A long long time ago in a TV land far away, there was this amazing show called Skins, and it was queer and edgy and raw and dirty and sexy and everything you could ever want from a television program but never imagined you’d ever actually get. Then tragedy struck: first, Skins US happened. Then, Skins Season Six. Both of those televised situations sucked so bad that we wondered if we’d ever see the Skins we knew and loved again.
Then last fall, it was announced that there would be a final Skins Series 7, entitled Skins Redux, and that this series would bring back some of our most favorite Skins characters: Hannah Murray as Cassie, Jack O’Connell as Cook and Kaya Scodelario as Effy. (This idea replaced the original idea to have a Skins movie.) Most importantly for the homos, Skins Redux promised the return of Lily Loveless as Naomi and Kat Prescott as Emily. We were promised that Redux “will go into new territory; more adult, more uncompromising” and informed that “each story centres on the characters now in their early twenties, the party’s over and they’re starting out as young adults, struggling to find a direction and a focus in unforgiving times.”
Now it’s all really finally happening — Skins Redux premieres July 1st — and we’ve got the pictures and videos to prove it.
First, the teaser for the series:
Skins Redux will tell three stories in two episodes per story, each focusing on one character: Pure (Cassie), Rise (Cook) and Fire (Effy). It’ll kick off with Fire, which just-so-happens to be the story featuring Naomi & Emily. Here are the episode synopses:
“Skins Pure” (by Bryan Elsley) Cassie (Hannah Murray), now aged 23, 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), now aged 21, has a job delivering drugs to Manchester revellers. When he is asked to help his employer’s girlfriend find a house, he finds that he is irresistibly attracted to her which sets off a chain of events leading him into a world of savage revenge and a confrontation with his own violent past.
“Skins Fire” (by Jess Brittain) Effy (Kaya Scodelario), now aged 21, 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, Emily (Kathryn Prescott) will also return.
Hannah Murray, who currently plays Gilly in Game of Thrones, talked to Digital Spy about her return to Skins last week, revealing that Cassie’s been “drifting around” America since we last saw her and is now working in a café in London, unsure about “what she wants to do with her life yet.” Murray added, “She’s also been with a boy in America. I will leave it up to the audience to decide who that could be.” Murray suggested that the show would keep it “ambiguous,” which means we may never know if it was Sid or not, which does break my heart.
Thinking of things we may never know, many people fear that a new Skins could rob us of the happy ending Naomi & Emily got at Series 4’s conclusion. Kaya Scodelario told Digital Spy that her episodes, which show Effy and Naomi as roommates (rather than Naomi and Emily as roommates, as they were when we last saw them), will focus on Effy and Naomi’s friendship, “how it changes and the kind of struggles that they go through together… [it’s] about a lot of different things including friendship, love and redemption but ultimately it’s them finding themselves in the world.”
In a favorable and spoiler-laden review of Series 7’s first episode, Cultbox has the following to say about Naomi’s fate:
It is also great to see Lily Loveless return as Naomi, although it is such a shame that the once feisty, passionate character has been reduced to a lay-about stoner. Neverthless, the new scattered Naomi is quite funny in her own way, despite a bizarre choice of career. Later scenes reveal more to suggest that Naomi has simply lost her way, and a shocking twist indicates a much bigger role for Loveless in the second part.
The “shocking twist” mentioned by Cultbox is most definitely the “tragedy strikes” mentioned in the aforementioned episode summary, which likely has something to do with this freshly-released still from Skins Fire, showing Effy in a hospital hallway:
So, are Naomi and Emily still a thing? Well, according to some humans who happened to catch a G3 Magazine behind-the-scenes-of-a-photoshoot video today before the video mysteriously went private, Emily and Naomi are indeed still together at the start of Skins: Fire. The episode summary also suggests that Emily returns to London after “tragedy strikes.”
Lily Loveless and Kathryn Prescott recently did a photo shoot and interview for Fiasco Magazine, which produced some lovely photographs and provided a few scraps of news. From Kathryn Prescott’s interview:
Was there much to identify with your grown up character?
Well, my character is just guesting because she’s gone off to New York to do a photography internship, which I can relate to cos I do photography myself. When we last saw her she was in college but now she’s come into her own a bit.
Was it fun to film?
When I was filming – it was a different city, different crew and it was on location – so I was going, this feels very weird. It doesn’t feel like the same show, which is what they were going for. I quite like it cos Skins is about being in the present and being a young adult, and the good thing about these mini-films is that they show that there are consequences. Even when you’re 16 that has a knock on effect about how you live your life in your 20s. And some people can change the way they live and others stick to the same patterns.
From Lily Loveless’s interview:
How was it revisiting the character of Naomi?
I’d completely forgotten who she was and what it was like to play her, and I said to the writer, do you think I should watch the old series back and he sai,d ‘don’t watch it just play it’. The character had changed and he didn’t want us to play it how we had back then because we’re a lot older. The first day was really hard, I didn’t know what I was doing!
Did it come flooding back?
Yeah, it was a weird sensation. I played her for 2 years, so once I got back into it it was surreal.
It seems pretty clear to me that Emily is gonna come back from her “photography internship,” which is probably code for “a wild affair with Frankie Alan,” and immediately enter into an erotic triad with Effy and Naomi. A girl can dream.
While I dream softly to myself, here are some videos relevant to your interests:
Lily Loveless’ Top Five Skins Moments:
Kaya, Kat & Lily Discuss New Skins:
Behind-the-Scenes with Kaya Scodelario & Jack O’Connell
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you for more Skins?