E4 and Company Pictures yesterday confirmed Cassie (Hannah Murray), Cook (Jack O’Connell), Effy (Kaya Scodelario) and Naomi (Lily Loveless) will all be returning to Skins in Spring 2013 for the last series which will see a break away from their traditional format with three two-hour movies broken into two halves. Each movie will focus Cassie, Cook and Effy and follows them into adulthood, the titles of each will respectively called ‘Skins Pure’, ‘Skins Rise’ and ‘Skins Fire’.
Every year that past I would catch the trailers on Channel 4 and E4 but I didn’t take the time to sit down and invest any of my time in Skins however when I saw the trailer for series 3 it peaked my interest and I asked around as to why all of the cast was different and then I saw it happen again in series 5 another brand new cast. Every two series of Skins the cast was overhauled but was still based Roundview College in Bristol with some of the teachers making appearances across all 6 series’ shown so far. Last year I broke away from my traditional sci-fi, fantasy and crime television. Although I watch 90210 and I was a massive fan of the O.C. I decided to go on what was a bit of a teen drama marathon going through Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Games, Gossip Girl, Slide and Skins.
Generally the first and last episode of each series focuses on the whole cast while the episodes in between focused on individuals, while the main cast changed every two series and have been known as Generation 1,2 and 3. I managed to watch the first five series back to back and then like everyone else I had to watch series 6 on a weekly basis as it came out on E4.
I found the that the first two generations were nicely knitted together and allowed the viewer to move at ease from one cast to another thanks to Generation 1’s main character Tony Stonem’s younger sister becoming the main character of Generation 2. Generation 3’s first series suffered due to the writers concentrating on a US Skins on MTV and what I felt was a complete lack of handover from Generation 2.
Generation 1 was full of innocence and combined a good balance of drama, teenage angst with comedy. With some heartbreaking episodes along the way which I won’t ruin if you’ve yet to watch any Skins. The Generation 2 stepped up the bar immensely, if this bunch of characters didn’t have you caring about them by the end of their last episode then well you may need to check your emotions at the door. During Generation 1 the main character of Tony is hit by a bus although he survives it changes him and his younger sister Effy is witness to the whole event. It’s only during series 4 you see this event finally catch up with Effy emotionally which leads to some rather emotionally charged episodes and the loss of one of the main cast which in turn ends the second generation of teens on one the best and worst cliffhangers I’ve ever watched on television. It reminded me in part with end of Angel, when Angel and Co were in alleyway facing a dragon and it just ended and although there was no dragon in Skins there was a great confrontation which as of series 7 we will only find out what happened. Generation 2 also featured one of the best love stories I’ve ever seen on television between Emily Fitch (Kathryn Prescott) and Naomi Campbell (Lily Loveless). It could possibly make me less manly to say that I enjoyed every moment of their romance and supported them through their ups and downs.
Generation 3 unfortunately took to the stage following two previously fantastic generations with none of the cast of the previously coming along to help with the handover. I had already heard that Dakota Blue Richards (Golden Compass) would be playing the main character; Franky Fitzgerald which had sold this generation to me before it started but after watching the whole disappointing series 5 I felt gutted that they had a formula and would have been happy with more of Generation 2. But then series 6 hit E4 earlier this year and the whole series blew me away, the writers were back on form and delivered another emotionally turbulent series from the first episode, which was set in Morocco, grabbed me and said pay attention. Generation 3 pretty much wrapped up their stories and the final word “Bye”, said it all. I would also like to mention that throughout Generation 3 actress; Freya Mavor who played Mini McGuinness along with Dakota Blue Richards were the two standouts of this generation.
All three Generations also have of the programme have also been notable for their use of celebrity guest stars, including; Harry Enfield, David Baddiel, Morwenna Banks, Peter Capaldi, John Bishop, Alistair McGowan and Josie Lawrence and also helped to launch the careers of Joe Dempsie, Dev Patel, Nicholas Hoult, Kaya Scodelario and Daniel Kaluuya.
I have to admit I’m slightly disappointed by the cast return, although I am more than grateful that the teen drama is back especially Effy, Cook and Naomi I would have liked to have seen more form Generation 1 including the Tony played by Nicholas Hoult and from the sounds of the synopsis that has been released it seems our characters have grown apart, I hope that the last episode maybe ties them all together and gives them the ending they deserve. News broke a few weeks ago that Generation 3 wouldn’t be returning at all and although they had everything pretty much sewn up I would like to have seen Dakota Blue Richards character; Franky Fitzgerald return as in her final moments she found her mother.
Regardless of my disappointments on what is not happening I’m more than happy about those that are returning. Here is the synopsis of what’s to come:
‘Skins Pure’ by Bryan Elsley
Cassie (Hannah Murray) is adrift, alone and invisible in London, trying to make sense of her life. Slowly she realises that someone is following her. Cassie turns towards the unknown. A strange and poignant friendship is carved out of mutual loneliness, but can it survive exposure to the real world?
‘Skins Rise’ by Jamie Brittain
Cook (Jack O’Connell) has a job delivering drugs to Manchester Revellers. When he is asked to help his employer’s girlfriend find a house and finds that he is irresistibly attracted to her, he sets off a train of events which will lead him into a world of savage revenge and a confrontation with his own violent past.
‘Skins Fire’ by Jess Brittain
Effy (Kaya Scodelario) has a dead end job as a receptionist for a leading London Hedge Fund. But as she stumbles across crucial financial information relating to a troubled deal and embarks on an affair with her wealthy boss, she finds out that she has bitten off more than she can chew. Her flatmate Naomi (Lily Loveless) tries to stop Effy from ruining her life, but Effy cannot be reached; until tragedy strikes.
Now watch this fantastic video I found on YouTube, which combines all three generations with some of their greatest and most emotional moments of their journey: