Dream Team was a British television series produced by Hewland International which aired on Sky1 and Sky3 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.
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.
As the show developed, the storylines became more and more extravagant, with the character death toll rising significantly in the final seasons. 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.
Harchester United team kits were created by real kit manufacturers and were also available to buy whilst the show was on the air. The manufacturers of these kits were PONY, Le Coq Sportif and Valsport. Series One (1997–1998) PONY Series Two-Seven (1998–2003) Le Coq Sportif Series Eight-Ten (2004–2007) Valsport
Series 1 Home (PONY) Series 2 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 3 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 4 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 5 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 6 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 7 Home (Le Coq Sportif) Series 8 Home (Valsport) Series 9/10 Home (Valsport)
The most popular kits were the series 7 kits, which was most fans' favourite.
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.
Cast members who featured during the show's tenth and final season.Nina Muschallik
as Nikki Peggs (1998–2002, 2003, 2005–2006, 2007)
as Lynda Block (1998–2002, 2003, 2005–2006, 2007)
as Mustapha Karim (2005)
as Alex Dempsey (2005–2006)
as Amy Kerrigan (2005–2007)
as Ashleigh King (2005–2006)
as Chloe Tyler (2005–2007)
as Cindi Marshall (2005–2007)
as Danny Sullivan (2001–2007)
as Eugene Rose (2004–2007)
as Gavin Moody (2005–2007)
as Liam Mackay (2005–2007)
as Gemma Craig (2006–2007)
as Jason Porter (2006–2007)
as Jimmy Craig (2006–2007)
as Katy Irwin (2006–2007)
as Miguel Lopez (2006–2007)
as Sean Campbell (2007)
as Pavel Kovac (2006)
For a list of characters that have appeared on Dream Team, see Dream Team characters
Arguably the most famous character in Dream Team was Karl ‘Fletch’ Fletcher (played by Terry Kiely), who became the series' stalwart character, remaining a fixture in the cast from the beginning of season 1 through to the end of season 8. During his tenure with Harchester, Fletch was briefly promoted to manager, became a father, married (and divorced) physiotherapist Abi, and was briefly jailed. At the end of season 8, Fletch died after being impaled on a coat peg by deranged manager Don Barker.
The death of Fletch was seen by many as an attempt to boost falling ratings, but in truth Kiely wanted to pursue other projects, namely Channel 5 soap-opera Family Affairs. "Kiely had also grown tired with the character. Fletch remained one of the most popular characters throughout the entire show, topping the popularity ratings each year until the character's death."
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, 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.
419 episodes were made over ten seasons. For the first three seasons, 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 seasons two and three were both an hour in duration and after receiving strong ratings in both cases, starting in season four, the show switched to a single hour long episode on Sunday evenings.
In the United States, Fox Soccer Channel (like Sky, a part of News Corporation) airs ‘Dream Team’, albeit several series behind Sky One. The series also aired in India on STAR Sports, 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 Republic of Macedonia on MRT1. It also aired on Botswana's national television station Btv.