BBC blends archive with drama for web series

Footballers United is a transmedia project telling the story of a Scottish football team affected by the First World War.
November 28, 2014

The BBC has launched an interactive drama called Footballers United as part of its season dedicated to commemorating the First World War centenary through storytelling.

Footballers United, which launched on Thursday (November 27), combines fictional and archived content to tell the true story of Scotland’s Heart of Midlothian football team and its experiences from 1914 to 1919.

Produced and commissioned by BBC Learning in collaboration with Somethin’ Else, the series will stream at The story, which follows both men and women affected by the war, will unfold in five chapters consisting of video, audio, image and text. The overall experience runs about an hour. Archived content is presented by Gemma Fay, captain and goalkeeper of the Scottish national women’s football team.

The project weaves separate pieces with an interactive timeline, archived photos and videos, and the dramatic element. Viewers can sign in via Facebook to access social media graphs and tools that show how many of their modern-day friends would have lost lives had they been in a particular battle at the time.

“This interactive drama blends high quality video with archived content in a way we’ve never done before; which not only gives the story depth but brings an important topic like WWI to a new and contemporary audience,” says Sinead Rocks, head of BBC Learning, in a statement.

Footballers United is written and directed by Alex Winckler (My Mad Fat Diary).

From Stream Daily

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.