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This Is England '86

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This Is England '86
Tie86dvd
Season 2
No. of episodes 4
Original run 7 September 2010 - 28 September 2010 (UK)
DVD release 11 October 2010
Season chronology
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This is England
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This is England '88

This Is England '86 is a 2010 British drama series written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne. A spin-off from the 2006 film This Is England, and set three years later, it focuses on the mod revival scene rather than the skinhead subculture. Like the film, This Is England '86 stars Thomas Turgoose as Shaun, although Lol (Vicky McClure) and Woody (Joe Gilgun) play an even more central role.

The story takes place during the 1986 FIFA World Cup. As Shaun completes his last school exam, he realises he will have to find his way in the world. His friends, who include Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget and Meggy, are still around, looking for love, entertainment and employment.

DevelopmentEdit

On 26 August 2009, Channel 4 promised that it would fund a four-part television drama, This Is England '86, to be written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne. Meadows 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 longstanding relationship with Film4 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 now – recession, lack of jobs, sense of the world at a turning point. Whereas the film told part of the story, the TV series will tell the rest.

Meadows said that Combo (Stephen Graham) would return, that the fate of Milky would be revealed, and that a wedding between Woody and Lol would be called off. He said if the series succeeded, he would follow it with another series. He said Milky was alive and that Woody has a factory job and was about to marry Lol. He said that scooters, including Vespas and Lambrettas, would be used in the series - reflecting the scooterboy subculture of the mid to late 1980s. Channel 4's terms for the series was that the original gang had to be slimmed down. This resulted in the removal of a few characters that were in the feature film: Kes (Kieran Hardcastle) and Pob (Sophie Ellerby) were cut, while Pukey (Jack O'Connell) had to be cut as the actor had other commitments. Pukey's dialogue and story was given to the returning character Harvey (Michael Socha), who had a bit-part in the film as a bully; the series does not explain how he joined the gang or got on friendly terms with Shaun. A new bully, Flip, takes Harvey's place as Shaun's tormentor and leads a scooterboy gang (Harvey is ironically the first person to hit him for threatening Shaun in episode 3).

SettingEdit

Much of the series was filmed around the sprawling, down-at-heel Gleadless Valley area of Sheffield, with most of the drama centring on Ironside Road and the large, concrete-sided maisonettes are a prominent feature across either side of Blackstock Road, the estate's main artery. The estate of Lowedges is also used, although it is protrayed as being part of the same area in the storyline. Many residents are of the opinion Gleadless Valley has not changed much in the 50 years since it was built, and this possibly influenced Meadows choice to film there. Other notable local venues for filming include Leighton Road, Gaunt Road, Blackstock Road Shopping Precinct and Norton Lane. The school in which Shaun sits his history exam is Gladys Buxton school in Dronfield as nearby Gleadless Valley Comprehensive School was closed and demolished in the 1990s. Gladys Buxton School is disused, and its mid-1980s design suited the time period. Students in years 10 and 11 of local secondary school Dronfield Henry Fanshawe School were used as extras, playing Shaun's classmates who are also sitting the exam, that were shown within the first eight minutes of the first episode. Sheffield landmarks such as the Park Hill Flats and Neepsend Gasholder are also seen.

As in the film, the exact setting is unclear. The setting in the film was implied to be a coastal town in the English East Midlands (Grimsby was used in filming the coastal scenes). In the first episode, Woody and Lol ride on a Yorkshire Rider bus to their wedding from a bus stop in Gaunt Road, a bus company which operated in West Yorkshire in the 1980s. This now-preserved bus was supplied by Transport Yorkshire Preservation Group of Leeds.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

Image Season # Series # Title Writer(s) Director Original airdate
Tie86-episode1 1 2 "This Is England" Shane Meadows Shane Meadows 7 September 2010
2 3 14 September 2010
3 4 21 September 2010
4 5 28 September 2010

Episode 1Edit

Main article: This Is England '86 Episode 1

Woody and Lol's wedding ends disastrously by Woody's reluctance to marry Lol, and Meggy suffers a near-fatal heart attack in the toilets of the registry office. After Shaun sits his final exam in History, he gets into trouble with Flip (Perry Fitzpatrick) and his gang of moped riding Casuals.

Episode 2Edit

Main article: This Is England '86 Episode 2

Lol finds out that her dad has returned to the family home; she insinuates that she was sexually abused by him as a young girl. Feeling betrayed by her family's warm welcome to her dad, and feeling neglected by Woody, Lol confides in Milky, with whom she starts having casual sex. Gadget starts to go out with Trudy, and rumbles the secret paternity of her son. Meanwhile, Shaun finds out that his mum has been having a secret relationship with his employer Mr Sandhu, and plans him to move in with them, causing Shaun to leave home in disgust.

Episode 3Edit

Main article: This Is England '86 Episode 3

Lol continues her casual affair with Milky, but Milky starts to feel guilty when an upset Woody confides in him about his failing relationship with Lol. Gadget is bullied and isolated from his friends by a controlling, sexually charged Trudie, so he decides to end their unusual eight day relationship. Harvey also finds out about Trudie's secret. Later, the gang, while playing football on a flat estate (the iconic Park Hill Flats in Sheffield were used for this scene) have a fight with the moped riding gang seen earlier in episode 1 led by Flip.

Shaun returns home to apologise to his mum and give his blessing on her relationship. Shaun also rekindles his relationship with Smell. Lol starts to drown her sorrows and distances herself away from both of her lovers. Meanwhile, Trev stops by Lol's parents' house to meet up with Kelly, and she awkwardly watches the football match with Lol's dad, Mick. The episode ends with Mick violently raping Trev, whom he later tells to leave. Meanwhile, as Shaun, his mum and Smell watch the football match, a drunken Combo stumbles into the living room and collapses on the floor.

Episode 4Edit

Main article: This Is England '86 Episode 4

After waking, Combo informs Shaun and Smell that his mother is dying. Shaun takes him to see his mother, but when they get there they discover she has already died. Combo says goodbye to his mother's body. Meanwhile, Milky teases Woody about the fact that he left Lol at the altar. In response, Woody tells him they will get married that day. Woody and Milky go around inviting all their friends to their wedding, which is going to be a surprise to Lol.

After much deliberation, Trev tells Lol that she was raped by Mick. Lol tells her go to sleep. She then goes to Mick's house, armed with a hammer to confront him. The pair verbally argue. Lol shows Mick the hammer which causes him to attack her. He pulls off her underwear and attempts to rape her – which we later find out through Lol's conversation with Combo that he has 'done it her whole life' – with Lol violently struggling. Lol defends herself by swinging the hammer against Mick's head several times which stuns him. With Mick lying prone on the floor, Lol decides to strike him again, killing him. Combo then arrives at the house, finding the scene of Mick dead and Lol sobbing. Combo decides to 'do a good thing,' smearing his fingerprints over the hammer and Mick's body, thereby taking responsibility for killing Mick. The episode ends with Combo arriving in prison, after being charged with manslaughter. Most of the cast sit in the pub watching the England v Argentina World Cup game, which England go on to lose, partly due to Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" goal. Shaun also has sex with Smell in the pub toilets. Meanwhile, Lol, Kelly, Trev, Milky and Woody sit alone together, listening to the game on the radio whilst playing cards. Kelly cries and Woody and Lol kiss as Combo peacefully enters his cell.

The preceding text was taken from Wikipedia under the CC-BY-SA licence. The original text, along with attribution to its authors, can be found here.

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