In the Radio Times TV Champion semi-finals, Our Girl is the David to Sherlock’s Goliath, according to writer Tony Grounds.
The creator of the BBC1 war drama – which stars EastEnders actress Lacey Turner as army medic Molly Dawes – says, “we’re such a little show against those other great colossuses. I thought we’d just get crushed.”
But his “little show” has kept in touch with Sherlock’s dedicated army of fans, pushing them all the way in the latest round to name our readers’ favourite TV show of the year.
So, why does Grounds think his series – which also stars Kerry Godliman and Ben Aldridge – has secured such strong support from fans? “It’s hopeful, inspirational, aspirational and about ordinary people, people you don’t normally see on telly winning.
“The viewers have taken this to their hearts. We’ve got a young, diverse female audience which is fantastic – we’re the only ones with a female lead and our cast is incredibly diverse. Obviously people have heard of Lacey because of EastEnders but I don’t think many of the others have been heard of. I think it’s interesting and refreshing to bring different faces and voices to television that wouldn’t normally be heard.”
In Sherlock, Our Girl faces a show with enormous fan support to go hand-in-hand with vast critical acclaim and a healthy collection of awards. “Cumberbatch has won enough, let’s move on,” jokes Grounds. “Let’s blow that whistle.
“This has been the ignored show. All those other shows are very championed by lots of people and we’re not, apart from the viewing public. And it’s the viewing public that are forgotten in TV – we worry about other things and not the viewer and actually that’s what we should start with. We’re doing something to be seen and we want it to reach as many people as possible and it’s the fans who have really led and supported Our Girl all the way.”
If Our Girl comes through its clash against Sherlock, the BBC1 drama will face either Peaky Blinders or In the Flesh in the final from this Thursday. “I love all the other three,” says Grounds. “They’re all brilliant and worthy winners but they’ve already been worthy winners. They’ve been lauded with great awards – Baftas, Emmys and God knows what else. Winning the Radio Times TV Champion would mean the world to us.”
His message for those voting for Our Girl? “Keep voting! Keep voting and, obviously, thank you. It really is all for the fans. This is your award, really. If ever there was a people’s award, this is it.”
What was the best TV show of 2014?