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A quick guide to Sean Bean’s new prison drama 'Time'

Sean Bean in Time
Jailed! Sean Bean and Stephen Graham in BBC1 drama "Time." (Image credit: BBC)

Sean Bean will be playing Mark Cobden, a guilt-ridden teacher whose life is destroyed when he accidentally kills an innocent man, in BBC1’s thrilling new prison drama Time by acclaimed British TV writer Jimmy McGovern. 

Separated from his family, Mark is sentenced to four years in jail where he befriends prison officer Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), who does his best to protect the inmates from the dangers of life behind bars.

But when one of the most dangerous prisoners identifies Eric’s softer side as a weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and protecting the ones he loves.

With both Eric and Mark trapped by their pasts and unsure of their futures, can they find survive and find the strength to move forward?

Who else is starring BBC1’s 'Time'?

It’s been revealed that The Royle Family star Sue Johnston will be joining Time in a supporting role, alongside Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley) and Hannah Walters (This is England). Not only that, but it’s also been confirmed that The World is Not Enough actor David Calder is among the all-star ensemble cast, as well Small Axe’s Nadine Marshall, This is England’s Michael Socha and Dunkirk actor Aneurin Barnard.

What is ‘Time’ writer Jimmy McGovern also known for?

BBC1's Time is the creation of BAFTA and Emmy-winning writer Jimmy McGovern, who has also penned major hit series including Cracker, Hillsborough, The Lakes, The Street, Moving On and Accused, which also starred both Sean Bean and Stephen Graham. 

What else have ‘Time’ actors Sean Bean and Stephen Graham starred in?

Sean Bean has had a long established career in film and TV. Between 1994 and 1997 he starred in eight Sharpe TV movies as the British soldier Richard Sharpe. He joined Game Of Thrones as Ned Stark in 2011 and recently played Douglas Bennett in World on Fire. But he’s probably best known for playing wise warrior Boromir in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Meanwhile, Stephen Graham made a name for himself in This is England in 2006 and its TV sequels. He received critical acclaim for his roles in C4’s The Virtues and ITV’s Little Boy Blue and made a much-talked about appearance as DS John Corbett in season five of Line of Duty.

‘Time’ on BBC1: What else do we know? 

BBC1's Time has been described as a "visceral, emotional and high-stakes portrayal of life in a British prison." It’s directed by Lewis Arnold, who recently directed the hit ITV series Des, and produced by I May Destroy You’s Simon Maloney. It’s a three-parter, and each episode is 60 minutes long.

When will ‘Time’ be shown on BBC1 and BBCiPlayer?

The series is still being filmed in Liverpool in Northern England and is likely to be shown on BBC1 and BBCiPlayer in 2021, but the exact start date hasn’t been confirmed.