Cult TV Essentials

Dream Team

Dream Team was a British television series produced by Hewland International which aired from 1997 to 2007 (419 episodes); it chronicled the on-field and off-field affairs of the fictional Harchester United Football Club, which was explained as being close to Tamworth in the West Midlands.

When the show began in 1997, the plotlines focused on the Harchester United youth team, then the following series focused on the first team for the first time and on Ian Coates (Francis Johnson), the manager, Jerry (Michael Melia) and Lynda Block (Alison King), the owners of Harchester United and Luis Amor Rodriguez (Martin Crewes), star striker and soon to be lover of Lynda. The end of the series resulted in Harchester winning the FA Cup.

The series 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.

Throughout the run of the show one of the most popular characters was Karl ‘Fletch’ Fletcher (Terry Kiely). Appearing from season 1, Fletch was briefly promoted to manager, became a father, married (and divorced) physiotherapist Abi O’Leary (Rachel Brady), and was briefly jailed. At the end of season 8, Fletch died after being impaled on a coat peg by deranged manager Don Barker (Jon Morrison).

After a fan’s poll about former characters returning, producers introduced a ghost of Fletch on Easter Sunday 2007, when the Harchester legend returned to haunt Jason Porter (Frankie Fitzgerald), whose world had begun to fall apart. The move was popular as the character was used sparingly but effectively until the end of the series.

The tenth and final series began on 29th October 2006 with the final episode being broadcast on 3rd June 2007. The main storyline of series ten revolved around “Dragonslayer”, a mysterious poster on the club’s fansite revealing the innermost secrets of the club. In the final episode viewers were left with a cliffhanger ending regarding which characters survived a massive fire that ripped through the Dragon’s Lair Stadium 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.

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