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Time reunites Stephen Graham and Sean Bean

Time reunites Stephen Graham and Sean Bean

According to Jimmy McGovern, “two of the greatest actors on the planet” star in his BBC prison drama. Check it out, along with these other gritty series on BBC iPlayer

By Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer

Acting powerhouses Stephen Graham (Line Of Duty) and Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones) previously starred in another drama from McGovern, 2012’s Accused. In three-parter Time, they find themselves on opposite ends of the law.


Graham is prison officer Eric McNally, who is anything but bent (Line Of Duty’s gaffer would be proud), until a prisoner discovers he has a secret that can be manipulated. With his family in danger, will McNally bend or break?

Bean plays teacher Mark Cobden, who’s landed himself a four-year sentence for killing an innocent man by accident. He’s racked with guilt and also a prime target for abuse from his fellow inmates.


As the pair, in their very different roles, struggle to survive in the unforgiving confines of the prison, will justice prevail (and will the system allow it)? 

James Nelson-Joyce is held back by an officer in BBC drama Time

Doing Time: You have to be thick-skinned to survive

Graham is also reunited with his Little Boy Blue co-stars Jack McMullen and James Nelson-Joyce, as well as fellow This Is England cast members, including Michael Socha and Graham’s real-life wife Hannah Walters.


The rest of the cast is made up of Sue Johnston (The Royle Family), David Calder (The Hatton Garden Job), Nadine Marshall (Save Me), Aneurin Barnard (The Pact) and Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey). The series was filmed in and around Liverpool.


Before you serve Time (sorry, we couldn’t resist) with the new series, check out these other absorbing BBC dramas.   

Moving On

Find series 12 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Also from McGovern, Moving On is an anthology series where each episode focuses on a turning point for its characters. Homophobia in sport, redundancy, bereavement and asylum seekers are just a few of the topics covered. John Simm, Ian Hart, Richard Armitage, Ramon Tikaram, Lesley Sharp, Joanne Froggatt and Paula Wilcox, plus many more, lend their star power.



Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Anthony shows the life that Anthony Walker could have lived if he hadn’t been murdered in a racist attack in Huyton in 2005. The film works backwards from an imagined version of Walker aged 25 to the night of his death aged 18. A love story, a child and a civil rights career are just a few of the milestones Anthony experiences in this moving and heart-breaking tribute. McGovern became involved in the project when Anthony’s mother asked him to tell the story, knowing he would deliver it in the right way.

Murdered For Being Different

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

This BAFTA-winning real-life drama tells the true story of the tragic death of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster in 2007. Lancaster and her boyfriend (respectively played by Abigail Lawrie and Nico Mirallegro) were singled out and attacked for nothing more than their appearance. Coronation Street worked with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation on its recent storyline involving an attack on Nina (Mollie Gallagher) and Seb (Harry Visinoni) that was related to their alternative dress sense.


The Investigation

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

In 2017, young Swedish journalist Kim Wall disappeared after interviewing a man who built a homemade submarine. This true crime series delves into the Copenhagen police investigation, where a top team, including divers, worked for six months on what would become known worldwide as “the submarine case”.


Keeping Faith

Find series 1-3 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Lawyer Faith (Eve Myles, Torchwood), who lives in Carmarthenshire, Wales, had her world shaken when her husband and business partner Evan (Bradley Freegard, Da Vinci’s Demons) disappeared in series 1. Things soon got twisty, with series 3 of the thriller, filmed in Welsh and English, dealing with the fallout. A boatload of legal battles are looming, all while Faith juggles a massive caseload at work.

When is the BBC’s Time on TV?

Time airs on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) on Sundays at 9pm, with the first episode screening on Sunday 6 June. Once the first episode has aired, the following two will be available in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.


The three-part series will air every week until Sunday 20 June.

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Image credits: Time © BBC/James Stack