Time (BBC Drama)

Seen through the eyes of two very different men, Time presents a visceral and highly emotional depiction of the British penal system. Peter Gray reports.

British actors Sean Bean and Stephen Graham lead the cast of BBC’s gritty new prison drama Time this March. The pair, who previously appeared together in Jimmy McGovern’s 2012 drama Accused, star as two men who strike up an unlikely friendship behind bars. 

Graham plays Eric, a kindly prison officer Eric (Graham) who is befriended by a new inmate, teacher turned murderer Mark (Bean).

When the prison officer is subsequently targeted by one of the inmates for his perceived weakness, however, he is suddenly faced with a choice between his principles and his family.

Described as a ‘visceral, emotional, and high-stakes portrayal of life in a British prison’, Time looks like another must see drama from the BBC.

Here’s everything you need to know about BBC’s Time:

What is Time about?

Teacher Mark Cobden is consumed by guilt after accidentally killing an innocent man. Sentenced to four years in prison, Cobden finds himself facing up to the harsh reality of life behind bars.

Separated from his family and struggling to come to terms with prison, Mark meets Eric, a kindly prison officer who goes out of his way to help those he encounters.

Kindness can easily be mistaken for weakness in prison, however, and Eric soon finds that he is being targeted by one of the most dangerous inmates of them all. 

As the situation worsens, Eric suddenly faces a choice between his principles and his family.

“Seen through the eyes of two very different men, Time is a visceral and high-stakes portrayal of life in the modern British penal system…and the impact that prison has on all those who pass through it.

Both Eric and Mark, officer and inmate, are seemingly trapped by their pasts and unsure of their futures.

Each has to not only survive but to find the strength and the way to move forward” says the official synopsis for the series on the BBC website.

Who’s behind the camera on Time?

Time is the brainchild of acclaimed British writer Jimmy McGovern. Primarily known for his work on the iconic crime drama, Cracker, in recent years McGovern has worked on such shows as The Street and Accused.

“The BBC have given me a brilliant young director and two of the greatest actors on the planet. I am overjoyed”, McGovern says about his role in the BBC’s new production.

The series is directed by Lewis Arnold. Another heavyweight of the small screen, Arnold’s previous credits include Des, Humans and Broadchurch.

Who’s in the cast of BBC1’s Time?

Game of Thrones star Sean Bean stars as teacher turned convict Mark Hebden. 

Line of Duty’s Stephen Graham is prison officer Eric McNally. The star of season five of Line of Duty, Graham can also be seen in Shane Meadows’ This Is England as well as in the ITV drama The Virtues.

“It is an absolute honour to be working with Jimmy again, I’m feeling blessed” says Graham about his reunion with writer McGovern.

Joining Graham and Bean in the production are Downton Abbey’s Siobhan Finneran, The Royle Family’s Sue Johnston, This is England’s Hannah Walters and Nadine Marshall from the Small Axe.

Where was Time filmed?

Principal photography on the series was carried out in and around Liverpool and within Shrewsbury Prison.

Is there a trailer for Time?

The BBC have not released a trailer for the series yet but one is expected in the next few months. we’ll update this page as soon as a trailer is released.

When will we be able to see Time on the small screen?

The series will launch on BBC1 at 9pm in the 6th of June 2021.

More information about the BBC’s Time can be found here.

For information on other great forthcoming TV productions, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: new drama
When: 6 June 21
Where: BBC1
Website: IMDb