The Athena

The Athena follows the journey of Nyela Malik, a young model whose career implodes when she dares to complain about a famous designer treating her like an object. Nyela decides she wants to design her own clothes rather than wear other people’s, and wins a place at The Athena, London’s most prestigi-ous art school. It’s a fresh new start — but it’s also the start of fresh new challenges for Nyela. The Athena is full of super-creative, super- ambitious stu-dents — photographers, costume designers, graphic artists, fashion designers, jewellery makers — all intent on pursing their dreams at any cost. As Nyela navigates this exhilarating but scary new world, she’s also being pulled back into her old life, thanks to her two model friends Miju and Lexy.

26 x 26′

Genre | Subgenre:
Junior | Live Action

Target Audience:
Tween/Teen 10+


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    „I’ve proved people wrong about me and I’m only just getting ­started. I’ll prove you wrong, too – it’s just a matter of time.“

    Ex-model Nyela arrives at the Athena after ruining her career by calling out sexist designer Oscar Beerfeld and has to prove she’s more than just a pretty face. She forms an unlikely friendship with Leigh, and can sense romance blooming with Sam, but there always seem to be obstacles in their way. More importantly, can she silence the nay-
    sayers and succeed as a designer?

    The main character Ella Balinska is also well known for starring in the action comedy film Charlie’s Angels (2019).

  • MIJU

    „Okay. I’m a reckless unicorn. I’ll stop tidying … Just as soon as I’ve colour co-ordinated the dried pasta.“

    Determined and loyal, Miju flat shares with Lexy and Nyela. Lexy’s like an older sister to her and Miju will do the craziest things for her, like a ballet routine to cheer Lexy up. And Lexy is a great leveller for Miju. If Miju feels stressed, she starts sorting and cleaning, so she needs Lexy to talk her down. But when Lexy gets a boyfriend, Miju feels left out. Can she get her friend back?

  • LEXY

    „Seriously, I’m a manic pixie and a reckless unicorn and the hottest fairy godmother, all wrapped up in one awesome sauce package.“

    Successful model Lexy is a force of nature. A live wire with energy to burn, she flat-shares with Nyela and Miju. On the surface, she can appear dizzy and easily distracted, but there’s wisdom, depth and inner strength lurking underneath her wild and wacky exterior. There’s also talent, too – Lexy has some serious make-up skills … but will she advance them further?


    “I’m going to say three words to you and once I’ve said them, please pretend I didn’t say them, but… You go, girl.”

    Leigh arrives at the Athena determined to succeed in her chosen specialism, photography. But while she excels academically, Leigh has a lot to learn when it comes to friendship… yet a bond unexpectedly develops between her and Nyela – and Leigh finds her first best friend. She starts dating Lenny, but what is the connection between her and Satori and where will it lead Leigh?


    “Come in, unless I hate you, in which case, go and think about why that is”

    Specialising in fashion, Neisha is a bundle of contradictions – some hilariously entertaining, others intensely frustrating. She’s usually focussed on ways to boost her own profile by doing as little work as possible – but she can also be thoughtful, insightful and even sympathetic. But she’s never really had a real friend before coming to the Athena, so has much to learn about friendship in her first year at college…

  • SAM

    “I don’t know if you’ve done the measurements lately, but my shoulders – the exact right height for your head to lean on. I figured you might need it.”

    Supportive and loyal, Sam probably spends more time thinking about other people than he spends thinking about himself. And he may be good-looking, but it’s his unprompted kindness and generosity that win him friends… and also attract Nyela’s attention. But are they destined to be together, or are there just too many obstacles in their way?


    “There’s a lot of me to get cos of my layers. I have many. I’m actually a lot like a lasagne.”

    With his random thought patterns and off the wall humour, some might dismiss Lenny as a joker – but there’s more to him than that. His issue is often where to direct his energy to optimum effect – but when he gets it right, it really hits home. He values his friendships with Leigh, Sam and Nyela, and is fiercely loyal to them, but learns there can be a price to pay for keeping other people’s secrets…


    “Secrets don’t make a person interesting. They just make them a good liar… It’s not something I like about myself.”

    Satori is unlike the other Athena students we meet: while they haven’t yet worked out who they are, Satori has… however, while they all know what they want, Satori doesn’t. This can make her fun to be around, but also infuriating, as Sam and Leigh can testify. But Satori isn’t a malign influence – she’s just figuring things out. Can she succeed without hurting anyone again?


Created and Written by:
Holly Phillips (Dance Academy)

Produced by:
Depesche Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, Bryncoed Productions Ltd

Paul McKenzie (The Lodge, Sadie J, Hetty Feather)

Executive Producer :
Foz Allan (Wolfblood, Dumping Ground)

Isabelle Sieb




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