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TV Tube Talk

2010 TV Preview: 'Skins' series 4

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When the first trailer for controversial teen drama Skins made its way onto television screens back in January '07 - soundtracked by The Gossip's unforgettable 'Standing In The Way Of Control' - it kick-started a new wave of neons, warehouse raves, and teenage debauchery. Three years on and the original cast (much like the neons, thankfully) are out, but the Skins party is still very much on. Here, Tube Talk chats to one of the show's writers, Georgia Lester, about the upcoming fourth series.

How does the new series differ from the last?
"The friendships are more bonded. Series three was about them coming together and being friends, whereas now, the group is formed and they're supporting each other through all the problems that come!"

Do you take your own experiences to help write the stories you tell?
"Yeah, sometimes. I've got a younger brother who is 17, and that's the kind of age group we're writing for, so I'm always eavesdropping on conversations to see what's going on in his life. He doesn't have a diary, but I'm often hacking into his Facebook!"

Will the Freddie/Effy/Cook love triangle finally be resolved?
"Effy does choose someone, but I can't tell you who! Nothing can be happy when it comes to Effy, so there's a lot of heartbreak. They all become mended at points.."

Effy's been around since the start of the series. Do you think it'll be odd without her?
"Yeah, I think she really has grown within Skins and the audience has loved her. But I think it's another challenge for the writers and for the audience to accept - if we do get recommissioned - a completely new cast. I think it will be very sad when she leaves - Kaya's been a massive part of Skins."

When did you decide to let her speak? She was mute for the first series...
"She spoke in series two with Michelle on a bench - she said her brother was a wanker, or something like that! I think that once we'd decided she was going to be a major character, it was probably wise to let her speak! I think she didn't speak for that year because she was just bored of life and then starting college, things were happening around her."

Is there anyone in the current cast who might stick around for a fifth series?
"I can't imagine anyone at the moment. I just love James Fitch - there's more of him in this coming series, but he's not quite the right age to become the main cast! There's a lot of Fitch in the next series."

Are there any plans to bring back the first cast for this series? I heard a rumour that Sid was returning...
"I don't know. I don't think any of the main old cast will be coming back. There might be some special appearances, but I can't say who! I can't ruin in for the fans!"

The end of series two saw Chris killed off. Can we expect a similar tragedy this time around?
"The whole series starts with a bang - it's not even a tragedy at the end. From the way episode one opens, there are going to be a lot of shocking things happening. There's a lot of tears, but hopefully a lot of laughter. There's definitely some upset."

You're introducing a new character called Lara. What can you tell us about her?
"She's cool. JJ will finally, maybe, find love with her. But this is Skins, this is teenage drama, and everyone's gotta get their heart broken before they can fall properly in love! There's a really sweet episode with JJ - it shows him growing up and accepting who he is. He has to trust someone new who isn't in his comfort zone of the three musketeers!"

Will Young has been confirmed as a guest star. What will he be getting up to?
"He is playing the school counsellor. Am I allowed to tell you that?! He's very funny. From what I've heard on set, everyone came away saying how amazing he was. He's got some really funny quirks and he bonds a lot with one of our main characters, and helps that character at a time in need..."

What about Pauline Quirke?
"She plays quite a scary character - someone you wouldn't want to mess with! There's an incident that involves everyone, and that's something she's part of."

Whose episode is your favourite?
"I don't even know if I could pick a favourite! I think the Cook episode is very powerful - it's great. That comes before [the one I wrote], so I hope people aren't gonna be disappointed. Effy's got one of the biggest stories, but everyone's character has an important journey. I wrote for Katie and I'm quietly confident that by the end of her episode, you'll know who she is - properly. The episodes this year are a lot more single - you really spend a lot of time with each character. There are new friendships formed and they have an impact on each story..."

How does the writing work - do you each take a character?
"We each have an episode and then we'll meet weekly to discuss serial elements. So for example, if Katie was in an episode I'd tell them what she would be doing. And then I say what state I see her being in at the end of the series. We have an ownership over our own characters throughout the series, but then we have free reign over the other characters in our episode."

Will we see a softer side to Katie this series?
"I wouldn't say she's a soft person! She's very strong, independent, and I think you'll empathise with her a lot. The fans will love her! There's a bit of romance, but I think it's important that everyone knows she doesn't need a boy in her life to be happy."

Looking back on series three, which stories do you think worked particularly well?
"From the reaction of the fans, we all know that the Emily/Naomi story worked wonders. We were surprised. It wasn't anything to do with them being lesbians - it was just a heartwarming love story about two people who didn't really know how to explore those feelings at that age. That was one of our strongest stories. There's lot of Naomi/Emily drama to come!"

Skins returns to E4 early next year. Check back soon for Tube Talk's exclusive interviews with the cast!

Are you excited about the return of Skins? Do you think it was the right decision to axe the cast again? Add your comments to this entry below!

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