Series Two Of BBC's Time Is Completely Different To The First – Here's Why

Jimmy McGovern’s gritty prison drama Time returns for a second season this weekend.
Time is returning for a second series, telling a brand new prison story
Time is returning for a second series, telling a brand new prison story
BBC/Sally Mais

BBC’s gritty prison drama Time returns for a second season this weekend, and rather than being a continuation of the first, it is set to tell a brand new story.

The first season of the three-part show aired in 2021 and starred Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings) as a teacher turned prison inmate, who must adjust to life behind bars after killing an innocent man by accident. It also featured Stephen Graham (Line Of Duty, Boardwalk Empire) as a straight arrow prison officer who’s forced to choose between his principles and love for his family.

This time around, the show Jimmy McGovern’s show is set to explore life in a women’s prison, featuring a female and non-binary leading cast.

Here is everything you need to know about the second season of Time…

What is Time season two about?

An official synopsis for the show describes Time season two as “a moving and high-stakes portrayal of life inside a women’s prison” that’s “told through the lens of three very different inmates”.

Arriving at Carlingford Prison on the same day, Orla (Jodie Whittaker), Abi (Tamara Lawrance) and Kelsey (Bella Ramsey) are thrown together to face an unfamiliar new environment.

The description adds: “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.”

Who stars in it?

Kelsey (Bella Ramsey), Abi (Tamara Lawrance) and Orla (Jodie Whittaker)
Kelsey (Bella Ramsey), Abi (Tamara Lawrance) and Orla (Jodie Whittaker)
BBC/Sally Mais

The Last Of Us star Bella Ramsay, Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker and Tamara Lawrance from The Silent Twins star in season two.

Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Downton Abbey) also returns as prison chaplin Marie-Louise O’Dell.

What do we know about the characters in season two?

Tamara shared in press notes that her character Abi is doing a life sentence for a crime that she is trying to keep under wraps. She’s also in “quite an anxious space” because the nature of her crime was revealed in the previous prison and the inmates turned against her.

Bella’s character Kelsey, in contrast, is “a bit of a joker and very young, immature and lost”. The actor added: “But, on the other hand, she’s seen far too much. She’s 19 and faced a lot of difficulties in her life which sends her to where she is now.”

Another contrasting personality thrown into the mix is Jodie’s character Orla, who is a single mother of three and introduced in a “stereotypical domestic scenario that any mother can appreciate where you’re just trying to get your kids ready for school”.

The new series is set over three episodes
The new series is set over three episodes
BBC/Sally Mais

What have the writers revealed about the show?

Jimmy McGovern said that women’s bodies are “more central to this drama than any other drama I have written”, which is why he felt it was crucial to recruit co-writer Helen Black.

“Jimmy has no room for artifice in his work, there is nowhere to hide, which is why we are all drawn to these challenging yet glittering stories,” Helen said in press notes. “We may be watching something well beyond our own experience, but it is always the humanity that leaps out at us.”

Jimmy also described the show as a “tough drama”, but one that’s “full of love”.

When will Time season two air?

Time series two starts this Sunday, 29 October at 9pm on BBC One, with all three episodes available immediately after on BBC iPlayer.

Is there a trailer?

A trailer is out now. Check it out below.


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