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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 Jimmy McGovern (Broken, Cracker, The Street) and Helen Black, the writer of the now 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 lens of three very different inmates, Time is a moving and high-stakes portrayal of life inside a women’s prison. Arriving at Carlingford Prison on the same day, Kelsey (Bella Ramsey), Orla (Jodie Whittaker) and Abi (Tamara Lawrance) 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.

Bella Ramsey says: “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.”

Jodie Whittaker says: “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.”

Tamara Lawrance says: “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.” Siobhan Finneran says: “I am delighted to be returning for Time two. It was a privilege to be involved in the first series and to be asked back is an honour, the scripts are again heartbreakingly brilliant.”

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

Co-writer Helen Black says: “To be asked to write the second season of Time with the incomparable Jimmy McGovern has been a joy and an honour.”

Andrew Morrissey, Executive Producer for BBC Studios says: “It’s always a privilege to be working with Jimmy. He writes stories and characters with such emotional complexity. Working in collaboration with Helen Black and directed by Andrea Harkin, we’re incredibly excited to introduce an audience to a new world and new stories.”

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black’s scripts are nothing short of extraordinary, and in Bella, Jodie and Tamara we’ve found the perfect acting talents to bring these utterly compelling central characters to life. With Siobhan Finneran reprising her role from series one and Andrea Harkin in the director’s chair, BBC viewers are in for a remarkable three hours of television.” 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 (3x60’) 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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