The show is well known for a number of trends including a notably multicultural cast, shock cast departures and strong female characters.
Season 1 ran on the Writers Express forum between 13th November 2011 - 28th July 2012. Season 2 then began on 1st September 2012, and is currently still active. On 11th September 2013, as part of a mid-season producer interview, Noxy confirmed that a Season 3 had been commissioned, however this is not due to begin in real time until March 2015.
On 28th January 2014, the show aired it's first ever scripted episode which (until the arrival of the Taylor sisters in its closing moments) was largely a two-hander between longstanding on/off lovers Lee Rogers and Rosy Lyons. The installement was proclaimed 'Best Soap Episode' at the Summer 2013 WRIXAS. A second scripted episode (a two-hander between estranged half-sisters Ricki Wells and Vanessa Pritchard) aired on 8th November 2013 (Episode 152). This episode was the last one to feature the Season 2.1 visual design.
The show's visual design was given a major revamp starting at Episode 153, which went out on 21st November 2013. The show then took an impromptu sabbatical from WX before returning on 28th January 2014. As of 1st February 2014, the project began airing in a regular Saturday slot. In addition to this, a regular thread of weekly spoilers, known as Tuesday Teasers, began publishing as of 11th February 2014.
On 25th April 2014, the show was given another visual revamp. The new look is something of a mish-mash of old and new; The blue mozaic of title card 2.2 is simpler and subtler, and has been slightly softened and darkened in colour. The lettering has reverted from Title Case back to UPPER CASE style. For the first time, black has been discarded in the colour scheme, in favour of beige. The new beige bar 'reveals' the word 'These', whereas 'Days' is part of the bar. This, along with white and red, continues the theme of 'These' and 'Days' being seperate entities in the logo.
Since 2013, the show has twice 'time jumped'; that is to say it is set in the near future. Current episodes are set in March 2015, around ten months in advance.
As of 17th May 2014, there have been 164 episodes of the project. Episodes are published on either Fridays or Saturdays.
These Days is set across two fictional Leicestershire towns: the urban Newben, and the suburban and more wideley used Middlehampton. They are in the vicinity of Leicester but neither is a fictional form of that city, as Leicester itself is occasionally mentioned in the series as a seperate but nearby location. There are several distinctive landmarks in the show which are instantly familiar to fans. These include the following:
- Doyle's - a local restaurant run by Liz Doyle, with Joss Wykin a waitress there
- Lee's shop - a newsagents run by Lee Rogers, with Noah Donnelly as his shop assistant
- Hotel Republic (formerly The Blue Royale) - a chain hotel run by Steven and Hannah Cowell. Chandra Patel is head receptionist; Libby and Grace Taylor are chambermaids; Marcus Harby a security guard; Todd Chambers a handyman; and Bezza a porter
- Restaurant Republic - hotel restaurant run by Sabrina Patel
- The Moonshine Inn - a pub run by James Warren, with Lisa Hopkins and Anita Johnson as managers and Chloe Taylor as a barmaid
- Linford Park - a more recent location; a public park somewhere in Middlehampton
- The garage - run by mechanics Jack Mason and Steph Donnelly, with Kenzo Wykin as a mechanic
- Newben College - a tertiary education facility with Liam Hardacre, Carrie Donnelly, Tegan Wykin and Spike Cooper as students
- Rendezvous - a small student cafe within the college
Newben District Hospital is used occasionally, whilst a cafe called The Hut on Castle Bridge (an area which links the two towns by road) is no longer used, and the modelling agency has been defunct since Episode 77.
Formation, Style and Original DemiseEdit
'These Days' was first conceived as an idea in the autumn of 2001. Creator Noxy has said he was inspired by ITV soaps Crossroads (2001-03) and Night And Day (2001-3), and has also sighted Australian soaps Neighbours and Home And Away as influences on him, stating that TD has 'the warmth and family feel' of Neighbours mixed with 'the edge and vibrancy' of Home And Away. Australian soaps also influence the style of TD in several ways:
- Every episode begins with a recap of the previous episode; this is standard practice for Australian soaps but not British ones
- Inbetween scene changeovers, sets are used as breakbumpers, especially when in the context of what is coming up. For example, one scene ends, then a breakbumper briefly shows the Newben College set - which means the next scene will happen at Newben College' etc.
- A 'filmic' look is used for TD, unlike major British soaps which use standard filming
- TD generally uses a middle-class set of characters with some working-class characters mixed in. It is usually the other way round in British soaps, especially major ones
Another somewhat unconventional trait of the show is its broad setting. Unlike British soaps, which are almost invariably set on one street, cul-de-sac or relatively small area (e.g. a village), TD is spread across two fictional Leicestershire towns and makes use of external sets such as a restaurant, a college and a hotel. These types of sets are not common in British soap opera.
Noxy described naming the show as difficult, admitting that he went through several titles, but instinctively felt that 'These Days' was the 'right' title and 'had a ring to it'.
Noxy began writing 'These Days' toward the end of 2001. He had written 9 episodes before launching it, but then suddenly stopped, feeling they were not of a high enough standard. The show then restarted a few weeks later, running for 12 months across the whole of 2002. In 2005 a second series began, set three years after the original, and this continued in sporadic installments all the way up to 2009, when the show stalled at around Episode 210. Noxy stopped writing the show as he felt it had 'stalled' and had lost direction and purpose. As such, it was abandoned indefinitely.
In August 2011, Noxy joined a creative writing website called Writers Express, which he would later own.
In November 2011, a revamped and modernised version of These Days began. It was largely unchanged from the original until around Episode 40, but gradually the material has become increasingly and now predominantly original.
The show has been critically acclaimed from the outset, and has won 30 WRIXAS (Writers Express Awards) to date, more than any other project in the forum's history, 16 more than its nearest rival and the first project ever to acquire 30 WRIXAS. On 8th September 2013, it was named Best Soap for the sixth consecutive occasion.
The full list of accolades includes:
- BEST SOAP (six times in a row)
- BEST (SOAP) EPISODE (#27, #75, #100, #131 & #144)
- BEST RELATIONSHIP - Glisa (Glen & Lisa)
- BEST CAMEO, NEWCOMER OR RETURNEE - Rosy Lyons (Returnee)
- BEST EXIT (twice) - Sarah Reuban, Ben Warren
- BEST SOAP MALE (thrice) - Ben Warren (twice-in-a-row), Glen Wright
- BEST SOAP FEMALE (thrice) - Lisa Hopkins (twice); Rosy Lyons
- BEST NEWCOMER - Ben Warren, Hannah Cartwright, Sabrina Patel
- BEST SOAP SCENE - Steven & Ricki's Bittersweet Airport Goodbye; Rachel Hornby's Death; Holly Wainwright's Death
- BEST SOAP PLOT - Ben Warren's Fatal Meltdown; Spikegate
- BEST SHOCK - Ben Hastens Rosemary's Death With A Heart Attack
A synopsis of the main stories in each episode exists for every episode broadcast so far. To read these, please click on any of the links listed below:
- These Days: Episode Recaps (1-25)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (26-50)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (51-75)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (76-84)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (85-100)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (101-125)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (126-150)
- These Days: Episode Recaps (151-175)
|Status||Character||Actor||Duration (by episodes)|
|Regular||Lisa Hopkins||Alin Sumawarta||1-|
|Regular||Glen Wright||Samuel Anderson||1-|
|Regular||Rosy Lyons||Emma Rigby||1-106, 143-|
|Regular||Danielle Harvey||Jodie Bagnell||1-|
|Regular||Liam Hardacre||Shaun Blackstock||1-|
|Regular||Lee Rogers||Chris Fountain||1-|
|Regular||Anita Johnson||Michelle Monaghan||1-32, 48-|
|Regular||Steven Cowell||Max Brown||2-|
|Regular||Liz Doyle||Lysette Anthony||3-|
|Regular||Chandra Patel||Nikki Patel||3-|
|Regular||Jack Mason||James Redmond||6-|
|Regular||Steph Donnelly||Iris Strubegger||10-|
|Regular||Carrie Donnelly||Karen Gillan||16-|
|Regular||James Warren||Jeremy Sheffield||47-|
|Regular||Hannah Cowell||Tina Barrett||58-|
|Regular||Elliot Hardacre||Calvin Demba||80-|
|Regular||Noah Donnelly||Geordie Hollibar||82, 89-|
|Regular||Nat Wykin||Jimmy Akingbola||88-|
|Regular||Tegan Wykin||Shahnequa Duprey||88-|
|Regular||Joss Wykin||Saffron Coomber||88-|
|Regular||Kenzo Wykin||Tosin Cole||88-|
|Regular||Bezza (Luke Best)||Mark Salling||94-164|
|Recurring||Maxine Donnelly||Denise Welch||100-|
|Regular||Libby Taylor||Kirsty-Leigh Porter||103-106, 144-|
|Regular||Rebecca Chambers||Kristen Stewart||108-|
|Regular||Todd Chambers||Jared Padalecki||108-|
|Regular||Spike Cooper||Brandon Tyler Russell||110-|
|Recurring||Phil Donnelly||David Crellin||125-|
|Regular||Sabrina Patel||Fiona Wade||126-|
|Recurring||Joyce Warren||Sylvia Sims||131-137, 148-|
|Recurring||Marcus Harby||Ricky Whittle||135-|
|Regular||Grace Taylor||Bonnie Wright||144-|
|Regular||Chloe Taylor||Alexis Bledel||144-|
|Recurring||Connor Mason||Neil McDermott||162-|
|Recurring||Anna Sarin||Shelley Conn||165||-|
|Recurring||Leo Reed||Daniel Pearson||TBC||-|