Dream Team (TV series)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||419|
|Running time||60 minutes (including advertisements)|
|Original network||Sky One|
|Original release||14 October 1997 –|
3 June 2007
Dream Team is a British 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 Harchester United Football Club. The club is based in the fictional town of Harchester (which is said to be close to Tamworth) in the West Midlands.
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.
Cancellation and final series
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. 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.
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.
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.
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).
Cast members who featured during the show's tenth and final series.
- Nina Muschallik as Nikki Peggs (1998–2002, 2003, 2005–2006, 2007)
- Alison King as Lynda Block (1998–2002, 2003, 2005–2006, 2007)
- Daniel Lundh as Mustapha Karim (2005)
- Jamie Lomas as Alex Dempsey (2005–2006)
- Lucinda Kennard as Amy Kerrigan (2005–2007)
- Naomi Ryan as Ashleigh King (2005–2006)
- Julie Healy as Chloe Tyler (2005–2007)
- Harry Salmon as Ricardo Nomlas (2006–2007)
- Jessica-Jane Clement as Cindi Marshall (2005–2007)
- Danny Husbands as Danny Sullivan (2001–2007)
- Junior Nunoo as Eugene Rose (2004–2007)
- Jonathan Howard as Gavin Moody (2005–2007)
- Duncan Pow as Liam Mackay (2005–2007)
- Sapphire Elia as Gemma Craig (2006–2007)
- Frankie Fitzgerald as Jason Porter (2006–2007)
- Joshua P. Adley as Grahame Winter (2006–2007)
- Danny Midwinter as Jimmy Craig (2006–2007)
- Amy Perfect as Katy Irwin (2006–2007)
- James Floyd as Miguel Lopez (2006–2007)
- David Ajala as Sean Campbell (2007)
- Nick Nevern as Pavel Kovac (2006)
- Louis Decosta Johnson as Monday Bandele (2005)
- Terry Kiely as Karl Fletcher (throughout the series)
- Zoe Paphitis as Zoe the receptionist
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|
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, and in South Africa on SABC 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.
- "Final Whistle for TV's Dream Team". BBC News. 11 April 2006. Archived from the original on 16 May 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.