Dream Team (Sky One, 1997-2007)
A while ago, I put pictures of various old TV shows on Twitter. Ones that seemed to go down particularly well were those of Dream Team, as some fan accounts for that show enjoyed what I had to offer. So I thought, as the football season has just about ended at long last, why not also give it a review here, it’s not a show that I watched a huge amount over the years, but I shall try to do it justice.
One notable thing about Dream Team was that I watched the early series when I had access to Sky One back in the On/ITV Digital days in the late-90s/early-2000s. It was also possible to add Sky Sports to the channels that were available, but we never did that, because it was rather expensive, so this show featured just about the only Premier League coverage that I saw at the time.
Following the Premier League boom in the late-90s, someone seemed to think that it would be a good idea to create a drama series that featured the exploits of a football team, and the term “Dream Team” was already familiar, having been used for those newspaper competitions where you could pick players who would score points, and there were huge cash prizes on offer for whoever did best.
Dream Team featured the fictional Harchester United, who were supposed to be based in the West Midlands. They wore purple shirts, and had the nickname The Dragons. We follow the team as their season progresses, along with the lives of the players, plus with the manager and the owners. We also saw some match coverage, as technology enabled players to be added into matches to make it look like they were playing real Premier League teams, and Sky Sports commentators and presenters also contributed to add to the authenticity.
There were plenty of tense situations over the years including will The Dragons be relegated? Will they qualify for the UEFA Cup? The show did seem to get increasingly far-fetched though (the cliche “the player’s gone down like he’s been shot” was all-too appropriate here), this really was a club that often seemed to be in turmoil, but their loyal fans always stood by them. Throughout the series, some familiar names from soaps took part, including Alison King, who went on to be in Coronation Street, and Stefan Dennis, who was taking a break from Neighbours at the time.
There was a rather high cast turnover as players came and went, and among them was Duncan Pow, who I remember used to be a presenter on the award-winning Bid-Up.TV before joining the show as Liam Mackay in the later series. There were 419 episodes of Dream Team in ten series, most of them were an hour long, and it was probably the closest that Sky One ever got to a home-made soap. Well, it was better than Footballers’ Wives, honestly.