15 Characters who could have been brilliant… but weren’t around long enough!


APRIL 29, 2017

Dream Team gave us some great characters, many of which are fondly remembered and still get talked about today. A lot of these in particular had solid, long stints and the chance to earn their legendary statuses. But what about those that stayed under the radar, didn't reach their full potential, or just were gone from the show far too soon. In no order here are 15 from across the series we felt just missed out. Though some featured in this list did in fact reach brilliant status for the short time they were around!






Appeared Season 7


Luke Davenport was possibly the most illustrious character ever created to play for Harchester United. There were some big boots to fill when King Karl Fletcher was forced off to Saudi, and in came a replacement whose own record made Fletch's pale in comparison. Davenport, literally, had the sporting world at his feet, with clubs Man U and Barcelona behind him, a guaranteed place in the England squad and owned the title of being the most expensive player in British football history. Not to mention the coolness of having his own LD Brand customised football boot. His goal-tally for Harchester lived up to every expectation. So it was a surprise when pretty early on he was handed a story that would ultimately lead to the end of his career and time in the show. A hereditary condition saw Luke begin to suffer sight loss, and the subsequent operation took him away from the club for a chunk of time. Then seemingly back to success, a bizarre story involving a clash of heads with John Terry resulted in Luke's eye being removed. Game over and Luke was gone after appearing in 18 episodes altogether.


Appeared Season 8

Probably the classiest woman to ever step inside The Dragon's Lair, Sofia more than made up for the levelled criticisms of being unrealistic in the role of a football agent (one outlet dubbing her Sofia Maxim). She was astute, intelligent and caring as both an agent and a friend, prepared to go that extra mile to fight for the best deal for her clients. Two particularly nice sides to her were her loyalty and protectiveness of main client Tommy Valentine, whom she was also in love with, and her compassionate nature to Clyde Connelly when, prior to his suicide, she is one of the few looking out for him. After Tommy leaves, Sofia's screen-time didn't diminish. She is still the main agent at Harchester United and her budding friendship with Chief Exec Dean finally looks like it will take a turn into romance. But without a mention let alone a leaving scene (was it accidentally cut?), Sofia disappears from Harchester, and the show. So what went wrong? Even from her first episodes, there were rumblings from viewers that Sofia wasn't being utilised to her full potential. She makes her entrance while Harchester's two resident agents Jeff Stein and Nikki Peggs are still present, yet doesn't share any scenes or even supposedly meet them. There could have been some history with her and Jeff's paths previously crossing, while we know Sofia would've been a kinder mentor to the newly qualified Nikki than the only other female agents she had encountered, the brash Tash and Pilar. Sofia is also missing from Clyde's death aftermath and funeral. Whatever the reasons, it appeared that the show wanted to rectify Sofia with new young female agent Chloe Tyler, introduced after a period of absence of a regular agent at the club, in the first episode of Season 9.






Appeared Season 9


Like Craig Charles as Joel Brooks, Christopher Ellison was an actor who I loved seeing putting in a guest appearance in DT. The respected actor had a long stint as the no-nonsense D.I Frank Burnside in "The Bill", something which Ellison himself has said it has been hard to move away from the much loved character. And it seems his brief DT tenure didn't change that. Hannigan was even described as "If Burnside had changed careers to football management". While his merciless jibes such as "That Hahn obviously mollycoddled the hell out of those boys!" and "Look will you stop being such a tart?!" would’ve made old Frank proud. Maybe, with more time, Hannigan would have made his own mark in that respect. But we got him for two episodes (which seems to be a favourite number for DT guest characters) and he had some great moments. Notably his press conference with the invisible Hector because Bolton Wanderers had 'stolen' him! He was even treated to a dramatic exit, last seen with a mysterious car pulling up beside him, and Lynda being led to believe he'd been murdered by Russian gangsters. This wasn't the case however. It turned out Casper Rose paid him to leave as he was preventing his plan to get Dempsey into the job. The writers just forgot to mention this on-screen!


Appeared Season 5

Australian beauty Claudia would have been right at home in Ramsay Street or Summer Bay let alone Harchester. The spoilt, but emotionally neglected daughter of Tycoon-like chairman Sam Irving, Claudia had a warring relationship with almost-stepmom Lynda, seeing her as unsuitable for her father. Though we interestingly got a view of how the two women would have gotten on under different circumstances, with Lynda once revealing she felt Claudia was too nice a person to be a boss at Harchester. Claudia was involved in her fair share of drama, including a two-footballs-for-a-bra photoshoot and an affair with manager David Spears. This resulted in us seeing her more vulnerable side when David's wife Dawn stalks, and then nearly kills Claudia. She isn't as lucky when the time came for her to sadly depart the show, and Claudia is inadvertently killed by her own father by being first given the club at last, and then ending up in the first coach crash. Like Stevie Shaw, it felt like Claudia had another season's worth of story inside of her. Even a couple of episodes of the new Season 6 showing Claudia in her chairwoman role, no doubt getting manipulated by Patrick Doyle before realising there was a great big world out there for her, and selling to Phil and Jacqui Wallis would have been nice to see. One thing we do know for sure is that it was Georgia's choice to leave at this point, stating she felt "One series was enough". Still, it would be brilliant casting for her to crop up as one of Paul Robinson's many long-lost kids in “Neighbours”.





Appeared Season 8


Nathan was the Under-19's goalkeeper, drafted in for the then Championship-based Harchester's 5th Round FA Cup clash with Southampton, in place of an injured Alex Lawler and a crazy Viv (again). He is perfect prey for Barker to manipulate into cheating to get the Lazio game points awarded to Harchester, in return of gaining a professional contract with the club. When he gets back, Viv sees Nathan as a threat to his place in the team, and when Nathan feels threatened, he involves pal Marlon and his gang, which includes brother-in-law Eugene. When they go for Viv, the team are disgusted with Nathan and he is forced to take a transfer to Leeds. The following season, Eugene becomes a Harchester first team regular, with Marlon making more guest appearances. With these connections, plus Viv and almost all of the previous season's team gone/dead by this time, it's a surprise Nathan didn't make a return.


Appeared Season 6

Another example of a good character and actress brought in way too late. When DT began it's sixth run, it's strong female front from the previous season had suffered a bit of a hit. The popular Claudia, villainess Victoria and long-term legend Lynda had all bowed out within episodes of each other. To replace them, of course the brilliant Abi, Jacqui Wallis who was just always OK and Tara Keane, who didn't really make the impact probably intended. Eight episodes before the end of the season, alongside the return of disgraced former manager Alan Rothman, arrived his sassy PA Jennifer, in the role actress Dannielle Brent, who was fresh from a four-year regular stint in "Hollyoaks". Immediately there was a touch of the absent Lynda and Claudia to the character; Claudia in her pairing up with Nikki, and evidence to show that the writers hoped the character would be around for a bit, she was moved in with Nikki and became her housemate. While she also connected with the players and manager in a business way (and pleasure for both Rothman and almost Marcel!) that hadn't been seen since Lynda's departure. It was confirmed that Jennifer's friendship/possible romance with Marcel was going to be explored in the following Season 7, but as stated at the start, it was all too late. Dannielle landed the huge role of Natalie Buxton in ITV's "Bad Girls" and Jennifer quietly departed with Rothman. If only we'd had her from the beginning of Season 6!





Appeared Season 9


There was a real buzz about Hector when the first details about his character came through. A new continental striker in the newly built-up team who would catch the eye of Lynda Block. Could Hector be in the same mould as Luis Amor Rodriguez? Actually no, in fact probably the most exciting thing about him was the fans debate over whether his second name was in fact Da Silva or Briganza. But that's not to say Hector didn't get off to a good start. He came to Harchester on a stop-over whilst practically being kidnapped by his agent for a more lucrative move to Moscow, rescued by Lynda, and then caught up in further drama when Bolton want him and Lawrie Hannigan accuses them of player theft. Not to mention being the source of a £10M demand from those who were about to own him in Moscow, causing the mysterious HUFC owner to save them all from being otherwise killed! Phew! But all that seemed to take place around Hector rather than on the character's own merit. After spending a lot of time snivelling and being out ill/injured, the only thing Hector really had going for him was being a good friend to the increasingly isolated Ryan, so it wasn't that surprising when with Ryan's departure to Villarreal, Hector is offloaded to Bayern Munich with only so much as a mention.


Appeared Season 8

Introduced for the last ten episodes of Season 8, Savannah Caskey was always intended to be a short-term regular character, and despite proving to be a popular addition, this plan didn't change. Played by Hannah Tointon, the show made the interesting move of having both Tointon sisters (her sister Kara having a long history with DT), but keeping their characters unrelated and not even sharing a scene together. Savannah was the 16-year-old daughter of the injury-laden former Charlton defender Carl Caskey. And while her family falls apart around her due to stepmom Nicole being blackmailed into bed by Don Barker to save the family's dire financial situation, Savannah becomes involved with Ryan Naysmith, who is just returning from his injury. The two worked well together, and it seemed that Savannah would be the girl to make Ryan change his playboy ways. Sadly not however. After a chunk of time had been given to almost drilling it into the viewers that Ryan was serious about making it work with Savannah, Carl Caskey was killed off and Savannah was on her way. And what was next for Ryan? Sleeping with his team mate's wife. Again.





 Appeared Season 5


Toxic Taylor lived up to every expectation as evil Patrick Doyle's son. He had a brief, but successful rivalry with Jeff in the 'Battle of the Agents' and didn't play by any rule when it came to outsmarting the competition. From Jeff, he hijacked Andrei Belanov's transfer, snatched away new property Robbie Walsh, and got his claws into Jeff's most prized possession, imminent International Danny Rawsthorne. But there was some justice for old favourite Jeff as Taylor's greediness got the better of him and ultimately saw him leaving Harchester a wholly unpopular man. But with such a huge connection with his father in the Dragon's hot seat, and a bet on the horizon led by the man to see his own team relegated, was Taylor's exit premature? Many thought so, and actor Paul Ellis revealed he too was surprised when Taylor was written out at the point he was. We certainly couldn't have seen the Dodgy Doyle jnr. suddenly having a crisis of conscience in regards to his father's plot. If anything, Taylor would have joined his father in the bet, opening up a whole host of new avenues.


Appeared Season 10

The gorgeous Gabrielle was the supermodel girlfriend of Spanish striker Miguel Lopez, and appears as he is making his transfer from Athletico Madrid to Harchester. Harchester itself isn't glam enough for her it seems as she is away from Miguel on foreign photoshoots most of the time! Miguel believes she will be absent as such for the club's Christmas party, so indulges in trying to steal away the taken Katy Irwin and dressing her in Gabrielle's designer gowns. Gabrielle unexpectedly rocks up at said party, and despite only appearing in two episodes (another one!) gets stuck into a good old DT catfight with Katy. Like Dannielle Brent, Daphne Alexander landed a regular role on another drama, in her case, “Casualty”, very soon after her last DT appearance.





Appeared Season 9


Fraser, or Hibbsey, is an interesting rare example of a fictional coach based at the real Charlton Athletic, and equally never an employee at the fictional Harchester. A one-episode character from the Season 9 New Year special flashback episode "War of the Roses", exploring the back story of the warring Rose brothers Casper and Eugene in their childhood and teenage years. Fraser was the head coach at Charlton Athletic's youth academy where the boys first met and made their connection during the 90's, and was a long-time friend of the boys' father Terry Rose, despite being morally decent unlike the scummy Terry. In fact, Fraser would have been a better father to the boys and husband to Cass's mom Julie (whom he carried a torch for) than the womanising Terry ever was. A father to Jessica, Fraser takes her to Sydney when she is pregnant with Eugene's baby, and, aside from a brief appearance from Julie after Casper is shot, Jessica is the only other "War of the Roses" character besides the ever-present Cass and Gene to appear while the boys are playing for Harchester. Hibbsey's relationship to Cass is similar to what we see with Duval when he rocks up as Harchester's temporary Chief Executive, and is also another old friend of Terry's though didn't feature in WOTR. So it is unclear why Fraser wasn't used for that role instead.


Appeared Season 7

The most morally decent member of the Boyle family, until Dean had that amazing turnaround and became a Harchester legend, was his step-mother and sister to club claimant Donna, Karen Boyle. Actress Cheryl Mackie made her first appearance in DT at the precise time her former show "Brookside" was in it's dying days, so it was nice to see a former star of the groundbreaking Liverpool soap in a new role as it was on the way out. Karen spent much of her time as a supporting character and as the 'heart' of the Boyle family; manipulated by a dodgy husband and doing battle with a greedy sister, plus a nice relationship with son-in-law Dean. But could here have lied the problem? Karen stayed in the 'Boyle bubble' and wasn't really allowed the chance to interact with anyone outside of her own family. Something that was afforded to her sister Donna and was probably a reason she lasted longer. Personally, I would have used Karen in the Marcel/Abi love story as the other women Marcel tried to distance himself from Abi with, instead of the brief "Georgina from Tottenham" that we got. Still, that epic scene of hearing her husband's affair with her sister over the Dragon's Lair tanoy, and he dying of a heart attack as she fled the scene. Poor Karen could have at least had a scene where she and Nikki Peggs compared their misfortune!





Appeared Season 5


To me (and probably other viewers) Stevie Shaw felt like a 'two season' character, and his story does feel incomplete. It's undeniable his actor brought a real charisma to the role, and Stevie's place in the show was cemented right away. Immediately becoming the club's new captain, he also claimed the title of being Fletch's "best mate of the season", drumming up support for Karl to play the team's UEFA Cup tie against Palma whilst on trial for murder, and the honour in itself, becoming Fletch's housemate. Stevie was also shown to go through a patch where his state of mind began to suffer, including a striking memory of him crouched by the Harchester canal wearing only a bedhseet. Interestingly, the theme of mental health briefly touched upon with Stevie was continued, though at a much more in-depth case, the following season with Jamie Parker. Over time, it seemed Stevie was far-removed from the love-rat with two fiancée’s(!) he'd been in his early days, so it was a shame we didn't get longer with the more settled man. After waiting all season for he and Nikki to get their act together, and let's not forget it was he who scored the goal which qualified Harchester for the Final against AC Milan, Stevie met his end in the M1 crash on the way to said game in Amsterdam. It's believed it was Adam Allfrey's decision to leave, and leave us wanting more he did, not only for the memorable forum usernames he spawned from "I Miss Stevie" to "stevie lives on"!


Appeared Seasons 2 & 3

She was Jerry Block's sophisticated lawyer, the woman always on hand to bail the Harchester chairman out of his various messes before Marilyn Harwood came on the scene. It wouldn't be surprising to learn that she was an inspiration to the businesswomen Lynda later became. Phillipa really was the club's lost chief executive. She shone particularly when she took charge of the club, its staff and the press following the plane crash when Jerry was being useless as usual! And you just know she went home every night to a husband and a couple of kids, to talk about her crazy stressful day sorting out the craziest club, before helping the kids with their maths homework. We salute you Phillipa, Harchester's most overlooked servant!





Appeared Season 10


What happens when you introduce a new character who has great potential, one which the viewers warm to immediately, and is given some great character direction in the space of his first two episodes. You use him for those two episodes and then never have him feature again. Played by English actor Nick Nevern, Pavel Kovac was a Czech Republican striker playing for Inter Milan when Chloe Tyler spotted his potential as a big name signing for Harchester. Kovac was edgy, and it was later learnt he was undergoing tests which diagnosed testicular cancer. Before that revelation, he signed a four-year deal with The Dragons, set to play alongside his old friend in European football Miguel Lopez, and developed a mentor-like bond with the on-trial Jason "Tyre Boy" Porter. So with some solid connections made and an illness-recovery story to play out where the viewer could champion Kovac's return to the pitch, you would think it all would keep the character on a good run for DT's last season. Some viewers were even touting Kovac as potentially the new Didier Baptiste. But those two episodes were where it was left, with a further mention later in the season that Jimmy Craig (with whom Kovac never appeared despite being included together in that season's team photo) had "lost Pavel Kovac to illness". Recently however, this website did hear some info how a suggestion was made that Kovac be allowed to appear in the final episode, entering the dressing room to wish the lads well before the big Title decider against Chelsea. But the outcome of this was, to quote, "Any money leftover had been spent on getting the Premiership trophy to Millwall". Oh well!