In March 2013, “Our Girl”, a feature-length military drama, was broadcast on BBC One. The one-off programme was met with high praise from viewers, justifying a five-part series which began on Sunday, September 21st, 2014.
Set in modern day Britain, the series follows army medic Molly Dawes (Lacey Turner) on her first deployment as part of the British Army in Afghanistan. During her time there, Molly is forced to grow up very quickly due to the unforgettable experiences she faces.
In the first episode of the series, Lacey Turner, who is best known for her role as Stacey Slater in “Eastenders”, excellently portrays a nervous medic who is struggling to overcome her fears of blood and war. It’s the combination of her likeability and on-screen presence that allows viewers to warm to her incredibly quickly.
Our Girl primarily focuses on Molly’s struggle as she attempts to fit into a male-dominated world. Whereas this is clearly portrayed throughout and makes for interesting viewing, the scriptwriting begs a lot of questions. For example, why is a fully trained army medic scared of blood? Nevertheless, the execution of the action sequences greatly makes up for this.
The highlight of the opening episode is a scene in which Smurf (Iwan Rheon of “Misfits” and “Game of Thrones” fame) is injured by the enemy and Molly must make her way over to him, avoiding the land mines. It’s engaging, it’s intense and, most importantly, it feels authentic. Hopefully there will be more scenes like these to come.
While episode one of Our Girl showed a lot of promise and potential, it may not get the recognition it deserves as it comes up against ITV’s “Downton Abbey” in the Sunday evening slot.
“Our Girl” airs on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. You can catch up with the first episode on BBC iPlayer.