That’s it. After five nail-biting episodes, Our Girl reached its dramatic conclusion tonight as Georgie and Elvis foiled Abu’s plot to bomb his ex-girlfriend’s graduation and Jamie was left looking rather lonely at the altar.
For weeks, Our Girl fans have been nailing their colours to the mast, siding either with Team Jamie or Team Elvis. But as the credits rolled on the second series of the BBC drama, Georgie was to be found in the arms of neither, ending things with Jamie (Royce Pierreson) on their wedding day and choosing a return to Nufula and the Kenyan refugee camp over a reconciliation with first-love Elvis (Luke Pasqualino).
“I always wanted her to be her own woman and say ‘no, I’m choosing to do something else with my life, I’m not going to be defined by Jamie and have the big house or Elvis and be with him,”” explains Our Girl creator Tony Grounds. “That was always what I wanted to do.”
Although Grounds admits he wasn’t quite prepared for the enthusiasm of the show’s fanbase when it came to Georgie’s love rivals. “It’s been great listening to the arguments raging. I’ve been amazed that 90% of people want her to go with Elvis. As far as I can see their only logic is because he’s better looking and he is – obviously – gorgeous. What do I know? But Royce is quite good looking as well – I’d be happy if I looked like Royce. He’s the one that your parents would want you to go with.”
Jamie (Royce Pierreson) and Georgie (Michelle Keegan)
Is he worried fans will be disappointed that Georgie chose to end up with neither man? “No, I don’t think so because hopefully they’ll say, ‘of course, that’s the right decision.’ They just hadn’t thought of it. Obviously I’ve been pushing it that Elvis is the love passion and Royce is logical but actually no, there’s a different logic and [Georgie] needs to decide for herself. Why should she get married? It shouldn’t just be the ambition of people to get married nowadays – there’s a big world out there.”
That big world is set to be explored further as Our Girl has been recommissioned by the BBC for a third series. Michelle Keegan will be back as Georgie and Grounds is keen to explore a different side to the British army. “What I was hoping to do next time is look at emergency disaster relief which is again what British forces do – when there are disasters across the world, the army can go in and help.”
With series one set in Afghanistan and series two in Kenya, Grounds is not yet sure where the third run will be based. “I’m doing the research at the moment so I haven’t put my finger on the globe yet… I’m going to be looking where the natural disasters are and where the British army’s involved so I haven’t 100% chosen the place.”
The series’ return will see Georgie in the army, Grounds confirms, but what of Pasqualino’s Elvis? Will we see more of him? “I think that’s a possibility.” And is this the end of the road for Pierreson’s Jamie? “Not necessarily… I think all three live to fight another day.”
Elvis (Luke Pasqualino)
So far, so cryptic – although Grounds is hoping to deliver answers sooner rather than later. While Our Girl fans had to wait two years for a second series, the hope is to turn around series three in a shorter window. “I think it’s going to be sooner than last time so there won’t be such a gap. I do it all on my own – I executive produce it, create it – so normally it takes me quite a long time but I’m going to curtail the research and start sooner.”
That gap between the first and second series saw the departure of Lacey Turner who played Molly Dawes in the 2013 special and 2014 run before returning to her role as Stacey Slater in EastEnders. “At the end of the series they said, ‘OK, shall we do another one?’ and by this time Lacey had gone back to EastEnders and they said, ‘how about using Michelle Keegan?’ We met up with her and she was so keen and positive and we thought, ‘yeah, let’s give it a go’.”
Writing the series requires a great deal of research and Grounds has spoken to everyone from Somalia correspondents at the BBC and charities like Save the Children to soldiers and military intelligence in order to accurately reflect life for soldiers in the British army.
It was that commitment to an accurate portrayal that led him to write the demise of Iwan Rheon’s character Smurf in series one. “It was a shame because I adored him – he’s a great actor and a great character – but it felt right that somebody died because it was about Afghanistan and our soldiers were being maimed and killed and we needed to reflect that somehow.”
Molly Dawes (played by Lacey Turner) in series one
Smurf may have breathed his last but Captain James (Ben Aldridge) provided the bridge between Molly and Georgie for the second series, even letting slip to Jamie that his series one love interest was now his wife during last week’s episode. Fans were quick to catch on, venting their frustration that they hadn’t witnessed the pair’s wedding. With Turner busy doing EastEnders, would Grounds consider writing in a guest appearance?
“If she ever wanted to do it she’s only got to ring me up – she knows that. I think it’s all about logistics. I don’t know how EastEnders works and we’re invariably filming abroad. But I love that Molly Dawes character.”
What about a Captain James and Molly Dawes webisode? “I’d be up for it but because of the driving narrative of the story of Our Girl, it’s quite hard to do a move to the side and a happy ending. It’s about the jeopardy of everything in Our Girl so if you go there, you’d need some great haunting thing going on because otherwise it’s just a nice wedding and they’ve got lovely kids. So we’d need some torment going on.”
After all, it wouldn’t be Our Girl without a reason to bite our nails and flinch at our TV screens.