Season 8 Episode 1

Episode 325


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 17th October 2004


Directed By

Shani Grewal


GS: Eli Knox (Shane Lynch)  Christine Thorsvelt (Phoebe Sweeney)  Court of Arbitration Spokesman (David Annen)



The lads are celebrating their win when the news comes through about their relegation. Two months later the club’s final appeal is rejected and UEFA’s decision upheld. The players are forced to accept that they will remain in the First Division although do forfill the entry requirements for the Champions League. In London, former Wigan manager Don Barker meets with millionaire businessman Eli Knox who is considering buying the club. Eli says he can't do this and put in a bid for Tommy Valentine also, but Don informs him they won’t be needing money and to trust him. On the flip of a coin, Eli decides to go ahead and buy Harchester United.



Dean arrives for work to find Eli, Don and his son-in-law Frank Stone sitting in his office. Dean takes the trio down to the dressing room where Eli explains the true nature of their deal with Coopers Bank, and how none of them can leave before the seasons’ start. Dean asks Eli when he wants him out, and Eli tells him he doesn't because he and Don are going to put the club back in the Premiership. Tommy meets his agent Sofia Moxham (who could be Trudi Peyton’s sister) and she shows him a tabloid newspaper exposing his affair with his team mates' wife, Christine. Sofia says she has had Kenyan on the phone for an hour and he wants Tommy out. Don suddenly passes by and attempts to discuss with Tommy the possibility of him coming to Harchester, and although Sofia is interested, Tommy is dead against the idea. Outside Don tells Dean that in a couple of weeks time when Tommy has exhausted all his options, Sofia will come knocking on his door and he is to make her an offer she can't refuse.


Three weeks later the team are preparing for their first match against Brighton. Don turns to Ryan, who broke his leg in the warm up to Euro 2004 and is now on crouches, and tells him this is the last time he comes to training as his injury is the last thing the players need to see. As they watch the team show their skill Don tells Frank he will be the one to toughen Clyde up, and in a meeting with Clyde afterwards, Don tells him that Spurs lost interest in him a long time ago so he can forget a move there. Sofia tells Tommy that Chelsea want 12 million for him and no-one's buying, and they won't loan him to another Premiere League club. She goes to talk to Dean and lays down the rules for Tommy joining - on loan until Christmas and his wages at 35K a week. Dean tells Sofia he could make it her worthwhile as they have a lot of players that need to get back into the Premiership and he'd be happy to do the deals through her if she could make this one happen. When Don overhears Clyde complaining about how he and Tommy are in each others usual positions, Don angrily tells him that's where he is playing tomorrow and to get used to it.


Sofia tells Clyde that she's tried every team in the Premiership and there is no interest in him. Clyde asks her to try Norwich as he has got to get away from Barker and will take any offer. She later tells him that Nigel Worthington will be sending a rep down to watch him at tomorrow’s game, and Clyde worries as Barker is playing him in the middle. When Don tells Clyde that he disrespected his team by keeping them waiting for a nightcap, Clyde tells Don that he knows as much about the Premiership as Clyde will ever know about the lower leagues, and is dropped. At the game, Sofia tells him to go and grovel to Don as if he isn't on that pitch he can kiss goodbye to getting back to the Premiership. Don tells Clyde it should be his team he is apologising to, which he does and is accepted back. Tommy tells Clyde they are switching places in order to save the game. Barker's fury at Clyde and Tommy leads to him being sent off from the technical area, and Colin the Norwich rep is not impressed by Clyde’s game, leaving before the end of the match. Brighton score and the full time whistle is blown. Don tells Clyde he hasn't even begun to realise the season he has let himself in for.




·          First appearances of new regular characters Eli Knox (Shane Lynch) [recurring], Don Barker (Jon Morrison), Jodie Stone (Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty), Tommy Valentine (Chris Brazier), Frank Stone (Colin Parry) and Sofia Moxham (Lisa McAllister).


Best Known For: Shane Lynch was one fifth of boyband Boyzone from 1993-2000 and again for their reunion from 2007 onwards. Shortly before joining DT he was a participant in “The Games” (2004 & 06). Colin Parry was best known for his role as Mark Gibbs in “Hollyoaks” from 2000-2001, where he was involved in one of the show’s best remembered storylines. He was recently seen in "EastEnders" (2010) and "Coronation Street" (2004 & 2011). Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty began in many children’s dramas, notably "Harry and Cosh" (1999-2003) and as Big Sis in “Cavegirl” (2002-2003). 2012 will see her star alongside Philip Brodie in the film "A Landscape of Lies." Phoebe Sweeney starred as Celeste Dexter in “Night & Day” from 2002-2003. Jon Morrison has had a successful television acting career since the 1970’s, including two stints on Scottish sitcom "High Times" (2004 & 08) and a regular role on "Vera" from 2011. 


·          The Best: Eli’s helicopter arrival and the introduction of his ‘Pink Ladies’. Ditto Don Barker. The beginning of Clyde’s downward spiral. Christine, who is sadly only around for this episode, in her pink push-up bra. Jodie, confronted by Sofia's realisation that she “leaked the Tommy story to her father who in turn went to the press in order to get Tommy to come to Harchester on the cheap.”


Quotes: Eli flips a coin and says heads he buys, tails he doesn't, telling Don that's all this is, a gamble. He gets heads and adds "Well luck be a lady"; also upon meeting Dean whilst in his office with his feet on his desk: "Dean Boyle"  Dean: "Yeah. And who the hell are you?!".  Dean, upon learning no-one else is touching Tommy: "I'm not surprised. Too scared he'll be scoring off the pitch more than on it hey?!".  Don: "We have been lucky to get Mr. Valentine off Chelsea. And that's not your wife Viv, that's the football club"  Viv: "If he goes anywhere near my wife, he won't be going back there!". Tommy, as Clyde showers in his kit: "I know some lads find it intimidating showering with me, but are you OK?".


·          Additional Info: The Nisan Murano sponsored Dream Team during Season 8. Until 388: Dragon Til I Die this was the latest the show returned from its summer hiatus. Sandra, Tash and Abi all leave Harchester off-screen over the summer, without it being mentioned where any have headed, although it is most likely Abi went back to Ireland. New recurring players this season include Wes Caine and Efie Kola. The Court Of Arbitration for Sport is in Lausanne, Switzerland. When deciding whether to buy Harchester, Eli tells Don the club is going to lose £34M pounds next season. Don says that Chelsea paid 10 million for Tommy and left him on the bench all last season. Clyde learns that his team mates are all going places - Man U and Newcastle are interested in Lee whilst Viv is planning on heading to Bolton. Sofia tells Tommy that if he does well at Harchester, she can find him a proper club when Christmas comes around and it's only five months. Kojak is another nickname for Alex “O.B” O’Brien. Clyde has moved out of his flat and is now living with Ryan and Curtis at The Barrons.


What’s The (Real) Deal?: Eli tells the team that the agreement they made with Coopers was that they would only receive their Champions League bonuses and their wages when they qualified for that competition, and as they didn't finish first or second, but fourth, they still have two qualifying legs to play next season.


·          What Was The Score?: Harchester lose 1-0 to Brighton. No mention of Robbie Walsh but we have a nice visit to the Withdean and Brighton’s surrounding areas though.


Soundtrack: Dean Martin: "Papa Loves Mambo",  Dope Smugglaz: "The Word PMT MIX; THE AFTER HOURS",  Gisli: "TV=The Devil",  Groove Armada: "Madder",  Lemon Jelly: "The Curse of Ka'Zar",  Maroon 5: "Harder to Breathe",  Maxi Priest Feat. Shaggy: "That Girl",  Moby: "God Moving Over the Face of Waters",  Quivver: "She Does",  Republica: "Ready To Go",  Scissor Sisters: "Laura.”


·          Behind The Scenes: Ricky Whittle broke his leg during a charity match the actors were playing shortly after filming for Season 7 had ended. He later developed a near fatal blood clot which too was written into the storyline of Ryan’s recovery this season [352: Fear And Loathing]. The injury to Ricky also meant that charity matches starring the actors were out of the window for the rest of DT’s run.


Ratings-wise, the premiere of Season 8 picked up 540,000 viewers on the night. A good result for Sky One, with a half-a-million a healthy share of their audience.


Screencaps from 8.1’s original broadcast on Sky One on 17/10/04.

Clyde's magically growing hair

 Will Eli buy?



Ryan out injured

 What's the plan for Connelly?



Because I said so!

 Tommy's ignoring Christine








 Uh-oh Clyde!



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