8YEJwPEr Our Girl 2013 11
Our Girl 2013 11

Our Girl: Not barmy but in the army

Riley Riley

“No future for you. No future for me,” sang the Sex Pistols back in the 1970s.

For those who lived through those turbulent times it captured a sense of what it was like to be young and living in the UK in 1977.

The lyrics also resonate powerfully with the 2013 movie and BBC television series Our Girl.

It’s the story of a young working-class woman, Molly Dawes, who’s fed up with her lot in life and decides to enlist in the British army.

Molly is the eldest of five children, with a doting mother and drunken, domineering father with a boyfriend who she has just discovers is cheating on her (he thinks it’s all right because he always come back).

She’s caring, sassy and obviously intelligent, but has little education, no qualifications and works part-time in a nail salon.

Drunk and down in the dumps on her 18th birthday, she throws up in the doorway of the local Army Recruitment Office.

Maybe it is fate because it becomes the turning point in her life . . . literally.

Molly initially keeps her decision to join the army secret from the rest of her family.

When the truth emerges, her father goes ballistic and demands she changes her mind.

He threatens to disown her otherwise and warns that she will never see any of the family again.

But ‘our girl’ Molly is resolute and encouraged by the manager of the recruitment office, Sergeant Lamont (Paul Fox), she packs her bags for boot camp.

None of her family attend the passing out parade and a year later we find her about to be deployed to Afghanistan as a field medic.

She’s in the army now and it’s all starting to become a little too real.

Our Girl was created and written by Tony Grounds who is also known for When I’m Sixty-Four (2004) and The Martins (2001),

It was directed by David Drury who died at the age of 74 in 2021 and is probably best known for Ashes to Ashes (2008).

After the success of the movie in 2013, the BBC commissioned a full series of five episodes which went to air in September, 2014.

The movie was cut and re-edited to create the first two two episodes.

Seasons 2, 3 and 4 followed for a total of 28 x 60-minute episodes.

Our Girl stars East Enders Lacey Turner as Molly Dawes, Sean Gallagher as father Dave and Kerry Godliman as mother Belinda.

It also features Ben Aldridge as the decorated Captain Charles James and Iwan Rheon as Private Dylan “Smurf” Smith, with whom she embarrassingly once had a fling. 

Turner left her role after the first series and was replaced by Michelle Keegan from Coronation Street as the lead character, Lance Corporal Georgie Lane.

In January, 2019 it was confirmed Keegan would return for a fourth series but it would be her last.

Following Keegan’s departure, the BBC announced in August, 2020 that the fourth series of Our Girl would be the final series.

Our Girl is funny, gritty, engaging and sensitively written, with some great acting from the cast.

The only female in the company, 2 Section, Molly fights to prove herself to the men around her.

At the same time, she brings a feminine touch to their dealings with the locals, who they are encouraged to befriend.

This is shown by the compassion and understanding she brings to her relationship with an 11-year-old Afghan girl Bashira (Becky Eggersglusz).

The series treads a difficult path, managing to avoid turning into propaganda, while the characters in turn spend much of their time trying to avoid stepping on landmines.

Many people prefer Keegan to Dawes, but we’ll let you make that call.

You can catch the first two seasons of Our Girl on Prime Video.


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Time out score

Final thoughts . . .

Our Girl is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking . . .


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