Watch the Our Girl series 3 trailer
Tony Grounds is the Writer and Executive Producer of the BBC One drama, starring Michelle Keegan. We caught up with him to ask what's new for Series 3 of Our Girl?
How does this third series of Our Girl differ from the first and second series?
This is an emergency disaster relief mission after a devastating series of earthquakes in Nepal. There are no obvious enemies. You will see 2-Section also get involved with the issue of child trafficking. There are thousands of children trafficked from places such as Nepal, some of them voluntarily as they think they are heading to a better life.
Will 2-Section be back, and what new characters should we look out for?
Yes and we have two new recruits! Females are now allowed into the Army - not just as medics but the infantry. We have a female coming in as a specialist driver called Maisie and there’s another member who comes in called Rab.
Twelve episodes is a big commission but it will be separated into three different tours. How did you tackle writing three different stories?
It isn’t one story throughout all 12 episodes. I divided up the stories into separate tours, so you’ll see Nepal also leads into Afghanistan. Looking ahead, the second tour is also four episodes and this is two episodes in Nigeria and two in the Belize/Guatemalan border so there is movement.
Watch a clip from Episode 1 of Series 3 of Our Girl
Why did you set this mission in Nepal and Afghanistan and did you get to visit Nepal?
I’m fascinated by Nepal as there’s always been historic British involvement as we have links through the Gurkhas. Everyone knows about the big earthquake and there are smaller ones all the time. The Army aren’t just there to fight anymore; 90 percent of their work is humanitarian work. We’d never told a disaster relief story. I imagine a lot of our audience is the same age as 2-Section and might not know anything about Nepal.
I went to a village affected by the earthquake and that was the village we ended up shooting in. We needed to audition a child to play one of the villagers named Tara, and one of the young local girls wanted to do it so it was a no-brainer really! We also filmed in South Africa, of which some doubled as Nepal, and the little girl didn’t have a passport as she had never been out of the village, let alone the country, so the locals were a bit sceptical of us. When we were in the hotel in South Africa, she kept going up and down in the lift as she’d never been in a lift before!
Rab Kalil (HARKI BHAMBRA), Tara (SALINA SHRESTHA), Maisie Richards (SHALOM BRUNE-FRANKLIN) Image Credit: BBC/Steve Brown
What does Michelle bring to the role as Georgie Lane?
I think she's fantastic, she embodies Georgie Lane now. She brings a young modern girl to the Army who is committed to making the world a better place. I think it’s one in nine new army recruits are female so it’s going up all the time.
Viewers love the Elvis/Georgie storyline, do you enjoy writing that?
I love writing Elvis and Georgie. It’s a real burning love story where they can’t function without each other or function with each other. It’s a passionate love and its wonderful writing it for Michelle and Luke.