Stephen Graham and Sean Bean in Life.

Time: Stephen Graham’s gritty BBC drama about prisons looks like a difficult but gripping watch

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Time is just one of the brilliant new TV series coming to our screens in 2021. Here’s everything we know about Sean Bean and Stephen Graham’s gritty new BBC drama.

We’re big fans of Stephen Graham here. Since his standout performance in Shane Meadows’ This Is England franchise, Graham has starred in series such as the ever-popular Line Of Duty and last year’s heartbreaking The Virtues. He also recently brought tears to our eyes on his emotional Desert Island Discs

So this week’s announcement that Graham will star in a gritty new BBC drama is very welcome news indeed.

Time is a new BBC drama written by Jimmy McGovern and currently being filmed in and around Liverpool. It follows the story of inmate Mark Cobden (Sean Bean) and prison officer Eric McNally (Graham) in a British prison. 

Mark is consumed by guilt after accidentally killing an innocent man. Accepting his four-year sentence, and separated from his family, he meets Eric, a caring prison officer doing his best to protect those in his charge. However, when one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his family.

John Corbett played by Stephen Graham in the TV series Line of Duty
Stephen Graham starred as John Corbett in Line Of Duty last year.

The BBC describes Time as a “visceral, emotional and high-stakes portrayal of life in a British prison” and a “story of guilt and forgiveness, punishment and penitence”. 

“Both Eric and Mark are trapped by their pasts and unsure of their futures. Will they find the strength to move forward?” the synopsis asks. 

Graham and Bean aren’t the only cast members getting us excited about the show. Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Sue Johnston (The Royle Family), Hannah Walters (This is England, Pirates of the Caribbean), David Calder (The World Is Not Enough) and Nadine Marshall (Small Axe) also star. 

Though we don’t know when Time will be released, the release of a  first-look photo suggests it’ll be next year.

, it’s likely to be next year. Yet another great drama series to add to the ever growing best TV shows coming to our screens in 2021

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Images: BBC Pictures

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…