harry Enfield, sees Tony Stonem attend a university open day not long after taking an ecstasy tablet that awakens elements of his old personality. In a visual metaphor for Jungian psychology, a mysterious girl who is a projection of Tony's subconscious helps him conquer his mental impairments. His old self again, he confronts Michelle and Sid and tells them their relationship is "wrong". With the Stonem parents unable to run the house, Effy takes over in episode seven. She starts a new private school and befriends weird girl Pandora Moon (Lisa Backwell), and resolves to solve her brother's and his friends' relationship problems. Cassie is hurting and turning to promiscuity, but through Effy's machinations, she and Sid get back together, as do Tony and Michelle. Actor Daniel Kaluuya wrote "Jal", which sees her struggle with her pregnancy, while Chris is rushed to hospital with a blood clot in his brain. Meanwhile, Maxxie introduces his new boyfriend, James (Sean Verey). In "Cassie", Jal tells Chris she is having an abortion. Cassie feels without her eating disorder and other problems, she is disempowered; she is traumatised when Chris dies of two subarachnoid haemorrhages in her arms and flees to New York City. In the series finale, the gang get their A Level results, attend Chris's funeral and part ways, with Sid following Cassie to New York, Anwar moving with Maxxie and James to London, and Sketch left behind. The series ends with Effy in Tony's bed, reveling in the art work of emotions she has created as she claims her top place in their social world, and also as series' lead in the upcoming series.
The Second Generation (Series 3 and 4)Series 3 Episodes: 1.
Everyone / 2.
Cook / 3.
Thomas / 4.
Pandora / 5.
Freddie / 6.
Naomi / 7.
J.J. / 8.
Effy / 9.
Katie & Emily / 10.
We are introduced to the new cast on their first day at Roundview College in the series premiere, "Everyone". JJ Jones, James Cook and Freddie McClair are best friends to begin with; twins Katie and Emily Fitch know Naomi Campbell from school but are distant with her because Katie is homophobic and suspects her of being a lesbian. The gang meet Effy, and sidekick Pandora; Katie wants to become Effy's best friend, and both Cook and Freddie are instantly smitten. Cook passes the test set by Effy and begins a casual sex relationship with her. Episode two focuses on Cook who invites the whole group over, but their friendships are not very strong yet; chaos ensues, and Cook angers local gangster Johnny White (Mackenzie Crook). Thomas Tomone is only introduced in the third episode. He is a immigrant from the Congo, and develops a crush on Pandora. He engenders himself to the group when he is able to get Johnny White off their backs by besting him in a pepper-eating competition. However, despairing at his decadent life in Bristol, Mrs Tomone brings Thomas back to the Congo. In "Pandora", Pandora's innocent slumber party becomes an MDMA-fuelled rave after Katie spikes the brownies. Emily and Naomi kiss; Naomi denies being gay, but urges Emily to admit that she is, who also denies it. Pandora allows Cook to take her virginity, but regrets it when later Thomas returns from Congo.
Freddie's episode shows his difficult relationship with his widower father (Simon Day) and his sister Karen (Klariza Clayton), who has ambitions to be a celebrity. His father converts Freddie's shed - his personal sanctuary - into a dance studio for Karen. He witnesses Effy's parents' breakup, discovers that Cook slept with his sister, gets punched in the face by his father, and when he goes to tell Effy how he feels about her discovers she is with Cook. In "Naomi", Naomi runs against Cook for student president on the basis that if he wins she will have to sleep with him; when he wins however, he doesn't force her to take it further than kissing. She and Emily begin a sexual relationship, but Naomi is unwilling to accept the reality of its romantic nature. In "JJ", JJ loses his virginity when lesbian friend Emily decides to have pity sex with him. Thomas discovers that Pandora has been cheating on him, and while high on JJ's medication, Cook reveals to Freddie that Effy loves Freddie and not him. In Effy's episode, she has nothing: her Queen Bee status has been usurped by Katie, sex with Cook means nothing, and her home life is a wreck. She finally feels something when she has sex with Freddie, but after being tormented by Katie, an intoxicated Effy hits her with a rock. Katie is recovering in "Katie and Emily" but her relationship with her sister is falling apart. However, at the college ball, Emily is able to assert herself and Naomi confesses she loves Emily back. Thomas and Pandora also reunite. The finale, also an "Everyone" episode, sees Cook and Effy hiding out with Cook's father (Matt King). JJ tracks them down however, and forces Effy to confess it is Freddie that she loves, but Cook is adamant he loves her too. Freddie closes the series, asking "What do we do now?".
Series 4 Episodes: 1. Thomas / 2. Emily / 3. Cook / 4. Katie / 5. Freddie / 6. J.J. / 7. Effy / 8. Everyone
Series four begins with the suicide of a girl named Sophia (Amberley Gridley) while she is high on MDMA at Thomas' club night. A police inspector (Pauline Quirke) questions the entire gang, and Thomas is expelled by the new headmaster (Chris Addison) for his unseemly connection to the incident. Thomas gives into temptation and sleeps with another girl, causing him and Pandora to break up. In "Emily", Emily's mother (Ronni Ancona) warns her to take her relationship more slowly and cautiously. She discovers Naomi had slept with Sophia and is the one who sold her the MDMA that killed her, leaving their relationship fraught. In "Cook", Cook is in trouble for an assault and to be a better influence on his younger brother, accepts a prison sentence for dealing the drugs that led to Sophia's death, covering for Naomi. When Katie loses her job and discovers she has premature menopause, she cannot confide in her mother at first because of the stress of their bankruptcy and homelessness; the Fitches are forced to move into Naomi Campbell's house.
Freddie worries over Effy's psychological state in his episode: she is developing a psychotic depression that resembles what his mother had before she committed suicide. He is able to save Effy after an attempt on her life; she is hospitalised and he is left desolate. JJ's episode sees him fall in love with a single mother called Lara (Georgia Henshaw), through whom he finds a newfound confidence and begins to doubt whether he really needed to be so highly medicated his whole life. In the penultimate episode, Effy's psychiatric counsellor Dr. John Foster (Hugo Speer) is using unorthodox hypnotic methods to cure Effy's depression, making her forget and want to abandon her old friends. After an incident at the spot of Tony's accident where she nearly commits suicide again, her psychosis comes back and Freddie insists Dr Foster cease treating Effy. Later, Foster lures Freddie to discuss Effy and murders him so he can have her to himself. The finale episode "Everyone" deals with Freddie's absence. Naomi and Emily finally repair their damaged relationship, scorched by cheating on both sides, and Naomi confesses she loved Emily since they first met; Thomas and Pandora are thrown back together by chance when they both get into Harvard University; a mostly-recovered Effy holds Freddie's birthday party in his shed, knowing that he loved her and pining for his return. Cook, who is on the run from the police after breaking out of prison, uncovers Dr Foster's killing and furiously lunges at him; the series ends here, in freeze-frame.