This Is England is a 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows. The story centres on young skinheads in England in 1983. The film illustrates that skinhead subculture, whose 1960s roots include elements of black culture, especially ska, soul and reggae music, became adopted by white nationalists, which led to divisions within the skinhead scene.Two timeskippedSpin-OffMiniseries were produced for Channel Four. This is England '86 takes place three years later, with Shaun making amends and rejoining the skinheads, Lol's father returning and Combo's release. This is England '88 features Shaun in college and Lol raising a child.
The film contains examples of:
Almighty Mom: The scene where Shaun's mum storms into the cafe and tells off the skinheads for giving her son an Important Haircut without her permission.
Anguished Declaration of Love: Combo unexpectedly declares his love for Lol, giving her a present and telling her she was the only thing that got him through his three years in jail. He can barely get his words out at first, and begins to tremble uncontrollably when Lol coldly rejects him, barely holding back the tears.
My God, What Have I Done?: After Combo lays the smackdown on Milky, Banjo, Meggy and Shaun in a blind rage, he collapses into a heap and starts crying over Milky's senseless body.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Combo gets stoned with Milky and appears to bond with him, but subsequently undergoes a transformation when Milky begins talking about his amazing family life. Combo begins to verbally abuse him, which Milky reacts to with a wry smile. Combo blows his top and beats Milky to an unconscious pulp in a rather graphic and disturbing scene.
Nothing But Hits: Say what you like about skinheads, they had some damn fine taste in music.
Oop North: The setting is deliberately vague, but is implied to be somewhere around Yorkshire and the East Midlands. The movie was filmed in the suburbs of Nottingham and Grimsby, while the miniseries was filmed in Sheffield. Strong provincial accents abound - it is about as far away from Britain Is Only London as it can get.
Pet the Dog: Combo may be a violent racist, but he does have a sensitive side...
Power Walk: Done twice. The first time is very light-spirited, highlighting Shaun's acceptance into Woody's gang. The second time is much darker in tone, when Shaun joins Combo's gang of skinheads, who are much more violent and racist than Woody's.
Absentee Actor: Three characters from the film are mysteriously missing from the miniseries - Pukey, Kes and Pob (Milky's girlfriend). No explanation is given for their absence, although possibly justified considering the series takes place three years later and friends can come and go in that time.
Pukey and Kes are effectively replaced by Harvey, who was a minor schoolyard bully in the film and not a member of the skinheads.
Harvey, who had a very brief appearance in the film as a bully at Shaun's school, is now a fully-fledged member of the gang.
Flip, the hilarious leader of the biker gang, had a "blink-and-you-miss-it" moment in the film as the boy who mocked Shaun's trousers outside Mister Sandhu's shop.
Trudy had a throwaway appearance as a shoe shopkeeper in a single scene of the film, the returns in the miniseries with a significantly expanded role, in which it's revealed that the shoe shop is just one of her many current *ahem* ...enterprises.
British Brevity: Four episodes in the first miniseries, three in the second.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Meggy disappears in between the first two miniseries, and producer Mark Herbert tweeted that this is because he 'died taking a dump' off-screen in 1987. The canonicity of this is questionable, but as there is no mentioning of him whatsoever after the fact, fans have no choice but to take this as Wordof God.
Contrived Coincidence: Gadget and Kel have a wheelchair race in the hospital, not following any particular route, and it just so happens that the race reaches its climax in the exact same place where Lol and Kel's mum has just come in at the exact same time.
Time Skip: Inverted with '86, as it's set three years after the film but the gap of time between filming the two was significantly longer! However, '86 was followed by '88, which as the name suggests is set two years later, but filmed and aired one year later. This looks to be repeated with '90.