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BBC reveals season two cast for Jimmy McGovern prison drama Time

Bella Ramsay (Image: Darren Gerrish), Jodie Whittaker (Pip), Tamara Lawrance, Siobhan Finneran

The BBC has announced casting for the second series of Jimmy McGovern’s multi award-winning hit drama Time.

Returning to explore life in a modern British women’s prison, the three-part drama will be led by Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us, His Dark Materials), Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) and Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins, The Long Song) as Kelsey, Orla and Abi, with Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey) reprising her role from series one as Marie-Louise, a prison chaplain.

Time series two is co-written by McGovern (Broken, Cracker, The Street) and Helen Black, the writer of BAFTA-nominated Life and Death in the Warehouse, and is made by BBC Studios for BBC One and iPlayer.

An original new story told through the eyes of three very different inmates, Time is a high-stakes portrayal of life inside a women’s prison.

Arriving at Carlingford Prison on the same day, Kelsey, Orla and Abi are thrown together to face an unfamiliar world. But even with the ever-present threat of violence within its walls, they discover that an unexpected sense of community, and a shared understanding, still might be possible.

Ramsey said: “I’m very happy to be a part of this project, working with an incredible team and following on from a stellar first season. And it’s such an honour to be Kelsey, I’m really excited to experience the world through her for a few months.”

Whittaker added: “Time was such an incredible and powerful show created by an extraordinary team, and being a part of this project in its second iteration is an absolute dream.”

Lawrance said: “Being a part of women-centred stories and productions is very important to me, as well as projects that challenge a prejudice. Time series two humanises a sector of society that is too often and easily vilified by elucidating the layered reasons why people end up in the criminal (in)justice system. I’m excited for us to platform the complexity of these characters and their experiences.”

Series creator and co-writer Jimmy McGovern was pleased with the casting: “This is the best cast I have ever seen assembled for any drama of mine,” he said. “The best crew too. I am so, so looking forward to it.”

The first instalment of Time was a huge hit for the BBC, with an average of 11.6 million viewers across its three-part run (30-day BBC all-screens data). The series, which starred Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, won the 2022 BAFTA Television award for best mini-series.

Time series two (3×60’) is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The series is written by Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black, directed by Andrea Harkin (The Confessions of Frannie Langton, The Trial Of Christine Keeler), and produced by Carmel Maloney (Domina, Dublin Murders). Executive producers are Priscilla Parish, Michael Parke and Andrew Morrissey for BBC Studios, Lucy Richer for the BBC, and Jimmy McGovern.

Filming will take place in and around Liverpool soon. The series has secured funding and support through the Liverpool Film Office. Global distribution will be handled by BBC Studios.

Time series one is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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