It's 1986 - the year Chris de Burgh is at number one, Top Gun is filling the cinemas, VHS is trumping Betamax, the World Cup is raging in Mexico and over 3.4 million Britains are unemployed.
As Shaun sits his last school exam, the realisation dawns that adulthood beckons and in mid-80s England he's going to have to find his own way in the world. Luckily life has dealt a surprise hand to his friends too and no one is quite where they thought they would be. Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget, Milky - they are all looking for love, a laugh, a job and something that resembles a future.
Lol - Vicky McClure
Shaun Fields - Thomas Turgoose
Cynthia Fields - Jo Hartley
Milky - Andrew Shim
Woody - Joe Gilgun
Gadget - Andrew Ellis
Smell - Rosamund Hanson
Kelly - Chanel Cresswell
Trev - Danielle Watson
Banjo - George Newton
Meggy - Perry Benson
Mick - Johnny Harris
Harvey - Michael Socha
Combo - Stephen Graham
Mr Sandhu - Kriss Dosanjh
Flip - Perry Fitzpatrick
Trudy - Hannah Walters
Chrissy Katherine Dow Blyton
Shane on the genesis of This Is England '86
"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 Film4 and Channel4 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 youth in 1986 many resonances to now - recession, lack of jobs, a sense of the world at a turning point. Whereas the film told part of the story, the TV serial will tell the rest."
Interesting cameos in the series include:
- Co-writer Jack Thorne appears as party-animal, Carrot Bum.
- Shane Meadows is a member of staff at Woody's workplace (a full scene with Shane is featured as a deleted scene on the DVD/Bluray).
- Ian Brown and producer Mark Herbert play policemen in the big fight scene.
- Shane's Dad plays the part of Combo's new cell-mate.
During the writing stage, the project was titled "We Were Faces"
The dialogue and story for the character of Harvey was originally written for the character of Pukey, but Jack O'Connell (who played Pukey in This Is England) was unable to work on the project due to other acting commitments.
The entire series was written by Shane and Jack Thorne.
The series was directed by both Shane and Tom Harper. Tom directed episodes one and two, and Shane directed episodes three and four.
Promo TV Spot
VHS Promo Video
Promo made from exclusively shot footage not used in the series.
Interview with Vicky McClure & Thomas Turgoose.
Interview with Shane & the cast.
BAFTA Television Awards
Vicky McClure wins the BAFTA for Leading Actress, followed by backstage interview.
Southbank Sky Arts Awards
Shane collects the award for Best TV Drama.
In depth interview with Shane.
Interview with Shane and memebers of the cast.
The Yorkshire Post
Interview with Joe Gilgun.
Interview with Stephen Graham.
Interview with Shane & Vicky McClure.
Interview with Vicky McClure.
Interview with Shane.
Vicky McClure reacts to her BAFTA win.