Exploring the origins of modern football and documenting the “David vs. Goliath” clash between a working man’s team and the Old Etonians, six-part drama The English Game launched last Friday (20th March) on Netflix.
From Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, the series follows two men now credited with helping to form the game as it exists today – the privileged Arthur Kinnaird (Edward Holcroft) and the Scottish hopeful Fergus Suter (Kevin Guthrie).
Now, courtesy of Netflix, RadioTimes.com presents an exclusive featurette going behind-the-scenes of the series, revealing exactly how the creative team brought this inspirational true story to life, from the casting to nailing the period details.
Speaking previously to RadioTimes.com and other press about the series, star Holcroft said: “There’s a certain passing of the baton from Kinnaird, who’s slightly towards the end of his career, to a boy [Suter] that he sees is going to take the game where it needs to go.
“Kinnaird sees the vision. He says to his players and friends: ‘You don’t see this. This is where the game has to go – the passing game. It’s beautiful. They need to play it, and we need to help them.’ It’s that recognition in one another, I think, that makes them so special.”
“He did really change the game, Fergus Suter,” said Fellowes. “He brought the passing game down into England, but before, [football] was much nearer rugby. And they played quite violently. In the show, you know, when you’re watching them play at the beginning, you think, ‘My God, this wouldn’t be allowed for five seconds now!’.”
“You get the irony that it’s the upper-class characters who are playing a brutal game, but the workers from the mill are playing this elegant passing game,” added producer Rory Aitken. “So it’s a complete role reversal on the pitch.”