Mike Bassett: Manager (2005– )

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport
7.1
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Mike, now living in Spain, returns to England to take the manager role at Wirral County, the club that his dad played for, tasked with saving the club from relegation.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Mike Bassett (6 episodes, 2005)
...
 Karine Bassett (6 episodes, 2005)
Steve Edge ...
 Doddsy / ... (6 episodes, 2005)
...
 Wirral Web Presenter (6 episodes, 2005)
...
 Laszlo Vig (6 episodes, 2005)
...
 Carlton Dawes (6 episodes, 2005)
Richard Bennett ...
 Wrighty (6 episodes, 2005)
Michael Fenton Stevens ...
 Richard Johnson (5 episodes, 2005)
...
 Jeremy Hands (5 episodes, 2005)
...
 Gavin James (5 episodes, 2005)
Tim Barlow ...
 Sir Denzil / ... (4 episodes, 2005)
...
 Local Press (4 episodes, 2005)
Dan Renton Skinner ...
 Tonka (3 episodes, 2005)
Steven Elliott ...
 National Press 1 (3 episodes, 2005)
Nicholas Tizzard ...
 National Press 2 (3 episodes, 2005)
Steven Elliot ...
 National Press 1 (3 episodes, 2005)
Dave Hart ...
 Fan / ... (2 episodes, 2005)
Bridget Fry ...
 Nurse (2 episodes, 2005)
Lucy Meacock ...
 News Presenter (2 episodes, 2005)
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Storyline

Mike, now living in Spain, returns to England to take the manager role at Wirral County, the club that his dad played for, tasked with saving the club from relegation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

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Release Date:

29 September 2005 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The team that Mike Bassett now manages is lowly Ellesmere Port-based Wirral County Football Club. Ellesmere Port is not located within Wirral and Wirral has never been a County. See more »

Quotes

Local Press: So, van Needlemans, are you happy joining Wirral?
Van Needlemans: [Van Needlemans speaks Dutch to the press. Doddsy is behind him frantically flicking through a Dutch phrasebook while Mike looks suspiciously at van Needlemans]
Mike Bassett: [jumping to conclusions] He's delighted!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mike Bassett: Interim Manager (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Basic stuff but the target audience will enjoy it
20 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Long after being fired from England for losing to Lichtenstein, Mike and his wife are holidaying in Spain, with her hoping to make it a permanent move off their savings. However when he gets an offer to return to professional management though, he cannot turn it down and the pair find themselves back in the north of England with him in charge of Wirral County in Elsmere Port. He gets off to a great start (with six consecutive defeats) and he'll need to do something to keep the job.

The film Mike Bassett England Manager was a basic but enjoyable affair that kept moving forward well enough with enough energy to cover all the problems. The television spin-off from the film had potential but it also had to get more of a story to it to be able to get through 3 hours of television instead of 90 minutes of film. The plot steps down to the lower leagues and charts the struggles as a manager without the pressure to make the narrative too big. It isn't anything great but it does do just about enough to keep things moving along. The writing is pretty broad and makes reasonable mileage off the football clichés as well as the odd touch where it switches them. I personally would have preferred a bit of smarter writing given that the whole subject has plenty of room for sharp joking as well as the broader stuff – although the fact that it is totally the latter is a bit of a weakness. The chief executive and the board are ripe for sharp digs but the series takes the easy option of making them basic characters.

The laughs are so-so, with some very funny moments but perhaps not that many. The series is helped by aiming for a nice basic chunk of the audience, while the laughter-track-free delivery helps because it doesn't force you to laugh. The cast are mostly quite good with their broad characters but the series is really carried by the performance of Tomlinson. He isn't brilliant but he makes it more engaging than it should be simply by the force of his personality. The support is pretty good with some of the actors from the film reappearing and do quite well. Redman is pretty good but she is acting in another series, one that has more of a serious heart to it than this one. Skinner's impression of Gazza is simple but enjoyable. Edge is understated but effective as the coach but Stevens makes almost no effort or impression as the chief executive.

Overall, like the film, this is a basic comedy but one that just about does enough to get by. The need for a six episode plot shows some weaknesses in the writing but mainly it has enough motion to it to keep moving forward. It could have been smarter and could have been funnier but it is still an enjoyable comedy that will please the football mad, male audience that it is clearly aimed at.


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