Season 10 Episode 1

Episode 388

 

Originally Scheduled Transmission Date:

Sunday 15th October 2006*

Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 29th October 2006

 

Directed By

Rob MacGillivray

 

GS: Phil (Dominic Doughty)  Deano (Aston Kelly)

 

 

Life-long Dragons fan Jason Porter lives with his girlfriend Katy Irwin in a high-rise block of flats. The day before Harchester's 2006-07 pre-season friendly against Southend, Jason awakes to find the news on Harchester.net that Hector Da Silva has left the club for Bayern Munich. Jason is gutted to hear the news, and expresses his continued distrust of Alex (now) Rose to his pal “Big” Phil as they walk to the Tyre Bay where they work. Once joined by mate Deano, Jason continues that the club will be in trouble with the loss of Hector and on top of that Ryan, gone to Villarreal. Jason stops work to turn up the radio, as the latest on Ashleigh King's case is delivered.

 

 

 

It is reported that Ashleigh has left court after sentencing was suspended, and a psychiatric review is set to follow, although she will remain in custody. Alex watches the report from the boardroom as a largely pregnant Lynda comes in. Alex still feels terrible about what Ashleigh is going through, but Lynda doesn't seem particularly bothered and reminds Alex the new season starts in ten days time. Amy brings the post in and Alex is weary, leaving an unsympathetic Lynda to sort through the mail to find nothing. Lynda mentions Alex has just spent a "small fortune" on a new training facility, which is away from the club's grounds. At this new training ground, Eugene is clearly distant, and Liam tells the team that they don't need to worry about losing a game this season, as he dreamt it wouldn't happen. Alex arrives late and Eugene takes him back inside to Danny’s annoyance. Danny is annoyed at Alex constantly taking liberties, and after whinging to Liam about him, he calls Alex a prick under his breath!

 

Eugene tells Alex he wants him to buy him out, as he is giving up playing in England to be with Lucy permanently in Australia. They discuss this back at the club where Lynda is two-faced to Eugene, making out she is sad to see him go and hugging him, before telling Alex it will be for the best after everything that went on with him last year. Not to mention Eugene is wearing the shirt that Lynda was planning to frame him with for his brother's murder! After work, Jason and the boys are playing in their five-a-side football team, only Deano wants Jase to sit out for the first half to give someone who hasn't played a go. Jason is annoyed, and spends the game shouting from the sidelines. Jason gets an announcement text from the club's text service, reading that 'Rose' is selling his share in the club to his brother and leaving for Australia. Jason is happy, believing it is Alex who is leaving, until Phil reads the whole text and informs him it is Eugene leaving, which infuriates Jason even more.

 

At the club, Lynda tells Alex now he fully owns the club they should move out of the Grange into their own home. Alex isn't listening however, as he has found a new suspicious-looking letter waiting for them. Opening it, it reads ‘Don't get too comfortable.’ The next day Deano and Phil pick up Jason and Katy to travel to the friendly against the Shrimpers. Meanwhile in the boardroom, the final preparations are being made for Eugene's sale. After completion, Alex takes Lynda outside where he tells her he suspects Eugene could be the letter writer. Lynda dismisses it, as Eugene "isn't clever enough" to come up with something like this. As the team boards the coach for Southend, they say their goodbyes to Gene, and he tells Alex to take care of Casper's club(!). Eugene and Alex hug and the coach leaves, while Chloe accompanies Eugene to the airport. The team arrive at the stadium, still unsure of how Alex will be playing them today.

 

Back at the Lair, Lynda discovers from Amy that Ashleigh's solicitors have delivered a request for a character reference from Alex, which includes a handwritten letter from Ashleigh herself. Lynda reads the letter, and looks over the suspicious note she and Alex received, suspecting Ashleigh may be behind it. Lynda gets on the phone to the prison governor (whom she knows by name as Ivan) and requests a visit with Ashleigh. Jason's patience with Alex continues to be tested, after learning only Tyson is being played up front today. During the first half, Jason keeps up his tirade at Alex from the stands, convinced he is not paying as much attention to the game as he should be. It's true, the game is a shambles up until half time, with Southend looking the stronger side. Alex spends half time on the phone to Lynda, who is travelling to the prison to meet with Ashleigh. Alex tells Lynda he wants to be there with her, and doesn't really know if he cares about the job anymore. Lynda is determined that he stay, and she will deal with the latest letter-writing mystery.

 

The second half starts the same as the first, with Alex saying nothing to the team once again. A shot from Summers actually lands in Jason's lap, causing him to loudly mock Alex's formation once more. When Alex starts messing with his phone, Jason sees red and throws the ball at him (but misses), causing Alex to demand Jason be fetched and brought to the touchline. Once down there, a sheepish Jason has to admit to Alex's face that he thinks the team are playing rubbish, and when Alex asks him if he thinks he can do a better job, he tells Jason he is going on! Steve Kramer takes Jason to the away dressing room where he is fitted into Jack Bircham's kit. Katy and the boys suspect Jason has been thrown out, until they see him emerge from the tunnel in full Harchester orange-away gear! Jason tells Alex he has learnt his lesson and is sorry, but Alex is insistent, and puts Jason in his playing position of centre-midfield. Danny is substituted for Jason, which appalls him, and Jason takes to the pitch. He has an impressive start, with even Southend finding it hard to keep up with the non-professional.

 

Lynda meanwhile, arrives at the high walls of her former home, Harchester Women's Prison. Ashleigh is taken aback to see Lynda, and she eerily (in that way Ash is so good at) tells her how some days she thinks she knows exactly what happened. They get onto the subject of whether Ashleigh will plead guilty to diminished responsibility, which would mean she would go to a hospital and be released when she is better. Lynda likes the idea of this as it is less guilt for her, not that she has much already. Back at the game, Tyson misses with a save, and as Southend gather their defence Jason slots in a goal. Katy and the boys are ecstatic, and the stadium is just the same as Jason runs around the pitch with his (or Bircham's) shirt off. Alex takes Jason off, telling him he's had his ten minutes of glory, but is secretly pleased. At the prison, Lynda gets to the point and asks Ashleigh what she wants. Ashleigh is confused, and admits to Lynda that deep down she knows she is guilty which makes Lynda realise it isn't Ashleigh behind the threats. Lynda actually feels a human emotion as she leaves the prison and breaks down for the place she and Alex have put Ashleigh in.

 

The game ends and Jason is pleased to learn that it was his goal that won the match. The team are furious with Alex for replacing Danny with a fan, and the man himself tells Alex to his face that if he didn't own the club he would have been sacked months ago! Lynda arrives back at the Grange to be told by Claire  the receptionist that someone was heard in her and Alex's room earlier. She goes in and finds a new letter waiting for her, which reads ‘Guess again.’ As the team board the coach back to Harchester, Jason and the gang wait to cheer on the team and thank Alex. As he walks away, Alex turns and looks at Jason celebrating with the others, and realises he could use him in the team.

 

Notes:

 

·          First appearances of new regular characters Jason Porter (Frankie Fitzgerald) and Katy Irwin (Amy Perfect). First appearances for new recurring characters “Big” Phil (Dominic Doughty), Deano (Aston Kelly), First Team Coach Steve Kramer, new Physio Simon "Shakey" Shakeshaft, and new team players Bradley Summers (#11) (Ryan Lee), Carlos Edwards (#23) [not the one who goes on to play for Sunderland and Ipswitch] (Dan Edwards), Jamie Cheeseman (#17), Ross Hunt (#22) and Jack Bircham (#30).

 

Last appearances of regular characters Eugene Rose (Junior Nunoo) and Ashleigh King (Naomi Ryan). For the remainder of Ashleigh’s story, see 390: Fantasy Football.

 

·          Best Known For: Frankie Fitzgerald got his big break as ‘Nasty’ Nick Cotton’s son Ashley in “EastEnders” from 2000-2001, followed by the role of Prosser in "Harry and Cosh" (2001-2003). He also made a well noted cameo appearance in the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster “Troy.” Following playing Charlie Taylor in Seasons 7-8, and working on DT80’s, Ryan Lee is back as first teamer Bradley Summers.

 

The Best: The Southend v. Harchester friendly. In fact all of the Southend scenes - DT with a live crowd! Shot on Saturday 22nd July 2006.

 

·          Worthy Quotes: Alex (on the phone to Lynda): "Lynda call me when you get this. Where are ya?"  [bell rings and Alex walks out]  Danny: "So that was the team talk was it?!".

 

Foreshadowing: Lynda tells Alex she has heard from Athletico Madrid, and striker Miguel Lopez would be the perfect replacement for Eugene, all in preparation for his arrival in the next episode.

 

·          Continuity: In comparing Alex, Jason brings up that Hahn bought the Rose brothers [357: Phoenix From The Flames] and the not-dead Hannigan bought Hector [371: All Change].

 

Additional Info: Harchester.net covers the summer's stories from the Lair; that Ryan Naysmith "declared that he wanted to leave the club" (Eugene probably succeeded in his mission to send Ryan packing) and subsequently left for Villarreal, and that Liam Mackay escaped his lifetime ban following his hearing in Geneva. The Tyre Bay where Jason, Phil and Deano work is called Top Tyrez. Jason and the gang tune to Harchester 104.2 for all news regarding the club. Lynda tells Ashleigh the baby is due in January. Eugene is convinced it will be a boy, coming to “see his uncle Eugene.” Jason tells Alex he played for Harchester Boys when he was fourteen.

 

·          What Was The Score?: The Harry Redknapp inspired Jason stunt does the trick, and his goal wins for the Dragons 1-0.

 

Soundtrack: Bloc Party: "Helicopter (remix)" and "The Pioneers",  Coldplay: "What If",  Razorlight: "Back to the start",  The Kooks: "Sofa Song",  Badiel Skinner and The Lightning Seeds: "Three Lions",  William Orbit: "Sea Green."

 

·          Behind The Scenes: As a nod to the website for it’s support since opening in January 2000, Harchester.net features regularly throughout this series on screen. *The premiere episode of Season 10 was delayed by two weeks due to Sunday night scheduling on Sky One, the result of this being the Harchester timeline was effectively two weeks behind the episode’s airdate as the season reached it’s close i.e. the real football season ending as always in May, and DT continuing into early June.

 

Screencaps from 10.1’s original broadcast on Sky One on 29/10/06.

 

 Phil, Jason and Deano

Eugene

 

 

 Katy, Jason, Deano, Phil

Amy

 

 

 Alex, Jason

Jason, Alex

 

 

 Lynda, Ashleigh

Alex, Danny (with team players L-R Thomas, Bennett, Edwards)

 

 

 Lynda

 

Jason & gang + Alex

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