December 7, 2022

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Sean Bean’s BAFTA-winning BBC miniseries Time takes a tough have a look at jail life

3 min read

Named Greatest Miniseries on the 2022 BAFTAs, the hard-hitting BBC jail drama Time is now accessible to binge on Showmax. Time earned Sean Bean (Recreation of ThronesThe Lord of the Rings) his second BAFTA as Lead Actor earlier this 12 months, together with his co-star Stephen Graham (Line of Obligation, Boardwalk Empire) nominated for Supporting Actor and Lewis Arnold (Broadchurch) for Director. 

There’s a built-in stress to any sequence starring Sean Bean – we worry for his character, provided that the actor has died on display greater than 20 instances. That worry isn’t helped, both, by the actor’s penchant for taking part in significantly sympathetic characters we’d quite not see killed off. And right here he’s, in peril once more, making us uncomfortable, once more. 

Time sees Sean solid as mild-mannered former instructor Mark Cobden, newly imprisoned and confronting the cruel realities of jail life. Stephen is devoted jail officer Eric McNally, who faces an unimaginable selection when some of the harmful inmates identifies his weak point.

The four-part miniseries isn’t the pair’s first outing collectively, neither is it their first time across the block with four-time BAFTA winner Jimmy McGovern, Time’s creator. Sean was nominated for a BAFTA for Jimmy’s 2017 sequence Damaged, the place he starred as a Catholic priest, and received for his function as a cross-dresser in Jimmy’s acclaimed 2012 drama, Accused, the place Stephen performed his conflicted associate.

Jimmy says Time’s two lead roles have been written with Sean and Stephen in thoughts. “These two guys have performed actually exhausting males,” he says, “however they’re at their greatest after they’re not exhausting, after they’re susceptible. They’re sensible actors full cease, however after they’re susceptible, they’re much more sensible.”

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The critics agree. Time has an 8.2/10 ranking on IMDb, and a uncommon 100% critics’ ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, the place the critics’ consensus says, “Robust writing and a powerful efficiency from Sean Bean make for an unbelievable, thought-provoking watch.”

“The performances of Bean and Graham are – regardless that we’ve come to count on brilliance from them each – astonishing,” The Guardian stated of their 5/5-star assessment. 

It’s not simply the critics giving the present their stamp of approval both. Time has been extensively praised for its realism by individuals who’ve skilled the system from the within, from retired jail officers to former inmates. “I’ve obtained a mate who was in jail,” Stephen says, “who… went, ‘Mate, you’s have smashed it; it’s precisely what it’s like in there’.”

“From about 1982 onwards,” Jimmy says, “I did a good bit of labor in prisons… doing the author’s workshops. And I used to be at all times fascinated by it for every kind of causes, however I feel the primary motive is, I at all times felt ‘there however for the grace of God go I’. As a result of I used to be younger and skint as soon as as effectively, and I did a couple of naughty issues, however I used to be extraordinarily fortunate. I’m at all times in search of tales, and the factor a few British jail is it’s filled with tales.” 

“There however for the grace of God” is an oft-repeated phrase among the many solid and crew. Central to the present, Stephen says, is the query, “What would we do after we’re confronted with our personal ethical compass?”

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Praising the present’s “devastating story-telling and hanging route,” Night Customary says, “It’s each deeply damning and touchingly hopeful, without delay a searing indictment of a system the place for probably the most half, as one among Mark’s cellmates places it, ‘You are available unhealthy and also you exit worse’, and a testomony to our capability to vary… Important viewing.”

The BBC introduced in March that Time has been renewed for a second season, to be set in a ladies’s jail with an all-new solid.

So… does Sean Bean survive doing Time? You’ll have to look at it and see.

Watch the trailer

Watch Time on Showmax: