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TDS title card (1.4)
These Days
(commonly 'TD' or 'TDS') is an urban and darkly emotional serial drama produced by Noxy Productions and published on the creative writing forum Writers Express. It is set in and around two fictitious Leicester suburbs: the urban Newben and the more widely featured suburban town of Middlehampton.

This is the second online incarnation of the project, and began on 1st February 2015.

The original version of the show ran from 14th November 2011-29th September 2014, though it wasn't officially cancelled until 1st December 2014. Now known as 'These Days 1.0', it is the most successful project ever on the Writers Express forum. A critical success from the outset, These Days 1.0 scooped a record 41 WRIXAS (Writers Express Awards) in total, including 'Best Soap' (or similar accolade) eight consecutive times. It was also named 'Best Project' at WRIXAS 8 in September 2014, where it broke records by winning 9 awards at one ceremony.

In spite of this success, creator and writer Noxy felt she had taken 1.0 as far as it could go, and a new version of the project was officially announced on 5th January 2015. Like its predecessor, it is initially set in the near future, but once it catches up, it will fall behind real time, and so will essentially be set in the past. In TDS time, the show airs three days a week - on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - since the 1st September 2015. However in real time, TDS airs weekly episodes on Sundays since 1st February 2015. In addition to this, a 'Features' thread publishes occasionally since 9th January 2015.

On the 20th January 2016, as part of an efficiency drive, the project's Twitter account was mothballed. All information relating to the project has since come exclusively under the production company's Twitter account. From 2011-2016, this was Noxy Productions. However, at the end of 2016, it was announced the company was changing its name to Impossible Princess Pictures (with the Twitter account changing accordingly) - effective as of 00:00 (GMT) on Sunday 1st January 2017. The name comes from a Kylie Minogue album released in 1997.

Also at the end of 2016, it was announced that the show will be published once a week on Fridays from Friday 13th January 2017, three times a month. This means that around 36 episodes a year will air, more than ever before. That same week, it was also announced that the project will receive a visual revamp, effective as of Episode 37, which was published on Sunday 1st January 2017. From 20th March 2017, the show switched to Mondays. A few weeks later, it switched back to Fridays.

On the 1st June 2017, and with the publication of Episode 53, an unannounced visual revamp was revealed. This was to mark the new year in TDS time.

As of August 2016, the current version of the show has won 20 WRIXAS, including 'Best Soap' thrice-in-a-row.

The project airs on Fridays since 19 May, averaging three episodes per calendar month. The last episode of the WX year was published on 14 July. The show is now on it's annual summer break, and will return on 26 August.

Title Card

The current title card was revealed unannounced on 1st June 2017. As with the previous new card, it was introduced to mark the new year - but in TDS time, whereas previously it was to mark the new year in real time. The current card bears similar hallmarks to the last one, but with some new angles. Blue remains but red is the more prominent; in fact red is more prominent in this title card than any other previously. Whilst the the previous title card opted for Leicester specific landmarks, this one instead opts for generic landmarks that are prominent in the show - such as a living room, a petrol station, a block of flats and a public park. The previously red bar is now a soft golden colour and is smaller. The title is now in lower case, the first time the logo has used this. It is also the first time red has not featured in the logo itself in some form, either as lettering or as a bar. Producer Noxy - who designs the cards - felt the red theme in the background images was 'enough red'. Noxy says that the current design was inspired by the 'carnival' theme Hollyoaks has used since September 2016. 'I wanted something along those lines but not a copy', she explains. 'Something that was both dramatic yet homely, colourful and that captures the spirit and diversity of These Days somehow. This was the end result, and I was very happy with it.'

Theme Tune

Since Episode 1, the theme tune has been 'Distance' by Schiller ft. Kim Sanders. Noxy felt that the song's 'ethereal atmosphere and emotional lyrics' captured the essence of what the show was about. In 1.0, the theme was 'Unfinished Sympathy (Paul Oakenfold Remix)' by Massive Attack.

Premise

These Days is set across two fictional, neighbouring Leicester suburbs: the urban Newben, and the suburban and more wideley used Middlehampton.  There are several distinctive landmarks in the show which are instantly familiar to fans. These include the following:

  • Doyle's - a local café run by proprietor Liz Doyle, with Lindsay Adams and Tom Hornby as waiting staff. Liz herself lives in a flat above the eatery
  • Petrol station - run by manager Lee Rogers; adjacent to the garage
  • The garage - owned and run by mechanic Jack Mason, with Liam Hardacre an apprentice; adjacent to the petrol station
  • Fabulous! - a women-only salon run by Lisa Wright, with Carrie Donnelly as an apprentice beautician
  • Hotel Republic - a chain hotel run by Ricki Marshall, daughter-in-law of the late ex-manager, Max Marshall. Her staff include deputy Stephen Chapman, head receptionist Chandra Patel, housekeeping manager Donna Lynch and assistant chef Woody. Ricki's husband Ed is an area manager and bigwig Bob Emerald works for head office
  • Restaurant Republic - offscreen hotel restaurant run by an offscreen manager
  • The Moonshine Inn - a pub run by the Donnelly parents, Maxine and Phil. Their teenage children Noah and Carrie live there. Anita Johnson is a barmaid
  • Linford Park - a public park bordering the suburbs of Newben and Linford
  • Linford High - a local secondary school which Danielle Harvey and Finn Walker attend as Year 11 students, with Rachel Hornby as a newly qualified teacher and headteacher Alan Stanley
  • Newben College - a tertiary education facility with Liam Hardacre and Carrie Donnelly as students
  • Rendezvous - a small student cafe within the college
  • Sanco (referred to verbally as 'Sanco's') - a rarely seen but occasionally mentioned fictional supermarket. 'Sanco' is a portmanteau of Sainsbury and Tesco
  • Leicester St. Mary's - a fictional hospital. Nursing students (and friends) Rosy Lyons and Keeley Thompson work there
  • The Archers - an alternative but rarely seen pub to The Moonshine Inn. Anita Johnson has been seen drinking in there

Formation, Style and Original Demise

'These Days' was first conceived as an idea in the autumn of 2001. Creator Noxy has said she 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, stating that TDS 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 TDS 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 TDS, unlike major British soaps which use standard filming
  • TDS has a mixture of working class and middle class characters and values, as opposed to most British soaps which tend to focus on only the working class


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), TDS is spread across two fictional Leicester suburbs, and makes regular use of several external sets, including a hotel, a petrol station and a public park. These types of set are atypical in British soaps.

Noxy described naming the show as difficult, admitting that she 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. She 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 211. Noxy stopped writing the show as she felt it had 'stalled' and had lost direction and purpose. As such, it was abandoned indefinitely.

First Revival

In August 2011, Noxy joined a creative writing website called Writers Express, which she would later own and run.

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 became increasingly and then predominantly original. The project was critically acclaimed from the outset, and won 40 WRIXAS (Writers Express Awards) in total, more than any other project in the forum's history to date. It was also the first project ever to acquire 40 WRIXAS. On the 31st August 2014, it was named Best Soap for the eighth consecutive time.

The full list of accolades includes:

  • BEST SOAP (eight times in a row)
  • BEST (SOAP) EPISODE (6 times) - 27/1.27, 75/1.75, 100/2.16, 131/2.47, 144/2.60 & 164/2.80
  • BEST CAMEO, NEWCOMER OR RETURNEE (5 times) - Ben Warren (Newcomer), Hannah Cartwright (Newcomer), Sabrina Patel (Newcomer), Rosy Lyons (Returnee) & Connor Mason (Newcomer)
  • BEST SOAP FEMALE (four times) - Lisa Hopkins (twice), Rosy Lyons & Joss Wykin
  • BEST SOAP SCENE (four times) - Steven & Ricki's Bittersweet Airport Goodbye (75/1.75), Rachel Hornby's Death (84/1.84), Holly Wainwright's Death (131/2.47) & Bezza Shot Dead By An Unknown Assailant (164/2.80)
  • BEST EXIT (thrice) - Sarah Reuban, Ben Warren & Bezza
  • BEST SOAP MALE (thrice) - Glen Wright & Ben Warren (twice-in-a-row)
  • BEST SOAP PLOT - Ben Warren's Fatal Meltdown, Spikegate & Who Shot Bezza?
  • BEST PROJECT (first project to win this new award)
  • BEST RELATIONSHIP - Glisa (Glen & Lisa)
  • BEST SHOCK - Ben Hastens Rosemary's Death With A Heart Attack


However, on 29th September 2014, Episode 173 was published. It was announced on the 1st December 2014 that this was to be the last ever episode of this version, and the project formally ended. Shortly after, it was hinted that the show would return, but restarted and refreshed for a new modern era.

Second Revival

On the 5th January 2015, an official article was published giving an insight into the new version. It began on the 1st February and currently airs on Fridays.

Changes from the First Revival

Noxy Productions do not wish to give away too much about the changes made to the project, but below is a non-exhaustive list of changes:

  • Lisa Hopkins is now known as Lisa Wright, her married name. This is to give the complex family she comes from the umbrella name 'the Wright family'
  • Lisa now runs a salon called Fabulous! initially alongside her gay best friend Jason Warren. Neither Fabulous! or Jason previously existed. There is no modelling agency in this version. Jason leaves the salon to take over the running of gym Sweat in Episode 12
  • The Moonshine Inn pub was previously owned and run by James Warren, and was introduced halfway through the first series. In the second revival, the pub is owned and run by the Donnelly parents Maxine and Phil, and appears from the outset
  • Lee Rogers no longer runs a newsagent's, but a petrol station. This petrol station is adjacent to the garage
  • Newben General Hospital is now known as Leicester St. Mary's
  • In the first revival, the Blue Royalé hotel later became Hotel Republic. However, it is now called Hotel Republic from the outset. Originally, Ricki Wells ran it with an iron fist. Now, Ricki - now known as Ricki Marshall - is drafted in as a new manager; partly because of the sudden death of the hotel's previous manager (and Ricki's father-in-law) Max Marshall; and partly because the hotel has just been downgraded from four star to three star. Alarmed by this, CEO Bob Emerald drafts in Ricki - a tough but efficient operator with an excellent track record - to 'turn it around'
  • Woody - AKA Paul Woodley - is a new character at the hotel, a Brummie playing the role of assistant chef in the unseen hotel restaurant
  • Anita Johnson - previously a model but later a barmaid - is now a barmaid from the outset
  • Middlehampton no longer exists; it is now Linford, a suburban area of Leicester adjacent to the more urban Newben
  • Doyle's, the show's famous eatery, has been scaled down from a restaurant to a café
  • East Midlands University (known as EMU) is a recurring set. Current undergraduates include Rosy Lyons, Keeley Thompson and Tom Hornby

Episode Recaps

A synopsis of the main stories in each episode will be published after the next episode has aired (for example, a recap for Episode 1 was published when Episode 2 went to air etc.). To read these, simply click on any of the links listed below:

Current Cast

Status

Character

Actor

Duration (by episodes)

Regular

Lisa Wright

Anna Acton

1-

Regular

Glen Wright

Samuel Anderson

1-

Regular

Rosy Lyons

Emma Rigby

1-

Regular

Danielle Harvey

Jodie Bagnell

1-

Regular

Liam Hardacre

Shaun Blackstock

1-

Regular

Liz Doyle

Lysette Anthony

1-

Regular

Anita Johnson

Michelle Monaghan

1-

Regular Lee Rogers Chris Fountain 2-
Regular Jack Matthews Joseph Whelan 2-
Regular Stephen Chapman Max Brown 2-
Regular Jason Warren John Partridge 2-
Regular Maxine Donnelly Denise Welch 2-
Regular Chandra Patel Nikki Patel 2-
Recurring Bob Emerald Clive Mantle 2-
Regular Phil Donnelly David Crellin 2-
Regular Ed Marshall Ben Barnes 2-
Regular Carrie Donnelly Karen Hassan 2-
Regular Paul 'Woody' Woodley Will Merrick 3-
Regular Donna Lynch Samantha Mumba 3-
Regular Keeley Thompson Alice Barlow 3-
Regular Lindsay Adams Anna Shaffer 3-
Regular Tom Hornby Guy Burnet 3-
Regular Rachel Hornby Alice Connor 4-
Regular Finn Walker Brad Leeks 4-
Regular Frankie Wells Eva McGillivray

9-

Recurring DC Helen Symanski Kazia Pelka 10-
Regular Ricki Marshall Kate Maberly 12-
Regular Jade Hudson Gemma Atkinson 14-
Recurring Kieran Woodley Richard Summers-Calvert 14-
Recurring Paige Hudson Honor Kneafsey 14-
Recurring Jodie 'JJ' Jacobson Eleni Foskett 15-
Recurring Alan Stanley Philip Martin Brown 23-
Recurring Parminder 'Pam' Patel Patsy Prince 24-
Recurring Declan Jenkins Elliot Hanna 26-
Recurring Jaimee Jenkins Roxanne Pallett 27-
Regular Mark Johnson Declan Bennett 27-
Regular Tony 'Dex' Dexter Chris Coghill 27-
Regular Jerome Curtis Micah Balfour 35-
Regular Trish Hobson Sue Johnston 36-
Recurring Kaiden 'Bomber' Bombwell James Fletcher 38-
Regular Martin Walker Steven Pinder 41-
Recurring Saffron Lawson Madeleine Peart 50-
Regular Steph Lawson Katie Tranter 50-
Regular Casper Lawson Adam Philps 50-
Recurring Neil Lawson Andrew Hayden-Smith 53-
Regular Matt Macauley Ben Ryan Davies TBC
TOTAL 45

Past Cast

Status

Character

Actor

Duration (by episodes)

Guest

Sophie Wright

Uncredited

1

Regular Max Marshall John Nettles 2-5
Recurring Hari Kapoor James Floyd 2-12
TOTAL 3

Complete Cast

Status

Character

Actor

Duration (by episodes)

Regular

Lisa Wright

Anna Acton

1-

Regular

Glen Wright

Samuel Anderson

1-

Guest Sophie Wright Uncredited 1

Regular

Rosy Lyons

Emma Rigby

1-

Regular

Danielle Harvey

Jodie Bagnell

1-

Regular

Liam Hardacre

Shaun Blackstock

1-

Regular

Liz Doyle

Lysette Anthony

1-

Regular

Anita Johnson

Michelle Monaghan

1-

Regular Lee Rogers Chris Fountain 2-
Regular Jack Matthews Joseph Whelan 2-
Regular Stephen Chapman Max Brown 2-
Regular Jason Warren John Partridge 2-
Recurring Maxine Donnelly Denise Welch 2-
Regular Chandra Patel Nikki Patel 2-
Recurring Max Marshall John Nettles 2-5
Recurring Bob Emerald Clive Mantle 2-
Recurring Hari Kapoor James Floyd 2-12
Regular Phil Donnelly David Crellin 2-
Regular Ed Marshall Ben Barnes 2-
Regular Carrie Donnelly Karen Gillan 2-
Regular Paul 'Woody' Woodley Will Merrick 3-
Regular Donna Lynch Samantha Mumba 3-
Regular Keeley Thompson Alice Barlow 3-
Regular Lindsay Adams Anna Shaffer 3-
Regular Tom Hornby Guy Burnet 3-
Regular Rachel Hornby Alice Connor 4-
Regular Finn Walker Brad Leeks 4-
Regular Frankie Wells Eva McGillivray 9-
Recurring DS Helen Symanski Kazia Pelka 10-
Regular Ricki Marshall Kate Maberly 12-
Regular Jade Hudson Gemma Atkinson 14-
Recurring Kieran Woodley Richard Summers-Calvert 14-
Recurring Paige Hudson Honor Kneafsey 14-
Recurring Jodie 'JJ' Jacobson Eleni Foskett 15-
Recurring Alan Stanley Philip Martin Brown 23-
Recurring Parminder 'Pam' Patel Patsy Prince 24-
Recurring Declan Jenkins Elliot Hanna 26-
Recurring Jaimee Jenkins Roxanne Pallett 27-
Regular Mark Johnson Declan Bennett 27-
Regular Tony 'Dex' Dexter Chris Coghill 27-
Regular Jerome Curtis Micah Balfour 35-
Regular Trish Hobson Sue Johnston 36-
Recurring Kaiden 'Bomber' Bombwell James Fletcher 38-
Regular Martin Walker Steven Pinder 41-
Recurring Saffron Lawson Madeleine Peart 50-
Regular Steph Lawson Katie Tranter 50-
Regular Casper Lawson Adam Philps 50-
Recurring Neil Lawson Andrew Hayden-Smith 53-
Recurring Matt Macauley Ben Ryan Davies TBC
TOTAL 48

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