Friday, 28 January 2011


Skins, as some of you will know, is one of my favourite tv drama series. It completely changes its cast every two years so effectively there have two overall storylines with the third starting last night with a new crop of arrivals at Roundview tertiary college.

Unusually, rather than presenting the various characters in strands in this first episode, it focuses on one -Franky- played by Dakota Blue Richards who four years ago starred in a major film adaptation of Philip Pullman's cult teenage novel. And here she is.
Franky has just moved from Oxford where she suffered horrendous bullying due to her transgender mode of dress and probably having two gay dads didn't help. Here she incurs the enmity of it-girl and full time bitch Mini who pretends friendship in order to humiliate her, though Mini's two friends aren't happy about what she does. Two amiable if gormless boys, also outsiders, try to befriend her and the episode ends on a hopeful note.

I'm not going to go into any detail as, if this series continues at the same standard as this highly promising start, I'll save it up so I can do a proper assessment/overview when it's all over, though I may well do brief pieces like this one to keep the pot warm, so to speak.

All I will say is that Franky is a terrific character who combines vulnerability and uncertainty with a strong will and Richards plays her superbly. It's going to be fascinating to see how she develops.

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