Skins is a British teen drama created by father-and-son television writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain for Company Pictures. The third series began airing on E4 on 22 January 2009 and ended on 26 March 2009. This series sees the introduction of a new cast; it follows the lives of sixth form students Effy Stonem, Pandora Moon, Thomas Tomone, James Cook, Freddie McClair, JJ Jones, Naomi Campbell, and twin sisters Emily and Katie Fitch.
It’s the first day of term at Roundview College and a new gang is forming. Best friends Freddie (Luke Pasqualino), JJ (Ollie Barbieri), and Cook (Jack O’Connell) are en-route to college. Their world collides with Effy’s (Kaya Scodelario), and Cook is intrigued – this trouble maker has met his match. However, both Freddie and JJ are equally smitten.
Identical twin sisters, Katie (Megan Prescott) and Emily (Kathryn Prescott), prepare for their first day; as per usual, Katie walks all over her sister Emily. Once at college, Effy and Katie clock one another immediately, whilst Effy’s best mate Pandora (Lisa Backwell) tells Effy she wants to lose her virginity "asap".
At college, Cook tries to charm the girl sitting next to him but instead winds her up. Naomi (Lily Loveless) doesn’t suffer fools gladly and grasses Cook up.
Effy issues smitten Freddie, JJ and Cook with a challenge to be completed by the end of the day. The winner will get to ‘know her’ better.
And so the first day at college begins...
It’s Cook’s (Jack O’Connell) 17th birthday, and half the college have been invited to his uncle’s pub to witness a night Cook believes will go down in history. The girls get are about to leave when Freddie (Luke Pasqualino) gets a phone call from his sister Karen (Klariza Clayton). She’s at her best friend Kayleigh’s (Amy Burnett) engagement party and they want to get the party started. The gang head off uninvited.
Cook attracts the attention of Kayleigh’s dad, notorious local gangster Johnny White (Mackenzie Crook). The party is a timid affair, so - ignoring Freddie’s warnings about Johnny White - Cook decides to do as the Cookie monster does and up the tempo, and the evening takes a turn for the worst. The gang manage to escape, but split up afterwards after Cook tries to come onto the girls. Freddie tells him he is tired of looking after him and leaves Cook and JJ to go to a local stripclub/prostitute agency, where JJ refuses to go further than kissing and Cook overhears Johnny White in the next room. He plans to blackmail him, and the gangster antagonises him until JJ has to forcibly restrain Cook from beating him. Cook realises what he's done when Johhny tells him: "The next time I see you...you're dead." He leaves and ends up outside Freddie's house at six in the morning, and the two share an intense heart-to-heart about their friendship, while Freddie agrees to look after him again.
In this episode, Thomas (Merveille Lukeba) arrives alone in the UK from the Congo. His family are due to join him in a few days, and he has to find somewhere for them to live. He finds an abandoned flat on an estate, but little does he know that local gangster Johnny White (Mackenzie Crook) is his new landlord, and there’s no way Johnny’s going to let him live there for free. Thomas has to fend for himself, but a chance encounter at a bus stop, and a mutual love of doughnuts brings him together with Pandora (Lisa Backwell) and Effy (Kaya Scodelario). They head to Effy’s house, where they find Effy’s mum, Anthea Stonem (Morwenna Banks), has a surprise visitor, her husband’s boss, Steve (David Baddiel). It’s fate for Pandora and Thomas, who hit it off immediately: she takes him to see her Aunt Elizabeth (Maureen Lipman), who just might have the answer to Thomas’s insolvency, with a rather unconventional money-making scheme.
This episode was written by Daniel Kaluuya, the former Posh Kenneth in the two first series of Skins and Bryan Elsley.
With the first and only boy Pandora’s ever fancied having been deported, Pandora is desperate for some fun and decides to throw a party. Unknown to Pandora, Katie has used some special ingredients in the chocolate brownies, which take the party to another level. Effy knows, but hasn’t warned Pandora or her mum Angela (Sally Phillips), who is munching happily on the choccie treats. Effy can only look on while her best friend’s mum’s behaviour gets increasingly bizarre. Pandora grabs the fun where she can, and towards the end of the evening lets her heart rule her head… but will she regret it in the morning, and will her best mate forgive her? Also guest starring (David Baddiel) as Steve, and (Harry Enfield) as Jim Stonem.
Freddie’s the black sheep of his family, and seen as a waste of space. His big sister Karen (Klariza Clayton) has ambitions - she’s reached the final of a TV talent show to find a new member of girl group Da Sexxbombz. Freddie despises her lust for celebrity but is emotionally blackmailed into sticking to the story she and their Dad, Leo (Simon Day), are spinning about their dead mother, all to look good in front of the cameras, and thereby increase her chances of success. He cringes at the whole thing. If this wasn’t bad enough, living in the shadow of the increasingly reckless Cook is becoming too much to bear. When Effy turns up at his shed, Freddie doesn’t know what to do with himself. There’s a connection between them, there always has been, but this is shattered when Cook and JJ arrive. He feels torn between his family,his friends, and his heart, and the isolation is overwhelming. Will Freddie start to put himself first, or will he retreat to his shed, and beloved skateboard, as he always has before? Featuring a special guest performance from DJ Scott Mills.
Naomi (Lily Loveless) thinks she has the world worked out, and puts people in their appropriate boxes. There's her hippy mum (Olivia Colman); the adoration from Emily (Kathryn Prescott); Cook's (Jack O'Connell) insulting misogyny; and her politics teacher, Kieran's (Ardal O'Hanlon), flattery. She thinks she has them all sussed, and that it's only her who can see the truth. However, the upcoming student elections leave her at a loss, and her insecurities get the better of her. The trust and confidence inspired by a friend encourages her to stand up to her arch rival, the antithesis of everything she stands for, as her and Cook go head to head; but Naomi learns that nothing is black and white anymore.
JJ’s (Ollie Barbieri ) feeling lost and confused. The upset within the gang has taken its toll on him, and his fine balancing act has come unstuck. When he visits his psychiatric clinic, he just gets given more drugs.
At home, his mother (Juliet Cowan) is worn out with it all, and away from the home, JJ can see his friends coming apart at the seams. With Effy (Kaya Scodelario) at such a low ebb, and the chance discovery of Cook (Jack O’Connell), Freddie (Luke Pasqualino) and Pandora’s (Lisa Backwell) secrets, he feels the burden to be overwhelming. But an unlikely member of the gang - Emily (Kathryn Prescott ) - proves to be the true friend at his time of need.
Effy (Kaya Scodelario) is at the lowest point, but this time there’s no older brother at home to notice; and home life has deteriorated so much that it’s even harder than ever for her to communicate.
Katie (Megan Prescott), having usurped Effy as Queen Bee, takes every opportunity to rub in her superiority and highlight the fact that Freddie (Luke Pasqualino) is her man, and Effy is to keep her hands off. She invites Effy to a party in the woods, but there are stipulations - Effy has to drive, and Cook is not welcome.
As they all head off, the car strains with tension - as secrets and rivalries build. Their paranoid state increases when they have a frightening run in with some poachers. Freddie manages to lighten the mood, and as they arrive at the campsite, they recover themselves and start to have fun.
Effy finds some magic mushrooms, and they experiment. Katie’s jealousy of Effy returns, as Effy becomes the centre of the action. The fun and excitement intensify, that is until it becomes clear someone has been tampering with their stuff. Hearing gun shots, they realise someone is charging towards them. The atmosphere darkens and any fun they were having disappears in an instant.
Later, Effy gets the opportunity to follow her heart, but a decision she makes may be difficult to ever recover from.
What a difference a party makes. Since their disaster in the forest, the twins’ lives have descended into chaos. Katie is refusing to leave the house and must face her lack of control, while Emily is struggling with her feelings for Naomi. With the college ball approaching, a showdown is imminent.