So, there’s a new series of Our Girl?
Yes, and that’s not the only good news. While last series ran to five episodes, this third series stretches to twelve. But the BBC won’t be airing them all at once. The series is split into three chunks of four episodes each. Batch number one will begin airing on Tuesday 10th October at 9pm on BBC1, with batch two and three due on screens next year. And each miniseries will comprise of a separate tour.
What happens in the first miniseries?
You don’t have to wait long for that Georgie/Elvis reunion. It takes place in the opening moments of series one as the pair come together on a rescue mission in Aleppo, Syria. But anyone hoping for romance might be left disappointed – for Georgie, it’s strictly professional, no matter how much Elvis might wish otherwise.
The drama doesn’t hang about in Syria for long. This series has its sights set on Nepal where a devastating earthquake requires 2 Section to help with emergency disaster relief – a fictionalisation of real-life events. “There are earthquakes in Nepal fairly regularly in that part of the world,” the drama’s creator, Tony Grounds, tells RadioTimes.com. “We have a fictionalised earthquake – but it’s like the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.”
But things don’t play out as expected…
They often don’t when it comes to Our Girl. “In the village that we film in in Nepal – which was a village that was actually struck by the earthquake – 2 Section discover that the children are being trafficked and taken across a fairly porous border into India and then into Pakistan, Afghanistan,” says Grounds. “There are so many agencies working out there that the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing so the children are trafficked and we pick up on that story.”
So, that’s the first miniseries. What about the second and third?
Episodes 5-8 will air next year and focus on the Belize/Guatemalan border – “the British army have an involvement there because Belize used to be British Honduras,” explains Grounds. “The Brits, before they extracted, drew the border with a ruler which caused lots of problems…. In Belize and Guatemala, there are a lot of drugs going across the border so there are also a lot of bad people going around, armed in the jungle.”
The drama will show 2 Section there on a training exercise when – you guessed it – “everything goes wrong”.
As for the third miniseries, details are still pretty scarce but we do know it will look at humanitarian work on the Myanmar/Bangladesh border – a part of the world which is dominating headlines right now. Those episodes – 9-12 – will also broadcast next year.
Missions aside, what is going on with Georgie and Elvis?
It’s the question all viewers want the answer to – and while romance isn’t exactly on the cards right now, Grounds’ comments are certainly encouraging: “These two characters, Elvis and Georgie, they absolutely burn for each other. They’ve got this rawness and whenever they see each other, as much as they don’t want it to happen, they can’t stop it happening. There’s an electricity and they know they should be together but fate keeps pulling them apart.”
Can they ever be happy? “Yes, I think they are meant for each other.”
Luke Pasqualino – who plays Elvis – is a little less sure. “The relationship is very up and down. They’re still very much in love with each other but there’s something in there that drives them apart. They can be together but there’s too much history there for them to get straight back into it and Georgie’s got this huge trust issue with Elvis. A lot of that stuff comes to light and the frustration levels really increase this year.
“A bit like Ross and Rachel’s Friends situation – will they, won’t they? You never quite know.”
Basically, it’s all a bit turbulent.
Michelle Keegan hints as much, teasing an epic “bust up” between the pair in this series. “We have a row where there’s a lot of frustration and a lot of jealousy but the love is still there. It was a great scene to film.”
Where does that “jealousy” come from?
Georgie’s ex-fiancé Jamie plays no part in this series – but new 2 Section recruit Private Maisie Richard may be the one to throw a spanner in the works of Georgie and Elvis’s romance.
Who is Maisie?
One of two new characters in series three, Maisie (played by Shalom Brune Franklin) is an advanced driver and a member of the infantry as 2 Section head to Nepal. “When we started off, females weren’t allowed to join the infantry whereas now it’s completely gender-free so we have Maisie,” explains Grounds.
Private Richard is loud, brash and disobedient – popular amongst the rest of 2 Section but a constant thorn in Georgie’s side, in more ways than one. “She’s a very fore-fronted character,” says Pasqualino.
But Maisie and Elvis have history (our bet is she is the source of that big bust up). “It’s a little bit of a romance thing there,” he continues. “It’s touched upon and becomes quite apparent in the earlier episodes of series three.”
Who else is new this series?
There’s another new member of 2 Section – Rab (played by Harki Bhambra) – who joins the rest of the unit in Nepal. “He’s from Leeds and he’s a Muslim,” says Grounds. “He’s a young guy who could have gone to university but chose to join the army. Patriotic, funny, bright as a button – he puts Brains to shame because Brains has got a few GCSEs but Rab has got A levels.”
There’s also Milan (played by Rudi Dharmalingam) – a Nepalese engineer who catches Georgie’s eye. “[She] thinks that Elvis is gone forever from her life. She and Milan have a connection and it looks like that’s a burgeoning relationship and then who tips up? Elvis.”
Will we ever see Molly again?
Lacey Turner’s character had a blink-and-you’ll miss it mention last series – when Captain James revealed the pair were married – and actor Ben Aldridge has said she’ll come up in conversation once or twice in this latest run but that viewers will “get more insight in a later tour”.
Aldridge also added that the Captain “experiences a massive betrayal from someone he thought he could trust.”
Could it be Elvis? Or Georgie? Whoever is behind this “betrayal”, it sounds pretty serious.
“As a result, he almost loses the section and jeopardises everyone’s life,” continues Aldridge. “For the first time in any drama that I’ve seen on TV, it gives a look into life in Afghanistan and for the soldiers in their army who fought alongside them. It’s been written very carefully and delicately and well handled. It’s hard-hitting drama.”
That’s more than enough Our Girl to get stuck into for now.
But – according to Grounds – there could be a series four…
“It’s about life so anything can happen at any time. The next one may involve the Americans going into Korea or the North Koreans blowing up Guam. You don’t quite know which way the world is going to go.
“[Our Girl] is not like a family drama set in a sweet shop where you could run out of stories – with this one, every day there’s another story. That’s why we’re in Bangladesh at the moment because there’s a whole situation being thrown up there.”
So when is Our Girl back on our screens?
And is there a trailer?
— BBC One (@BBCOne) September 23, 2017
Hear more about all the new series coming up in the next few months…
This article was originally published in September 2017