If the opening episodes are anything to go by the current cast are going to get a stellar send-off.
A huge party; that's how we were told Skins' fourth season would start when requests for extras were made back in August. It's a scene fans have a come to expect from the show—in which drinks, drugs and debauchery are common place—and it's one that certainly won't disappoint in the opening episode of the upcoming season.
Similar to previous season debuts (think Freddie's skateboard scene or Tony's breakdown) the fourth series starts with an attention-grabbing spectacle. Set in a nightclub during a rave night the first three-minute single-take shot subtly welcomes the return of the current cast while quickly setting the pace for the coming season. It's not all fun and games though; the drug-fuelled sequence of events sets a much darker tone than ever before, one that has a huge impact on the series' first few episodes. The characters' storylines are explored much deeper than before too: Thomas' life is in turmoil after a fatal accident, Naomi and Emily's relationship is tested to its limits, and Cook's illicit actions are questioned once again.
It's hard being a teenager, and Skins sets out to prove it. Homophobia, bankruptcy, and relationship woes are all covered this season as the show continues to dramatise the problems facing teens in Britain today. Though the Bafta-winning series has been criticised for glamourising sex and the use of drink and drugs it never sets out to be a realistic portrayal. Instead, it's a drama that heightens these issues for the enjoyment purposes of its viewers. It's definitely doing something right too as it attracts consistently high audience figures and has fan bases across the world. It's proved so popular a US spin-off and possible movie deal are in the pipe-line too.
Though the cast is made up of mainly young, previously unknown talent, well-known celebrities have guest starred in each series. Harry Enfield, Danny Dyer and Mackenzie Crook have all been in the show; and this year Chris Addison, Pauline Quirke and Jenny Eclair star too. Keep an eye out for more unusual cameos too from musicians Will Young and H from Steps.
Skins' fourth season starts on E4 on Thursday, January 28, at 10pm.