Now in its third season, its hard to believe Our Girl actually started as a humble one-off BBC TV movie back in 2013, which starred Lacey Turner as fish-out-of-water army medic Molly Dawes getting used to life on the front line. Following its huge success, BBC One commissioned creator Tony Grounds to make an Our Girl TV spin-off, which saw Turner reprise her role as Molly for a five-episode first season before being replaced by Michelle Keegan in Seasons 2 and 3. But, will Lacey Turner return to Our Girl in time for a fourth season?
After deciding to rejoin EastEnders as Stacey Slater in 2015, Turner made the decision to forego her Our Girl role as Molly Dawes, meaning her character was written out and replaced by Keegan's more experienced army medic, Corporal Georgie Lane ahead of the show's Season 2 premiere. Despite being written out, ahead of its second season, Turner's character was not killed off — as has been the fate of other Our Girl characters Smurf (Iwan Rheon), Elvis (Luke Pasqualino), and Bones (Oliver Rix) over the years. Instead, her character has just left 2-Section.
So, what exactly is prompting suspicions of Molly's — and Turner's — Our Girl return?
Well, for starters, Our Girl fans have been kept well informed of Molly's life off-screen during Seasons 2 and 3, which does suggest a path towards her one day return to the BBC One military drama.
Indeed, while Molly has been absent from screens since Season 1, you could say her character arc has been allowed to continue and even flourish — and a lot of this is thanks to Captain James. Played by Ben Aldridge, Captain James had a romance with Molly in the first series and has been around ever since to inform viewers of things such as Molly's return to Afghanistan and the fact the pair have even got married. However, the relationship between Molly and Captain James off-screen has since become rocky, as Turner's Our Girl husband has since confessed he has feelings for someone else.
To viewers' knowledge, Captain James and Molly were happily married until a Season 3 episode that aired a few weeks ago. In the show, Captain James revealed for the first time that he had developed feelings for Georgie (Keegan), telling her that his feelings had "crossed a line" into romantic infatuation. The whole situation has yet to be resolved and also has fans wondering if Georgie and Captain James are going to get together instead.
Nonetheless, Captain James' shock declaration also has fans speculating whether the storyline could actually be opening a gateway for Turner's character to come back into the Our Girl fold. But, how likely is the possibility of the actress returning to Our Girl?
The good news is that, if Turner did one day decide to return to Our Girl, she would certainly be welcome with open arms.
Indeed, series creator Tony Grounds has previously told Radio Times about his desire to bring Lacey Turner back to Our Girl. He said: "If [Lacey] ever wanted to do it she’s only got to ring me up – she knows that. I think it’s all about logistics. I don’t know how EastEnders works and we’re invariably filming a broad. But I love that Molly Dawes character."
In 2017, Turner herself also hinted that she may return to Our Girl in the future, also telling Radio Times that she "loved" being part of the show. She explained: "It’s so hard, I’m so busy at EastEnders, it’s really hard to get away and to take that up again. I loved playing her, I’m a huge, huge fan of Our Girl. I don’t know."
Make of that what you will, folks.
Our Girl continues on Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. on BBC One.