Playing the Field

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Playing the Field
Created by Kay Mellor
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 32
Production
Executive producer(s) Charles Brand
Tessa Ross
Kay Mellor
Producer(s) Kathleen Hutchison
Hugh Warren
Greg Brenman
Lis Steele
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Tiger Aspect Productions
Release
Original channel BBC One
Original release 8 March 1998 (1998-03-08) – 10 February 2002 (2002-02-10)

Playing the Field is a BBC television drama series following the lives of the Castlefield Blues, a fictitious female football team from South Yorkshire.

Outline[edit]

Inspired by the Pete Davies' novel I Lost My Heart To The Belles — which was written about a real-life club, the Doncaster BellesPlaying the Field ran for five series, from 1998–2002, with scripts by, amongst others, Kay Mellor, Sally Wainwright and Gaynor Faye.

Despite being set in South Yorkshire, much of the location filming took place in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, although the fifth (and final) series was filmed around Leeds; whilst the theme song, "Blue" by Alison Moyet, was originally a B-side track about the singer's love of Southend United FC. A young Marsha Thomason — who has since appeared in U.S. shows Las Vegas and Lost — featured in the first three series of Playing the Field. The first four series have been released on DVD in the UK, but the fifth has yet to be made available.

Main cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Series 1

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Episode 1" Paul Seed Kay Mellor 8 March 1998 (1998-03-08)
2 "Episode 2" Paul Seed Kay Mellor 15 March 1998 (1998-03-15)
3 "Episode 3" Paul Seed Kay Mellor 22 March 1998 (1998-03-22)
4 "Episode 4" Catherine Morshead Kay Mellor 29 March 1998 (1998-03-29)
5 "Episode 5" Catherine Morshead Kay Mellor 5 April 1998 (1998-04-05)
6 "Episode 6" Catherine Morshead Kay Mellor 12 April 1998 (1998-04-12)

Series 2

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
7 "Episode 1" Nicholas Laughland Kay Mellor 18 February 1999 (1999-02-18)
8 "Episode 2" Nicholas Laughland Kay Mellor 25 February 1999 (1999-02-25)
9 "Episode 3" Nicholas Laughland Kay Mellor 4 March 1999 (1999-03-04)
10 "Episode 4" Nicholas Laughland Sally Wainwright 11 March 1999 (1999-03-11)
11 "Episode 5" Robin Sheppard Valerie Windsor 18 March 1999 (1999-03-18)
12 "Episode 6" Robin Sheppard Valerie Windsor 25 March 1999 (1999-03-25)
13 "Episode 7" Robin Sheppard Sally Wainwright 1 April 1999 (1999-04-01)

Series 3

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14 "Episode 1" Dermot Boyd Kay Mellor 1 February 2000 (2000-02-01)
15 "Episode 2" Dermot Boyd Katie Baxendale 8 February 2000 (2000-02-08)
16 "Episode 3" Dermot Boyd Jan McVerry 15 February 2000 (2000-02-15)
17 "Episode 4" David Innes Edwards Kay Mellor 24 February 2000 (2000-02-24)
18 "Episode 5" David Innes Edwards Kay Mellor 2 March 2000 (2000-03-02)
19 "Episode 6" David Innes Edwards Katie Baxendale 9 March 2000 (2000-03-09)

Series 4

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
20 "Episode 1" Alrick Riley Sally Wainwright 13 July 2000 (2000-07-13)
21 "Episode 2" Alrick Riley Katie Baxendale 20 July 2000 (2000-07-20)
22 "Episode 3" Alrick Riley Greg Snow 27 July 2000 (2000-07-27)
23 "Episode 4" Dermot Boyd Sally Wainwright 3 August 2000 (2000-08-03)
24 "Episode 5" Dermot Boyd Katie Baxendale 10 August 2000 (2000-08-10)
25 "Episode 6" Dermot Boyd Russell Lewis 17 August 2000 (2000-08-17)
26 "Episode 7" Dermot Boyd Greg Snow 24 August 2000 (2000-08-24)

Series 5

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
27 "Episode 1" Robert Knights Gaynor Faye [1] 6 January 2002 (2002-01-06)
28 "Episode 2" Robert Knights Gaynor Faye [1] 13 January 2002 (2002-01-13)
29 "Episode 3" Andrew Margetson Sarah-Louise Hawkins 20 January 2002 (2002-01-20)
30 "Episode 4" Andrew Margetson Sarah-Louise Hawkins 27 January 2002 (2002-01-27)
31 "Episode 5" Rob Bailey Katie Baxendale 3 February 2002 (2002-02-03)
32 "Episode 6" Rob Bailey Katie Baxendale 10 February 2002 (2002-02-10)

Ratings[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
2.1 18 February 1999 8,160,000 18
2.2 25 February 1999 7,490,000 22
2.3 4 March 1999 7.200,000 22
2.4 11 March 1999 Under 6,050,000 N/A
2.5 18 March 1999 7,090,000 24
2.6 25 March 1999 7,710,000 18
2.7 1 April 1999 7,770,000 17
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
3.1 1 February 2000 Under 6,490,000 N/A
3.2 8 February 2000 7,430,000 18
3.3 15 February 2000 7,730,000 17
3.4 24 February 2000 6,010,000 30
3.5 2 March 2000 6,930,000 22
3.6 9 March 2000 6,290,000 27
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
4.1 13 July 2000 6,440,000 12
4.2 20 July 2000 5,310,000 25
4.3 27 July 2000 5,670,000 24
4.4 3 August 2000 5,760,000 19
4.5 10 August 2000 5,450,000 26
4.6 17 August 2000 5,650,000 27
4.7 24 August 2000 6,020,000 18
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
5.1 6 January 2002 6,160,000 17
5.2 13 January 2002 5,250,000 25
5.3 20 January 2002 5,290,000 25
5.4 27 January 2002 Under 4,700,000 N/A
5.5 3 February 2002 Under 4,430,000 N/A
5.6 10 February 2002 Under 4,490,000 N/A

Home media[edit]

The first four series of Playing the Field have been made available via Universal Playback.

  • Playing the Field: Series 1 & 2 (VHS) - 23 October 2000
  • Playing the Field: Series 3 & 4 (VHS) - 23 October 2000
  • Playing the Field: Series 1 & 2 (DVD) - 29 January 2007 (released as "Seasons 1 & 2")
  • Playing the Field: Series 3 & 4 (DVD) - 23 April 2007 (released as "Seasons 3 & 4")

Series 5, which was broadcast in 2002 has not received a VHS release, nor has it been released on DVD.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b As Gaynor Mellor.

External links[edit]