The Fifth Series of Skins originally aired on E4 from January 27, 2011 to March 17, 2011.This is the first series not to feature the main cast from Series 3 and Series 4, as they were entirely replaced for Series 5.

Series 5 introduces the "third generation" of characters, which are featured in both Series 5 and Series 6.

In terms of the show's continuity, Series 5 begins 3 to 4 months after the end of "Everyone" (episode 4.08), as a new academic school year has already been in session for three weeks.

Series 5 takes place during the character's first year of sixth form (equivalent to junior year of high school in North America).


The fifth series features a brand new cast, replacing the main cast from Series 3 and Series 4. Thus, the fifth series introduces eight major characters.

Dakota Blue Richards, primarily known for her role in the 2007 film The Golden Compass was cast as Franky Fitzgerald, an androgynous girl who is "super-intelligent, strange, and set alight to her headmaster don't you know!"[1][2]

Newcomer Freya Mavor was also chosen to play Mini McGuinness, the school's queen bee and is described as being "the super sweetest girlie you'll ever meet. For reals."[3]

Sean Tale, in his first acting role, was then cast as Nick Levan, Mini's boyfriend and rugby captain who is described as being "good-looking, popular, arrogant but unhappy."[4][5]

Jessica Sula, in her first acting role, was cast as Grace Violet, Mini and Liv's best friend whose interests include "kittens and Disney and ballet and ice cream and...."[6]

Laya Lewis obtained her first acting role as Liv Malone, Mini and Grace's best friend, who is said to be a "clumsy but beautiful" party animal."[7][8]

Similarly, Will Merrick scored his first acting role as Alo Creevey, who has "got a van, a dog and some Victorian porn..."[9]

Relative newcomer Alex Arnold was cast as Rich Hardbeck, described as having "Long hair - check. Slayer t-shirt - check. Music snobbery - CHECK."[10]

Similarly, Sebastian De Souza, in his first acting role, was cast as Matty, described as a "mystery, but a definite ladies' man."[11][12]

Relative newcomer Daniel Black was cast as the show's major supporting character, Nick's best friend Rider, who is going through life "like a boss."[13][14]


With Series co-creator Bryan Elsley leaving the show to work on the US adaptation (although he still stayed on as a consultant and executive producer),[15] Jamie Brittain served as the only show runner for the fifth series.

John Griffin served as the main executive producer for the fifth series (along with Bryan Elsley in a lesser capacity, as noted above), as George Ferber and Charles Pattinson left the show to work on the US adaptation.[16]

The fifth series was produced by Company Pictures.

The main staff writers for the fifth series were Jamie Brittain, Sean Buckley, Georgia Lester, Ed Hime, Geoff Bussetil, and Daniel Lovett.[17]

Christine Healy and Matt Strevens served as producers for the fifth series.[18]

The regular directors for the fifth series were Amanda Boyle, Philippa Langdale, Jack Clough, and Dominic Leclerc.[19]

The fifth series' incidental music was composed by Fat Segal, who also composed the show's opening theme.[20]

The fifth series' theme song is a remix of the official theme tune used for Series 1; however, it is also a different remix from the ones used for Series 2, Series 3, and for Series 4.[21]

Episode List

# Title Featured Character(s) UK Viewers Original airdate Total
1 "Franky" Franky Fitzgerald 1.145 million[A] January 27 2011 38
It’s Franky’s first day at Roundview. She’s just moved to Bristol from Oxford and she’s determined not to be a loner any more. Think again; her alternative boyish style immediately singles her out. Mini is quick to get in the first joke, backed up by bezzy mates Liv and Grace. To make matters worse, Franky accidentally floors Mini in a muddy and vicious hockey game. Whoops. Franky tries to blend into the background, but is befriended by farmboy Alo and metal Rich, who think Mini is a total witch, but y’know, a hot witch, the kind you’d like to shag. Mini warns her not to hang around with such dicks, and invites her to hang with them instead. Keep your enemies closer and all that…The girls go back to Franky’s: Mini digs for dirt and a few emotional weapons to stick in her arsenal and uncovers some painful memories Franky would much rather leave behind her in Oxford. And so it begins…[22]

Note: This is Franky, Mini, Nick, Grace, Liv, Rich, Alo, and Matty's first episode.

2 "Rich" Rich Hardbeck 858,000[A] February 3 2011 39
Rich - or metal Rich to give him his proper name - uses his taste in properly extreme music to keep the world, especially girls, at bay. But when bromantic buddy Alo finds Rich's perfect woman, he is forced harden the eff up and face his fears. To help him get there, he turns to Grace. Grace has to learn the ways of metal in order to impersonate a metal chick, but Rich doesn't make it easy, refusing to believe a lame-streamer could understand him. Will she crack his harden metal exterior?[23]
3 "Mini" Mini McGuinness 877,000[A] February 10 2011 40
Mini is the Queen Bee at Roundview, right? But she’s feeling under threat when Grace brings her new bf Franky to the charity fashion show meeting. What to do, hmmmm? She ends up sacking them both, she hasn’t time for 'friends' like Grace. Despite appearances, her relationship with Nick isn't the idyllic power partnership everyone might think it is. In short, Nick doesn't want to wait for sex. Mini struggles to keep control while Liv is typically reckless. How will Mini keep it all together? Will she manage to keep her spot at the top?[24]

Note: This is Rider's first episode.

4 "Liv" Liv Malone 793,000[A] February 17 2011 41
Mini knows how to get revenge. She befriends Franky, Rich, Alo et al. so she can totally isolate Liv who's is still having a scene with Nick. Throw a free house, a load of weed and an impromptu house party into the mix and it all gets a bit much for our Liv. She heads out and hooks up with a pretty mysterious stranger... where will she end up?[25]
5 "Nick" Nick Levan 773,000[B] February 24 2011 42
Nick Levan – rugby captain, super-smart dresser, hot queen-bee gfriend… on the surface he seems to have everything and to the untrained eye, he’s the star of Roundview. Enter that pesky Matty – his reappearance has unsettled Nick and as he watches Matty slip effortlessly into new friendships, old wounds are re-opened. Nick realises that everything he thought he wanted - the approval of his father and the rugby success - is crushing him. Time to think again… but where will he turn? Mini? New mates? Old flames?[26]
6 "Alo" Alo Creevey 697,000[A] March 3 2011 43
By now, we all know what makes Alo tick - partying and the idea of getting laid, right? So it's not all that surprising that he gets a little fed up with his boring life on Creevey Farm. He heads to the city to 'indulge' his passions. His parents (jeez, it's always the ruddy parents!), fed up with his behaviour, remove him from college in an attempt to force him to buckle down on the farm. But Alo rebels and hosts the party to end all parties. The idea is to show his parents that he knows best, but something happens that makes Alo reassess things... ooo, the mystery![27]
7 "Grace" Grace Violet 596,000[A] March 10 2011 44
You know our amazing Gracy by now - she's always believed in fairytales and happy endings. If only real life measured up to her Disney-spattered imagination. Miss Violet is forced to face reality when Rich meets her father, who instantly disapproves. He disapproves so much, in fact, that he threatens to send her back to Mayberry's College for Young Ladies - *horror*. Grace has to pass her drama exam to prove him wrong, but with her relationship in turmoil and the whole gang at odds in her production of Twelfth Night, it's not looking likely. Will she manage to force the gang to get their 'acts' together and give the production she needs?[28]
8 "Everyone" Everyone 630,000[A] March 17 2011 45
It's the last in the series, (*sob*) and the day of Rich and Grace's wedding (yep, I know, that was quick!). The gang are pulling together for the happy couple and putting their various differences and total messed-up situations aside for the day. But with lovely-but-shambolic Alo as best man, it's hardly a surprise that they run into trouble and become separated in the wilds of Somerset. Will they make it to the church on time? And will they still be friends by the end? We’ll probably do some laughing and crying whatever happens.[29]

* A^ All ratings are official ratings taken from BARB's database, unless otherwise stated. Total viewers include unofficial overnight ratings for E4+1, as they were not in the top 10 rated E4 +1 programmes for that week.[30]
* B^ All ratings are official ratings taken from BARB's database, unless otherwise stated. Total viewers include official ratings for E4+1.[30]

Unseen Skins

Main article: Unseen Skins#Series 5

Unseen Skins are a series of canonical online-exclusive mini-episodes that fills in a narrative gap somewhere in the timeline from the episode it correlates to. During the course of Series 5, nine "mini-sodes" were released on the day after each new episode aired.

As most of the mini-sodes were not in video format, instead being photos, blog posts, twitter feeds, music, etc, they were not included on the DVD release of Skins: Complete Fifth Series. However they are all available for viewing on E4's official Skins site.


To advertise the fifth series of Skins, E4 created a trailer featuring the new cast floating naked in a dark abyss. However, as they begin to fall their clothes come back on until they are fully dressed right as their fall slows before they reach the ground. The song used in the trailer is "Ready to Start" by Arcade Fire.

Skins Series 5 Coming Soon

Skins Series 5 Coming Soon

Another trailer was also released, featuring "Mirrors" by Crocodiles.[31]


The Fifth Series received generally positive reviews in the UK, with many critics calling it a return to form for the show.

Critics praised the Series' new direction in focusing on more realistic teen issues and discussing them in a remarkably adult manner instead of focusing on the characters' constant "deviant behavior", something many critics felt hampered down much of the previous two series.

The Guardian gave the Series a positive review, stating that "the new bunch of mates seem to suggest a return to the hedonistic feel of the original series. This time, however, it isn't a cool kid like Tony who is out to charm our socks off. As we meet the new gang at Roundview, it looks like they're focusing on the outcasts' point of view from the off. Hooray! With an intriguing bunch of outcast kids and a refreshed sense of hedonism, Skins looks like it could be back on form."[32]

The Yorker similarly gave the Series a positive review, stating that "Skins is character-driven drama, and [Series 5]’s offering was a very impressive one - the cast are intriguing, the atmosphere is energetic and an exciting and enjoyable hour of television was delivered. Even with all the changes, Skins still has its unique charm, and it has only made me anticipate whatever is coming next even more."[33]

Reception in North America was a bit more mixed, but still generally positive, with many similarly calling the Series a return to form for the show. gave the Series a positive review, stating that "Series 5 has wiped the slate clean after [Series 3 and Series 4's] gigantic misstep. It's settled into a consistent tone, being more adept at balancing the light and shade. For once, rather than giving its audience a steady diet of shagging and wanking scenes, [Skins] is talking to them like adults. Far from being derivative, for once Skins seems to be representing genuine teenagers. Rather than whimsical fantasies of outsmarting low rent gangsters, we're seeing storylines that affect teenagers of every generation. After all the juvenile wanking jokes and reckless partying, maybe now Skins has grown up."[34][35]

Daemon's TV gave the Series a mixed review, stating that "Skins is less provocative [and] more ridiculous with the clichéd school bitch Mini with her two hanger-on sidekicks, pantomime adult characters including a sadistic sports teacher and Franky’s two camp ‘Dads’ puts the portrayal of gay couples back about twenty years feeling parodied and naff. I will reserve judgment and see how the next few episodes play out but it’s going to have to up its game to keep me tuning in."[36]

International Airdates

BBC America chose not to air the Fifth Series in North America. However, it is available on Netflix's Instant Watch.[37]

Home Media Release

Main article: Skins: DVD Releases#Series 5


  30. 30.0 30.1