Sunday, April 11, 2010

This is England 86

Filming has started this month on Shane Meadows' first television drama - a four-part sequel to his film This Is England called This is England '86 (formerly known as We Were Faces). Shane has co-written 4 x 60-minute drama serial with Jack Thorne (The Scouting Book for Boys, Skins).

This Is England, which picked up several awards including the 2008 Bafta for Best British Film, centred on young skinheads in the summer of 1983. It followed 12-year-old Shaun, played by Thomas Turgoose, and his acceptance into a group of skinheads, which is eventually split by a growing racist influence.

This Is England '86 revisits the main characters – Shaun, Woody and Lol – in 1986, when the World Cup was taking place in Mexico, Chris de Burgh held the number one slot and 3.4 million were unemployed in Britain.

As Shaun sits his last school exam, the realisation dawns that he will have to find his own way in the world. But friends including Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget and Pukey are around looking for love, laughs and a job.

Thomas Turgoose reprises his role as Shaun and all the main cast are expected to return, or as Meadows describes it on his website "Milky is Alive, Combo Returns and Woody is now Climbing the Management ladder at Quick Save and About to Marry Lol".

Meadows, who has helmed movies such as Twentyfourseven, Dead Man’s Shoes and A Room for Romeo Brass, said: “When I finished This is England, I had a wealth of material and unused ideas that I felt very keen to take further.

“Audiences seemed to really respond to the characters we created and out of my long-standing relationship with Film 4 and Channel 4 the idea for a television serial developed.

“Not only did I want to take the story of the gang broader and deeper, I also saw in the experiences of the young in 1986 many resonances to new – recession, lack of jobs, sense of the world at a turning point.

“Whereas the film told part of the story, the TV serial will tell the rest.”

This Is England ‘86 will shoot for eight weeks. It is scheduled to air on Channel 4 in the autumn.

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