Friday, 06 October 2017

Soldier Girl Blue

Military series is ropey and soapy rather than stirring

Written by Annette Kellow
I can’t imagine what it’s like to be serving with the Armed Forces and risking your life on a regular basis for Queen and country. The trouble with Our Girl (Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm) is I can’t imagine any better after watching its attempt at a stirring drama centring on fearless Army medic Lance Corporal Georgie Lane (Michelle Keegan).

In the original series, EastEnders graduate Lacey Turner played raw recruit Molly Dawes with enough grit and conviction to persuade us to overlook the drama’s cheesier excesses. That’s not the case with Keegan: the switch from Albert Square stalwart to Corrie glampot has added a touch of pizzazz that leaves you wondering exactly who this show’s made for.

It’s a fine thing to have an inspirational role model proving that a woman can make her way in what used to be exclusively a man’s world, but the heavy-handed message sits ill at ease with the dodgy dialogue and ropey, unconvincing action sequences. Plus, the storyline is all too soapy: remember how Georgie dumped her fiancé at the end of the last series? And now we’re back racing through the streets of Aleppo on a death-defying mission, but the devastation of the Syrian conflict is simply the backdrop for the opening of another season that seems determined to focus on Georgie’s love life.

There is a fine drama to be made about the rapidly changing role of women in the modern military. Our Girl isn’t it.

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