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Sean Bean and Stephen Graham to star in Jimmy McGovern's new BBC One Drama, Time

The three-part 'emotional and thrilling' series begins filming this autumn in Liverpool.


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. It is a story of guilt and forgiveness, punishment and penitence and the impact that prison has on all those who pass through it.


Sean Bean plays teacher, husband and father, Mark Hebden who killed an innocent man in an accident. Consumed by guilt, he accepts and even welcomes his four year sentence. Separated from his family, he has no idea what to expect in this unforgiving new environment and needs to learn quickly how to survive.


Stephen Graham plays prison officer Eric Reid who's caring, honest and tries his very best to protect those in his charge, something which is a daily challenge in this understaffed and high tension world. When one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his love for his family.

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.


Writer Jimmy McGovern, whose last drama for BBC One was Anthony, said“The BBC have given me a brilliant young director and two of the greatest actors on the planet. I am overjoyed.” The director Jimmy talks about is Lewis Arnold who has most recently directed Des on ITV.


No stranger to starring in a Jimmy McGovern drama, Sean Bean said "Getting to be involved in a Jimmy McGovern drama again is a real privilege and it will be great to be reunited with Stephen. Mark Hebden is another of Jimmy’s complex and superbly-written characters and I am looking forward to bringing him to life on screen."


And having starred in McGovern's Accused (as did Bean), Stephen Graham said "It is an absolute honour to be working with Jimmy again, I’m feeling blessed. I’m excited to be working with Lewis as I have heard so many incredible things about him as a director, I can’t wait to get stuck in. Of course, I am made up to be back on set with Sean."


BBC's Controller of Drama, Piers Wenger added "Jimmy has a unique style of creating thought-provoking dramas which tell raw and emotional stories, and Time is exactly that. With Sean and Stephen in lead roles, Jimmy and Lewis behind the camera, Time is a shining example of British drama talent at its best."

Time will air in 2021 on BBC One

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