Skins: Series 1
January 25, 2007 - March 22, 2007 (UK)
"Tony" (Episode 1.01)
"Series Finale" (Episode 1.09)
It aired in the United States on BBC America from August 17, 2008 to October 12, 2008.
BBC America decided to air Series 1 back to back with Series 2, as the normal episodes per season for a television series in North America contains 13+ episodes.
Series 1 introduced the "first generation" of characters, which are featured in both Series 1 and Series 2. They are replaced in Series 3 by the "second generation".
Series 1 takes place during the character's first year of sixth form (equivalent to junior year of high school in North America).
The initial series introduces nine major characters and two major supporting characters.
Nicholas Hoult, primarily known for his role in the 2003 film About A Boy, was cast as Tony Stonem, whose character was described as being "a born leader, whipping his crew off on a new mission at someone else's expense".
Relative newcomer April Pearson was then cast as Michelle Richardson, someone who is "drop dead gorgeous with a quick wit that keeps everyone on their toes".
Mike Bailey, in his first acting role, was then cast as Tony's best friend Sid Jenkins, whose character is described as someone who "lacks confidence, is socially uneasy and struggles with school work".
Similarly, Hannah Murray was cast in her first acting role as Michelle's friend Cassie Ainsworth, described as"an anorexic, self-harming, drug addict with zero self esteem".
Newcomer Larissa Wilson was also chosen to play Cassie's close friend Jal Fazer, described as "super bright and the most talented young clarinet player in the country".
Joe Dempsie, in his first major acting role, was cast as Jal's close friend Chris Miles, a character who will "smoke/screw/rob/snort anything".
Similarly, Dev Patel scored his first major acting role by being cast as Tony's other friend Anwar Kharral, who character is described as liking "Tequila, dope, pills, Lupe Fiasco, breasts and X Factor".
Mitch Hewer obtained his first acting role by being cast as Anwar's best friend Maxxie Oliver, a character who is "magic on his feet and a whiz with his hands".
Kaya Scodelario, who was the youngest actor cast at the time of auditions (she was 14), successfully landed the role as Tony's younger sister Effy Stonem, who is described as "mysterious and manipulative, but almost mute".
Relative newcomers Georgina Moffat and Daniel Kaluuya were cast as the show's two major supporting characters Abigail Stock and Posh Kenneth, respectively. Abigail is described as "posh, pretty and pumped full of prescription medication" while Posh Kenneth is described as someone who "offers us a rare mix of upper crust elocution and street bangin' slanguage".
Series creators Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain served as show runners for the first series, however only Elsley served as an executive producer, along with Charles Pattinson and George Faber.
The first series was produced by Company Pictures.
The main staff writers for the first series were Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain, Ben Schiffer, Simon Amstell, and Jack Thorne.
Chris Clough, Anne Boyd, and Chloe Moss served as producer for the first series, however only Clough directed a few episodes.
The regular directors (including Clough) for the first series were Paul Gay, Adam Smith, and Minkie Spiro.
The first series' incidental music was composed by Fat Segal, who also composed the show's opening theme.
|Title||Featured Character(s)||UK Viewers||Original airdate||Total|
|1||"Tony"||Tony Stonem||1.54 million||January 25 2007||1|
|Tony is a smart kid. He undermines his dad on a daily basis and effortlessly covers up for his little sister’s covert delinquency. So smart he believes he can even get his best mate Sid laid, and make a profit. And Abigail’s party seems like the perfect place to do both. Inevitably the dope deal goes wrong, and so does Sid’s quest to lose his virginity, no surprise there. But when the stolen car goes into the river and takes the unpaid for drugs with it, Tony and his mates are really in the shit.|
|2||"Cassie"||Cassie Ainsworth||977,000||February 1 2007||2|
|Cassie can trick everyone. In her magical world the skinny bonkers girl still manages to fool everyone that she’s beating her eating disorder. Her parents Marcus and Margeritte are well and truly duped. But Sid isn’t. Good old geeky Sid who inadvertently steps out of Tony’s shadow to win a place in Cassie’s heart by being the only person to possibly notice and care what happens to her. The only person except Allan that is, Allan the taxi driver, who takes her to the clinic and who is the only adult she trusts, and the only person to ever see her actually eat anything.|
|3||"Jal"||Jal Fazer||910,000||February 8 2007||3|
|Jal is not your average ghetto girl, no way near. But what’s the point having the Young Musician of the Year competition within hands reach, if those around you don’t even notice? Jal’s problem is her Dad, he may be Bristol’s answer to P Diddy, but when it comes to his daughter he’s lost the plot. Sid has got a big problem of his own – a problem who goes by the name of Mad Twatter. Mad T won’t rest until he’s got his hands on his drugs, his money or Sid and as usual Tony has left his best mate to take it on the chin – literally.|
|4||"Chris"||Chris Miles||709,000||February 15 2007||4|
|Happy-go-lucky party animal Chris wakes up one morning with a hangover and a hard-on. Nothing unusual there. Until he discovers a grand in cash and a note from his Mum saying she’s gone away. So like any not-so-average pill-popping 17 year old, Chris embarks on a bender to end all benders. But what do you do after you’ve thrown the mother of all parties and blown all the money? Well, you sell everything that isn’t nailed down and go again – and just start hoping everything else will start to make sense. Sometimes though, life can make a little more sense than you want it to and Chris has to face up to the fact his Mum might never be coming home.|
|5||"Sid"||Sid Jenkins||889,000||February 22 2007||5|
|Sid is in trouble. Deep trouble. He’s failing at everything. His history coursework hasn’t made the grade and he’s only got a week to deliver something decent or he’ll fail the year. And o fcourse he’s as sexually frustrated as ever and can’t get his best friend’s girlfriend, Michelle out of his head. Will Sid ever buckle down and focus on his future, will his Dad ever give him a break and will he ever wake up to Tony’s manipulative ways?|
|6||"Maxxie and Anwar"||Maxxie Oliver & Anwar Kharral||808,000||March 1 2007||6|
|What happens when two friends suddenly run up against the limits of their friendship? Maxxie and Anwar are about to find out. And on top of that, one of them is dealing with advances from his straight male friend while the other is trying to fend off the father of the Russian girl he’s fallen for. And it’s all happening on the most disastrous school trip ever (mis)conceived. Surely an entire A level history class can’t get deported from Russia, can they?|
|7||"Michelle"||Michelle Richardson||799,000||March 8 2007||7|
|Time’s up for Tony. His girlfriend Michelle has had enough. She’s also had enough of her mum’s latest husband/toy boy/business failure/serial idiot, Malcolm. Men! But then a shining knight appears on the horizon with the promise of a happy ending. Seventeen, heartbroken and on the rebound, Michelle jumps right in. But Tony is determined to make sure the new prince in Michelle’s life turns into the biggest toad of them all.|
|8||"Effy"||Effy Stonem||756,000||March 15 2007||8|
|Has nobody noticed that Tony’s little sister Effy never utters a word? Has nobody ever noticed that this fourteen year old school girl sneaks out at night? No-one apart from Tony that is. But then Tony doesn't give a damn about anybody or anything. Except his little sister.|
|9||"Series Finale"||Everyone||797,000||March 22 2007||9|
|It’s Anwar’s birthday party, yet no-one is in the mood to celebrate. Sid thinks he’s got his act together, but when he tries to tell Cassie how he feels he ends up in a padded cell. Tony is also in the mood to make up, but seems his luck has run out too. There are scores to be settled. And settled they are, with some unexpected yet dangerously wonderful consequences.|
Unseen Skins are a series of canonical online-exclusive mini-episodes that fills in a narrative gap somewhere in the timeline from the episode it correlates to. During the course of Series 1, nine "mini-sodes" were released on E4.com the day after each new episode aired.
All the mini-sodes were eventually included as a special feature on the DVD release of Skins: Complete First Series.
The first series received generally positive reviews when it first premiered in the UK, although some critics complained that the series depicts teenagers unrealistically and stereotypically. Others criticized the excessive promotion of the show (specifically in the UK) and having relatively mediocre writing in comparison to other similarly themed shows. Actor Nicholas Hoult defended criticism of the extreme storylines, saying they would not reflect "everyone's teenage life", adding "it is maybe heightened for entertainment but all of it is believable."
Stewart Lee gave the series a mixed review, remarking during an interview on the BBC4 programme Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe that he feels lucky for having been a teenager watching TV for teenagers in the 1970s and not the 2000s as "there was something really comforting for nerds and weirdos about programmes like Children of the Stones and The Changes." He said that watching Skins as a teenager today would make him feel lonelier than he already would have been.
In his book Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, Russell T Davies and his co-author, Benjamin Cook, discuss Skins at length. Although Davies praising the show's innovation in a genre that was fast becoming tired and out of date, both Davies and Cook are critical of some elements of the first series, such as the believability of Tony's character, or the episode "Maxxie and Anwar" (episode 1.06) which is described as "Carry On Russia".
Charlie Brooker gave the first series a negative review in his Guardian column "Screen Burn", stating that the series "looked like Hollyoaks getting off with Trainspotting on the set of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" video."
Reception in Australia was mostly positive. Marieke Hardy was extremely admiring of the show, and particularly enjoyed the fact that the show was "beautiful and sad and poignant and perfectly hurtful", while also managing to give impression of being drama that is "edgy, funny and rude". However, she did state that she was unsure whether the show was meant for teenagers or not.
Reception in the North America was extremely positive. Entertainment Weekly gave the first series their highest score of A, calling it “more than mere shock value, sporting a wicked sense of humor as well as a surprising amount of heart.” while also calling it "a randier version of Freaks and Geeks. With accents." They specifically pointed out that "the real shock of Skins comes from its characters, who are allowed to behave like real teenagers in all their confused, irrational, hopeful glory."
At the Royal Television Society Awards 2007, The first series won the award for Best Production Design (Drama) for Amelia Shankland's work on "Cassie" (episode 1.02) while Director of Photography Nick Dance and Tal Rosner were nominated for Best Photography (Drama) and Best Graphic Design - Titles, respectively.
Dance was also nominated for a BAFTA for Photography and Lighting for his work on Series 1.