**SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SERIES FINALE OF OUR GIRL**
Well, THAT was not the ending we were hoping for. Our Girl fans finally got what they were waiting for in the series finale as Corporal Georgie Lane (Michelle Keegan) reunited with her ex-fiancé Elvis (Luke Pasqualino). But their happiness was short-lived as, in treacherous Kabul, poor Elvis was blasted from a rooftop by a hidden bomb, dying in a distraught Georgie’s arms.
After two series of will-they, won’t-they, it felt like a particularly cruel twist to the drama’s central love story. Yes, this is a drama about war and the army – but it’s also dedicated an awful lot of time to Georgie and Elvis’ star-crossed romance.
Yet, Our Girl creator Tony Grounds reveals he had little choice but to kill off Elvis, explaining that it was Pasqualino’s commitment to American drama Snatch which brought about his character’s demise.
“It was a combination of factors, really,” Grounds tells RadioTimes.com. “Firstly in terms of honouring that story – it felt like their relationship was brilliant and toxic at the same time and it was a great dramatic way to go with it. Being in the forces, he’s quite close to death all the time so that was the one thing that stuck in my mind.
“And then [Luke Pasqualino] had signed a contract to do another show which tied him up for five years with Snatch. So we had no choice.
“We could have sent [Elvis] to prison or on holiday or just not seen him for five years but that seemed a bit daft so we thought let’s take this brave way – and he dies on the battlefield in Georgie Lane’s arms. We were forced into that way of thinking because I love him and I would happily have had Elvis in forever.”
But Grounds explains that there was a point when it seemed unlikely that Elvis would appear in the most recent series at all thanks to Pasqualino’s busy filming schedule. “It looked like he might not be able to do it and then they were able to so they found us that gap which is why he’s not in [episodes] one and two very much. We were able to use him for [episodes] three and four and then he had to go off.
If Grounds had his way, would Georgie and Elvis have ended up together?
“Well, in drama, as soon as people end up together it’s the end of the story. Maybe it’s the right thing because I’d have carried on with this explosive love/hate.
“They’re like magnets – they kind of burn to be together and whenever they see each other all those feelings come bubbling to the surface like a volcano and yet it never seems to work for them. I could have carried that on for a bit longer but we have done it for two series.”
Instead, the finale saw the pair recommit to one another, as Elvis proposed to Georgie for a second time – and she said yes. But Grounds says there is no guarantee their marriage would have been been a happy one.
“Maybe they could have been from that moment on – he talks about giving up doing tours and maybe doing training and mentoring in the UK and working in Hereford and there is a possibility of that life for them. But then it gets taken away.
“It might have been brilliant for them but I suspect it’s the adrenaline that pulls them together sometimes.”
The closing moments of the final episode saw a heartbroken Georgie coming to terms with a future without Elvis, but with two more miniseries commissioned (due to air on BBC1 next year), Grounds says that Michelle Keegan’s character will eventually “realise that life has to go on and should she wave the white flag to life? No. She knows she’s got to assimilate back.”
That “assimilation” may or may not include a new love interest later in the run. We’re keeping our lips sealed for now.
But while the series ended on a sad note, there was a shred of hope in the form of Tara – the young Nepalese girl who was seen embarking on a treacherous and well-trodden route to Europe. A shot in the closing minutes showed her washed up on a beach, in a scene strikingly similar to the shocking image of a drowned Syrian boy which made headlines around the world two years ago.
Grounds says he was “100%” inspired by the 2015 photograph. “I try to look at the world and incorporate that into it and that’s why that image was important. Tara’s journey is an exact journey – I try and keep it as accurate as possible.”
But Tara did not suffer a similar fate, with the drama showing her rescue before ending with scenes back in the Nepalese village where she and her friends were pictured playing games once again.
That’s the last we’ll see of Nepal as the next miniseries will show 2 Section journey to Nigeria and then onto the Belize/Guatemalan border for a fresh set of missions (read more about that here).
But in the meantime, fans will no doubt need a moment to mourn the loss of poor Elvis.