Dream Team (TV series)

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Dream Team
Dream Team Series Logo.png
GenreSports drama
Family drama
Soap Opera
Written byVarious
Directed byVarious
including:
Carson Black, Riita Leena-Lynn, Marcus D.F. White, David Penn, Maurice Hutchinson, Terry Iland
StarringFinal cast
Alison King
Nina Muschallik
Frankie Fitzgerald
Terry Kiely
Jonathan Howard
Duncan Pow
Jessica Jane
James Floyd
Junior Nunoo
Danny Husbands
Danny Midwinter
Amy Perfect
David Ajala
Music byGerry Moffett
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes419
Production
ProducersVarious
including:
Carson Black, Dewi Griffiths, Sarah Conroy, Ben Harris, Nicky Poulton, John Salthouse, Sean Glynn
EditorsVarious
including:
Robin Nurse, Tim Porter, Jo Walker, Tim Murrell, Peter Williams, Al Morrow
Running time60 minutes (including advertisements)
Release
Original networkSky One
Original release14 October 1997 (1997-10-14) –
3 June 2007 (2007-06-03)

Dream Team is a British sports drama television series produced by Hewland International which aired on Sky One from 1997 to 2007; it chronicled the on-field and off-field affairs of the fictional Premier League football club Harchester United. Originally broadcast in a soap opera format with two twice-weekly episodes (typically Tuesday and Thursday evenings) broadcast in the half-hour format. This continued for the first three seasons and 200 episodes, from which the show was reformatted into a prime-time one-hour drama weekly on Sunday nights where it remained for its next seven seasons until its final 419th episode.

The show's cast varied over the years with many coming's and going's that reflect the natural course of a professional football club throughout various seasons. Lisa Burstow, Terry Kiely, Alison King, Danny Husbands, Andy Ansah, Emma Gilmour, Daymon Britton, John Salthouse, Philip Barantini and Francis Johnson were the most frequently cast members over the 10 seasons. Notable other actors included Martin Crewes, Ricky Whittle, Charles Venn, Michael Melia, Luke Mably, Dhaffer L'Abidine, Jamie Lomas, Robert Kazinsky, Kara Tointon and Robbie Gee. Many real life footballers and members of English sporting community including presenters and commentators also featured on the show.

Premise[edit]

The show began in 1997 and centered on the Harchester United youth team. The next series, series 2 transmitted in 1998 concluding in 1999 focused on the first team for the first time and on Ian Coates, the manager, Jerry and Lynda Block, the owners of Harchester United and Luis Amor Rodriguez, star striker and soon-to-be lover of Lynda. The end of the series resulted in Harchester winning the FA Cup.

Series 3, that followed focused on the club fighting against relegation, qualifying for the highly acclaimed Champions League and being demoted to the Football League for financial irregularities and corruption after they were found guilty of match fixing.

As the show developed, the storylines became more and more extravagant, with the character death toll rising significantly in later series. Some of the most outlandish storylines included a striker being shot by a sniper after winning the FA Cup, a fan being brought onto the pitch to play during a game, and later becoming a Premier League star, and a goalkeeper in gambling debt holding the entire team hostage before being killed by SWAT team.[1] With declining viewing figures and repetitive storylines, Sky decided not to renew the Dream Team contract, and in April 2006, the director of programmes at Sky One, Richard Woolfe, confirmed the show would not return after the tenth series.[2][3]

The tenth series began on 29 October 2006, the final episode being broadcast on 3 June 2007, with viewers left unaware of which characters survived a massive fire that ripped through the Dragon's Lair during the final Premier League game of the season. However it is hinted that Harchester United win the Premier League thanks to a last minute goal from Jason Porter. The last ever song to be played on the programme was "Cast No Shadow" by Oasis.

The main storyline of series ten revolved around "Dragonslayer", a mysterious poster on the club's fansite revealing the innermost secrets of the club. It was ultimately this storyline that resulted in the arson attack that ended the series. Following the announcement of Dream Team being axed, many of the main cast members left the programme at the start of series ten. These included Alex Dempsey, Lynda Block and Ryan Naysmith.

Cast[edit]

Main Cast[edit]

Cast members who featured most frequently during all ten seasons, this list may not include lead characters from certain seasons.

  • Lisa Burstow as Sandra Greene (1997–2004)
  • Terry Kiely as Karl Fletcher (1997–2007)
  • Alison King as Lynda Block (1998–2007)
  • Danny Husbands as Danny Sullivan (2001–2007)
  • Emma Gilmour as Kelly James (1998–2000)
  • Daymon Britton as Sean Hocknell (1997–1999)
  • John Salthouse as Frank Patcham (1997–2007)
  • Philip Barantini as Billy O'Neill (1998–2000)
  • Francis Johnson as Ian Coates (1997–1999)
  • Michael Melia as Jerry Block (1998–2000)
  • Ray MacAllan as Jeff Stein (1999–2004)
  • Martin Crewes as Luis Amor Rodriguez (1998–2000)
  • Ricky Whittle as Ryan Naysmith (2002–2007)
  • Clinton Kenyon as Warren Masters (1997–1999)
  • Charles Venn as Curtis Alexander (2001–2006)
  • Nina Muschallik as Nikki Peggs (2001–2004)
  • Angela Saunders as Natasha Parker (2000–2004)
  • Luke Mably as Scott Lucas (1999–2002)
  • Jim Alexander as Jamie Parker (2000–2003)
  • Mark Moraghan as Ray Wyatt (1999–2006)

Harchester United[edit]

Fictional Harchester United jerseys

Harchester United was the fictional Premier League football club featured in the series, known by their nickname "The Dragons" and club motto 'Contende Ad Caelum' meaning Strive for the Skies and/or Be The Best. Its geographical location was north of Birmingham and Coventry, and two miles east of Tamworth, a Midlands setting chosen so as not to alienate football fans from either the North or South. Its filming locations however, started with Watford's Vicarage Road doubling as Addison Road for the show's first two seasons (1997–99) with a move to a new stadium, The Dragon's Lair seeing Milwall's The New Den becoming The Dragon's home for the next eight seasons.[4]

Production[edit]

Millwall's The New Den was used as Harchester United's Stadium

The shows's production overseen by Hewland International and aired on the Sky One channel between 1997 and 2007. It was one of the earliest examples of 'subscription' television drama, arriving at a time when Sky television was the leading source in the genre A unique identity to hold, Dream Team wasn't the first UK-made drama to crack this particular market, that accolade belonging to British Satellite Broadcasting's Galaxy Channel soap Jupiter Moon in 1990, a show only curtailed by the merger of its network BSB with Sky television. Seven years later, Dream Team began airing on Sky One in the soap opera format, with two twice-weekly episodes (typically Tuesday and Thursday evenings) broadcast in the half-hour format. This continued for the first three seasons and 200 episodes, from which the show was reformatted into a prime-time one-hour drama weekly on Sunday nights where it remained for its next seven seasons until its final 419th episode.[5]

The Dream Team series used a technique called rotoscoping to create the live action football sequences, that would put players from the clubs competing against real-life players and teams from the Premier League, EFL Championship, and internationally in the UEFA Cup, and Champions League.[6]

Harchester United team kits were created by real kit manufacturers and were also available to buy whilst the show was on the air. These kits were made by PONY for series one (1997–1998), Le Coq Sportif for series two to seven (1998–2003), and later Valsport for series eight to ten (2004–2007).

It has been theorised that the third kit worn by Everton players during the 2014–15 season were inspired by those donned by Harchester United.[7]

Episodes[edit]

419 episodes were made over ten series. For the first three series, the show aired in a half-hour format of Tuesday and Thursday nights, with an hour-long omnibus airing on Saturday/Sunday mornings. The final episodes for series two and three were both an hour in duration and after receiving strong ratings in both cases, starting in series four, the show switched to a single hour-long episode on Sunday evenings.

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 14 October 1997 20 May 1998 64
2 1 September 1998 20 May 1999 76
3 21 September 1999 18 May 2000 62
4 1 October 2000 15 April 2001 26
5 16 September 2001 15 May 2002 32
6 6 October 2002 18 May 2003 32
7 28 September 2003 16 May 2004 32
8 17 October 2004 29 May 2005 32
9 16 October 2005 14 May 2006 31
10 29 October 2006 3 June 2007 32

Foreign audience[edit]

In the United States, Fox Soccer Channel (like Sky, a part of News Corporation) aired Dream Team as part of their schedule outside of prime periods. The series also aired in India on STAR Sports, in Ukraine on ICTV, in Serbia on Studio B television, in France on france 4, in Montenegro on TV In, in Estonia on TV4, in Bosnia and Herzegovina on BHT1 and in North Macedonia on MRT 1. It also aired on Botswana's national television station Btv, in Kenya on STV, and in South Africa on SABC 1.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Traynor, Mikey (17 October 2017). "10 Utterly Ridiculous Storylines That Made Sky One's 'Dream Team' So Great". Balls.ie. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Final Whistle for TV's Dream Team". BBC News. 11 April 2006. Archived from the original on 16 May 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  3. ^ Brown, Maggie (11 April 2006). "Final whistle for Dream Team". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 September 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2018. Jane Hewland, the programme's creator and executive producer, said today the 10th series of the Sunday night drama now in production would be the last.
  4. ^ http://dtdiehard.net/features_files/dream%20team%20faq.htm
  5. ^ http://dtdiehard.net/features_files/dream%20team%20faq.htm
  6. ^ "Inside Britain's most dysfunctional football club: The story of Harchester United | JOE.co.uk". JOE.co.uk. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  7. ^ Buxton, Richard (7 August 2014). "Everton reveal 'Harchester United' inspired third kit". Metro. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016.

External links[edit]