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A NEW SOAP is a comic strip, a corresponding run of graphic novels, and a spin-off series of TV movies. The stories follow the fantastical adventures of a group of York students who include the four AVW founders and their friends (albeit depicted as being played by celebrities). The series is noted for its pop-culture references and local in-jokes. Such was the success of the series that its casting of Christopher Eccleston in the role of 'Doctor Who' (first established in 2000) was subsequently adopted by the BBC.

The title, A New Soap, and the use of "Episode" to denote each part, is a deliberate homage to the original Star Wars film (aka Episode IV: A New Hope).

The comic strip
Published as part of AView, it was written by Stew Chester and drawn by Alex Jefferson. The first strip appeared in February 1999. The last new serialisation concluded in May 2002.

The graphic novels
PPP began publishing the strips in graphic novel form from early 2000. In May 2002 they published the first straight-to-book story: The New Soap T-N-G. This was followed in 2003 by TARDIS Down.

The TV series
The opening night of ATV featured a trailer for "Episode Nought: A New Soap" which aired on 6th May 2006. This was followed by adaptations of each book. In March 2008, ANSX became the only story to premiere in the TV format, while 2015's The Foss Awakens (another Star Wars pun) had a simultaneous release as a TV movie and a graphic novel.

Publication history:

THE PILOT EPISODES:
A group of students in a dorm at the University of York awake to find their cleaning lady has been murdered.

Episode 1: A New Soap - 19th February 1999 (AView 01:04)
Episode 2: A New Soap - 19th March 1999 (AView 01:05)
(graphic novel published March 2000, incorporating unissued Episode 3)

THE CRYSTAL OF ENDERON:
The students are embroiled in the search for a magical crystal.

Episode 4: A New Soap - 20th August 1999  (AView 01:10) (note: there was no Episode 3)
A New Soap: Episode 5 - 24th September 1999 (AView 01:11)
A New Soap: Episode 6 - 22nd October 1999 (AView 01:12)
Episode 7 - 19th November 1999 (AView 02:01)
Episode 8: The Christmas Special -  17th December 1999 (AView 02:03)
Episode 9 - 7th January 2000 (AView 02:04)
(graphic novel published October 2000)
(TV adaptation, June 2006)

THE SEARCH FOR TOSH:
The students are sucked into their television and must find their way back home.

Episode 10 - 4th February 2000 (AView 02:06)
Episode 11 - 18th February 2000 (AView 02:07)
Episode 12 - 3rd March 2000 (AView 02:08)
Episode 13 - 17th March 2000 (AView 02:09)
Episode 14 - 31st March 2000 (AView 02:10)
The Easter Special pt.I - 14th April 2000 (AView 02:11)
The Easter Special pt.II - 28th April 2000 (AView 02:12)
(graphic novel published March 2001)
(TV adaptation, July 2006)

FRED HARRIS:
Still trapped in the television universe, the students learn that their only hope is to find Fred Harris.

Episode 17 - 12th May 2000 (AView 02:13)
Episode 18 - 26th May 2000 (AView 02:14)
Episode 19 - 9th June 2000 (AView 02:15)
Episode 20 - 23rd June 2000 (AView 02:16)
Episode 21 - 7th July 2000 (AView 02:17)
(graphic novel published June 2001)
(TV adaptation, August 2006)

CARIBBEAN HOLIDAY SPECIAL:
The students find themselves cast adrift on the high seas.

Episode 22 - 21st July 2000 (AView 02:18)
Episode 23 - 4th August 2000 (AView 02:19)
Episode 24 - 18th August 2000 (AView 02:20)
(graphic novel published August 2001, incorporating unissued Episode 25)
(TV adaptation, September 2006)

THE NEW SOAP PREQUELS:
Star Wars spoof in which the students play characters from their history.

Episode -n - 1st September 2000 (AView 02:21)
The second episode - 15th September 2000 (AView 02:22)
The third episode - 29th September 2000 (AView 02:23)
(graphic novel published October 2001)
(TV adaptation, October 2006)

JIM V SIDDOR:
The students must face their deadliest enemy: Jim's dad.

Episode 26: The Cheese of Ragnor - 27th October 2000  (AView 02:25) (note: there was no Episode 25)
Episode 27: Recreational Winter Trapezoid - 24th November 2000 (AView 03:01)
Episode 28: Good Morning Swansea - 8th December 2000 (AView 03:03)
Episode 29: Narwhals Ate My Rhino Card - 29th December 2000 (AView 03:05)
Episode 30: The Final Episode - 12th January 2001 (AView 03:07)
(graphic novel published December 2001)
(TV adaptation, December 2006 (two episodes))

THE T-N-G TRAILERS:
Eight vignettes to tease a forthcoming graphic novel.

Trailer 1 - 5th April 2002 (AView 04:18)
Trailer 2 - 12th April 2002 (AView 04:19)
Trailer 3 - 19th April 2002 (AView 04:20)
Trailer 4 - 26th April 2002 (AView 04:21) (note: two different versions)
Trailer 5 - 3rd May 2002 (AView 04:22)
Trailer 6 - 10th May (AView 04:23)
Trailer 7 - 17th May 2002 (AView 04:24)
Trailer 8 - 24th May 2002 (AView 04:25)

THE NEW SOAP T-N-G:
Geese are plotting to destroy the Earth. Can our students stop them?
(published as a graphic novel, May 2002; no serialisation)
(TV adaptation, April 2007)

TARDIS DOWN:
The students are stranded on an alien planet without any female companionship.
(published as a graphic novel, December 2003; no serialisation)
(TV adaptation, July 2007) 

BABYSHAM:
Six part series of stand-alone comics in which the students find themselves in Hell.
(published monthly: May-October 2004; last issue published in two different versions)
(TV adaptation, September/October 2007 (six episodes))

EPISODE NOUGHT: A NEW SOAP:
TV adaptation of the Pilot Episodes; first broadcast 6th May 2006.

ANSX:
TV movie, first shown 23rd March 2008. The students hatch a plan to escape Hell.
(graphic novel published November 2008)

A NEW SOAP: THE FOSS AWAKENS:
Simultaneously released as a TV movie and a graphic novel, Christmas 2015.

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