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This Is England '88 

TV-MA | | Crime, Drama | TV Mini-Series (2011)
Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.




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Series cast summary:
Andrew Ellis Andrew Ellis ...  Gadget 3 episodes, 2011
Andrew Shim ...  Milky 3 episodes, 2011
Chanel Cresswell ...  Kelly 3 episodes, 2011
Charlotte Tyree ...  Fay 3 episodes, 2011
Danielle Watson Danielle Watson ...  Trev 3 episodes, 2011
George Newton ...  Banjo 3 episodes, 2011
Helen Behan ...  Evelyn 3 episodes, 2011
Joseph Gilgun ...  Woody 3 episodes, 2011
Jo Hartley ...  Cynthia Fields 3 episodes, 2011
Johnny Harris ...  Mick 3 episodes, 2011
Katherine Dow Blyton Katherine Dow Blyton ...  Chrissy 3 episodes, 2011
Kriss Dosanjh Kriss Dosanjh ...  Mr. Sandhu 3 episodes, 2011
Lyra Mae Thomas Lyra Mae Thomas ...  Lisa 3 episodes, 2011
Michael Socha ...  Harvey 3 episodes, 2011
Rebecca Manley Rebecca Manley ...  Babs 3 episodes, 2011
Rosamund Hanson ...  Smell 3 episodes, 2011
Stacey Sampson Stacey Sampson ...  Jennifer 3 episodes, 2011
Stephen Graham ...  Combo 3 episodes, 2011
Steve Brody Steve Brody ...  Richard 3 episodes, 2011
Thomas Turgoose ...  Shaun 3 episodes, 2011
Vicky McClure ...  Lol 3 episodes, 2011
Autumn Smiles Autumn Smiles ...  Titch 3 episodes, 2011
Ian Smith Ian Smith ...  Mr. Benson 3 episodes, 2011
William Travis William Travis ...  Mr. Squires 3 episodes, 2011
Ryan Barr Ryan Barr 3 episodes, 2011
Hannah Walters Hannah Walters ...  Trudy 2 episodes, 2011
Alex Macqueen ...  Fay's Dad 2 episodes, 2011
Emily Aston ...  Janice 2 episodes, 2011
Joanna Swain Joanna Swain ...  Maitre D' 2 episodes, 2011


Late December, 1988. 18 months ago, Soulmates woody and Lol parted. Now they lie in a self imposed exile from each other and the remnants of the 'Gang'. But as a familiar face returns, the happiness of some give way to a dark and bleak Christmas that nobody will forget...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | christmas | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK]





Release Date:

13 December 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is England '88 See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Was filmed on the Gleadless valley estate in Sheffield See more »


Follows This Is England '86 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

In the middle part of the saga that works on it's own merits
20 December 2011 | by davideo-2See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Picking up two years where the last instalment left off, TIE '88 catches up with the characters that were left behind from last time, with Woody (Joseph Gilgun) trying to settle down with a new girlfriend and angling for a promotion at work, whilst still trying to come to terms with the fact that his former love Lol (Vicky McClure) has given birth to a child by his best mate Milky (Andrew Shim), whose return will mark an explosive reunion between the pair. Meanwhile, Sean (Thomas Turgoose) finds himself in a personal crisis after enrolling in a drama class, while Lol herself is locked in her own personal hell, struggling to come to terms with what she was forced to do to her father and the fact Combo (Stephen Graham) is currently serving time for her crime.

This entirely unexpected latest instalment in the This is England saga came pretty much out of nowhere for me, and would, in all fairness, have been wrapped up perfectly with the last part. There didn't even appear to be any sort of publicity or build up to it, like there was with the last part. Still, with this all in mind, writer/director Shane Meadows proves there's still a lot of inspiration to be drawn from the source material, even if this feels, and was even sort of billed as, a stop off point between the last one and the allegedly explosive final part in the shape of This is England '90.

The dramatic dynamic is maintained in the driving force of the different plot lines involving the different characters, which consistently delivers as it always has. Meadows has, as ever, put a lot of effort in to recreating the bleak, desolate landscape of the Midlands back drop he grew up in, and the rough, hard bitten characters it bred. While there's plenty of flashes of light interspersed into the story, it's main focus is getting down to the tough, nitty gritty hard hitting drama, and this, at times, is pretty tough to watch. There's even an element of horror present, all of it psychological and more towards the end than the beginning, but just adding to the stomach churniness of it all that bit more.

While it's good that all of this is present, there just doesn't appear to be quite the tough, meaty chewiness to the material than there was to the last part and the film, merely feeling like an extension of the last part and the characters in that, like an update and a prelude to the next part. The narrative also loses it's flow a little, with certain dramatic plot developments suddenly abandoned here and there and never explored further, meaning the story loses it's substance a bit. Still, even if this is just a preview of what's to come, it's still an effective and powerful one. ***

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