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Playing the Field is a BBC television drama series following the lives of the Castlefield Blues, a fictitious female football team from South Yorkshire.

Playing the Field
Created byKay Mellor
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series5
No. of episodes32
Production
Executive producer(s)Charles Brand
Tessa Ross
Kay Mellor
Producer(s)Kathleen Hutchison
Hugh Warren
Greg Brenman
Lis Steele
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Tiger Aspect Productions
Release
Original networkBBC One
Original release8 March 1998 (1998-03-08) –
10 February 2002 (2002-02-10)

OutlineEdit

Inspired by Pete Davies’s novel I Lost My Heart To The Belles — which was written about a real-life club, the Doncaster BellesPlaying the Field ran for five series, from 1998–2002, with scripts by, amongst others, Kay Mellor, Sally Wainwright and Gaynor Faye.

Despite being set in South Yorkshire, much of the location filming took place in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, although the fifth (and final) series was filmed around Leeds; whilst the theme song, "Blue" by Alison Moyet, was originally a B-side track about the singer's love of Southend United FC. A young Marsha Thomason — who has since appeared in U.S. shows Las Vegas and Lost — featured in the first three series of Playing the Field. The first four series have been released on DVD in the UK, but the fifth has yet to be made available.

Main castEdit

EpisodesEdit

Series 1

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Episode 1"Paul SeedKay Mellor8 March 1998 (1998-03-08)
2"Episode 2"Paul SeedKay Mellor15 March 1998 (1998-03-15)
3"Episode 3"Paul SeedKay Mellor22 March 1998 (1998-03-22)
4"Episode 4"Catherine MorsheadKay Mellor29 March 1998 (1998-03-29)
5"Episode 5"Catherine MorsheadKay Mellor5 April 1998 (1998-04-05)
6"Episode 6"Catherine MorsheadKay Mellor12 April 1998 (1998-04-12)

Series 2

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
7"Episode 1"Nicholas LaughlandKay Mellor18 February 1999 (1999-02-18)
8"Episode 2"Nicholas LaughlandKay Mellor25 February 1999 (1999-02-25)
9"Episode 3"Nicholas LaughlandKay Mellor4 March 1999 (1999-03-04)
10"Episode 4"Nicholas LaughlandSally Wainwright11 March 1999 (1999-03-11)
11"Episode 5"Robin SheppardValerie Windsor18 March 1999 (1999-03-18)
12"Episode 6"Robin SheppardValerie Windsor25 March 1999 (1999-03-25)
13"Episode 7"Robin SheppardSally Wainwright1 April 1999 (1999-04-01)

Series 3

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14"Episode 1"Dermot BoydKay Mellor1 February 2000 (2000-02-01)
15"Episode 2"Dermot BoydKatie Baxendale8 February 2000 (2000-02-08)
16"Episode 3"Dermot BoydJan McVerry15 February 2000 (2000-02-15)
17"Episode 4"David Innes EdwardsKay Mellor24 February 2000 (2000-02-24)
18"Episode 5"David Innes EdwardsKay Mellor2 March 2000 (2000-03-02)
19"Episode 6"David Innes EdwardsKatie Baxendale9 March 2000 (2000-03-09)

Series 4

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
20"Episode 1"Alrick RileySally Wainwright13 July 2000 (2000-07-13)
21"Episode 2"Alrick RileyKatie Baxendale20 July 2000 (2000-07-20)
22"Episode 3"Alrick RileyGreg Snow27 July 2000 (2000-07-27)
23"Episode 4"Dermot BoydSally Wainwright3 August 2000 (2000-08-03)
24"Episode 5"Dermot BoydKatie Baxendale10 August 2000 (2000-08-10)
25"Episode 6"Dermot BoydRussell Lewis17 August 2000 (2000-08-17)
26"Episode 7"Dermot BoydGreg Snow24 August 2000 (2000-08-24)

Series 5

Episode Title Directed by Written by Original air date
27"Episode 1"Robert KnightsGaynor Faye [1]6 January 2002 (2002-01-06)
28"Episode 2"Robert KnightsGaynor Faye [1]13 January 2002 (2002-01-13)
29"Episode 3"Andrew MargetsonSarah-Louise Hawkins20 January 2002 (2002-01-20)
30"Episode 4"Andrew MargetsonSarah-Louise Hawkins27 January 2002 (2002-01-27)
31"Episode 5"Rob BaileyKatie Baxendale3 February 2002 (2002-02-03)
32"Episode 6"Rob BaileyKatie Baxendale10 February 2002 (2002-02-10)

RatingsEdit

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
2.1 18 February 1999 8,160,000 18
2.2 25 February 1999 7,490,000 22
2.3 4 March 1999 7.200,000 22
2.4 11 March 1999 Under 6,050,000 N/A
2.5 18 March 1999 7,090,000 24
2.6 25 March 1999 7,710,000 18
2.7 1 April 1999 7,770,000 17
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
3.1 1 February 2000 Under 6,490,000 N/A
3.2 8 February 2000 7,430,000 18
3.3 15 February 2000 7,730,000 17
3.4 24 February 2000 6,010,000 30
3.5 2 March 2000 6,930,000 22
3.6 9 March 2000 6,290,000 27
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
4.1 13 July 2000 6,440,000 12
4.2 20 July 2000 5,310,000 25
4.3 27 July 2000 5,670,000 24
4.4 3 August 2000 5,760,000 19
4.5 10 August 2000 5,450,000 26
4.6 17 August 2000 5,650,000 27
4.7 24 August 2000 6,020,000 18
Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers BBC Weekly Rank
5.1 6 January 2002 6,160,000 17
5.2 13 January 2002 5,250,000 25
5.3 20 January 2002 5,290,000 25
5.4 27 January 2002 Under 4,700,000 N/A
5.5 3 February 2002 Under 4,430,000 N/A
5.6 10 February 2002 Under 4,490,000 N/A

Home mediaEdit

The first four series of Playing the Field have been made available via Universal Playback.

  • Playing the Field: Series 1 & 2 (VHS) - 23 October 2000
  • Playing the Field: Series 3 & 4 (VHS) - 23 October 2000
  • Playing the Field: Series 1 & 2 (DVD) - 29 January 2007 (released as "Seasons 1 & 2")
  • Playing the Field: Series 3 & 4 (DVD) - 23 April 2007 (released as "Seasons 3 & 4")

Series 5, which was broadcast in 2002 has not received a VHS release, nor has it been released on DVD.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b As Gaynor Mellor.

External linksEdit