The BBC’s recent period drama The Pursuit of Love had its fans, but for some viewers a tale about upper-class girls looking for love in the 1920s and 1930s didn’t quite fill the hole left by Line of Duty.
So, for people who like a bit of a grit on Sunday evenings, tonight should be cause for celebration as the new three-part drama Time begins.
It comes from the pen of writer Jimmy McGovern, who has an impressive track record when it comes to tackling difficult subjects. As well as creating Cracker, The Street and Moving On, he was also behind Hillsborough and Sunday, about the events of Bloody Sunday, and co-wrote 2018’s Care, which explored the issues around caring for someone with dementia.
Now, he’s turning his attention to the penal system. And if that hasn’t already whetted your appetite, Time also boasts a great cast, led by Sean Bean and Stephen Graham.
Royal Black gathering told ‘this country is not for sale’
NI man opens up his museum filled with items built up over 80 years
Tom Daley investigates how it’s ‘illegal to be me’
Sport Relief All Star Games: Birmingham 2022
Where can I watch Belfast Film online? Is Belfast Film on Netflix or Amazon Prime - how can I stream Belfast?
The actors have worked with Jimmy McGovern before – they both appeared in the same episode of his drama anthology Accused – and they are clearly pleased to be reunited. Jimmy has described his leading men as “two of the greatest actors on the planet” and they are equally effusive.
Sean says: “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 is another of Jimmy’s complex and superbly written characters and I am looking forward to bringing him to life on screen.”
Stephen added: “It is an absolute honour to be working with Jimmy again, I’m feeling blessed. I’m excited to be working with Lewis [Arnold] 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.”
The supporting cast is equally as impressive, featuring Siobhan Finneran, Sue Johnston, Hannah Walters, Michael Socha and Aneurin Barnard.
The plot focuses on Mark (Bean), a teacher and family man who is sentenced to four years in prison after accidentally killing someone. The new inmate is consumed with guilt and is ready to take his punishment, but he has no idea what to expect from life behind bars. In this opening episode, he finds himself thrown in at the deep end when he arrives at HMP Craigmore, and immediately sees three other inmates getting into a fight. He also meets his troubled and clearly vulnerable new cellmate.
Meanwhile, Prison Officer Eric (Graham) is caring, honest and keen to protect those in his charge – which is not easy in the violent, understaffed jail. But then a dangerous inmate identifies Eric’s biggest weakness, putting him in an impossible situation where he must choose between his principles and his love for his family.
For anyone who is already hooked and can’t wait for next Sunday for the second instalment, the whole series will be available to stream on iPlayer once this first episode has aired.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.
You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk
With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.