This Sunday at 6pm, the long-awaited sequel to ‘Born to be a Wanderer’ will air on the club’s subscription streaming service and promises to be well worth the wait.
Episode three, entitled: The Rebuild, will be live on the eve of Bolton’s trip to Portsmouth, with episode four, The Perfect Day, following on Sunday, December 17, also at 6pm.
Like the originals, the two programmes were made in conjunction with 5or6 Creative, and there are already plans in the pipeline to create further episodes as Ian Evatt’s side attempt to secure promotion to the Championship.
“We’ve always had a collective agreement that we’d do another one and keep capturing the journey,” CEO Neil Hart told The Bolton News. “What we are about to release won’t be the last, and we’ll always try and give it a different feel, a different look, and involve different people.
“About a year ago we decided we would go for episode three and four and that we’d bring in the same guys to do the job, working closely with us.
“We felt we were on a good run in the Papa Johns at the time and that it might tell a good story, we were in and out of the play-offs, we were expecting a fairly busy January window, but even away from the football side we felt things were progressing, we wanted to capture the rebuild of the club.
“We are stable financially and operating well commercially, so we filmed from January to May and put that into two episodes which we have been busy editing and producing over the last couple of months.
“We really hope the fans enjoy it. We have certainly enjoyed creating it.”
Sunday’s episode will centre on the January window and promises to provide insights into Dapo Afolayan’s move to St Pauli, plus Victor Adeboyejo’s move to Wanderers from Burton Albion.
The fourth episode title was coined by Sharon Brittan and will centre on the memorable day against Plymouth Argyle in the Papa Johns Trophy final.
“We could never have known at the start of January that we’d get to Wembley,” said Siobahn Chaplow, the club’s chief communication officer.
“I think the first couple of episodes had to cover everything that happened, everything that had taken the club to that point, and there was a lot to get in.
“This one feels more present, in the moment, the things that were happening in those months. And it just so happened that some remarkable stuff came along, with the final being top of the list.
“I think because it was more than just a game of football, it was a real moment.”
Hart added: “For me, that Episode Four, as someone who has been here for two-and-a-half years but not a fan from Bolton, that is magical, when you watch it back.”
Rather than Netflix or Amazon pulling the directorial strings, Wanderers’ latest offering is very much an in-house production, but the club say they have worked hard to present a balanced view of events in the second half of last season.
Sharon Brittan, Ian Evatt, Pete Atherton, Chris Markham, Neil Hart, Phil Mason, Gethin Jones, Victor Adeboyejo, Ricardo Santos, Dion Charles, Conor Bradley, James Trafford and journalist Jonathan Northcroft are all featured over the two programmes, along with several supporters.
“We wanted to create something which was authentic,” Hart said. “It is something I have discussed a lot with Sharon (Brittan) and we really wanted it to be as real as possible. The story over the last few years has been incredible, the rebuild, the quality of football has taken time after several transfer windows, how we are operating and trading as a club, getting people through the doors, so there is not really a lot of negative stuff to go in there. If anyone knows of any, let me know!”
Unlike the previous two episodes, the club has taken the decision to air chapters three and four exclusively on their in-house streaming service, Wanderers TV.
That means fans will need to subscribe for a fee of £5 per month, or £50 for a year, to watch, and Wanderers have confirmed there are no plans to move them to a free-to-air platform.
The trailer, released on Wednesday, has already created a buzz among supporters and Hart would not complain if other documentary makers saw something in Bolton’s story that piqued their interest, potentially as they push towards the Championship.
“Who knows? It is definitely our aim to keep moving the club forward,” he said.
“We were talking this morning and I’d love for a Netflix or an Amazon to come and pick this up, or talk about taking it on in the future. Personally, I think there is a fantastic story to be told. I still think the road in front of us is an exciting one. It will be filled with ups and downs, that’s football, but I think it would be interesting to track this journey.
“We are looking forward to the reaction, of course, and we hope it will be positive. But we are also excited about where this could take us.”
Born to be a Wanderer part three will air on Wanderers TV on Sunday, December 10, at 6pm. The following episode will air on Sunday, December 17, at 6pm.