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, Orla (Jodie Whittaker), Abi (Tamara Lawrance) and Kelsey (Bella Ramsey) 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.
- Time series one is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now
Jimmy McGovern (Writer and Executive Producer)
There’s only one wing in our prison. By “wing” I mean one of those long, stone-walled corridors with cells down each side in which you can lock people away. In our prison, that one wing is used mainly for induction and occasionally for punishment. For the rest of the time the women are housed in large units and within them they are free to wander: to the showers, to the television lounge, to the kitchen. The front door, however, is locked.
There is no VP wing in our prison. By “VP” I mean “vulnerable prisoner” and by “vulnerable prisoner” I usually mean “sex offender”. Well, if you’re a sex offender in a British women’s prison, you have to mix with the other prisoners. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how grievous your offence, you have to mix with the other prisoners. That can be dangerous.
In our prison, and in all British women’s prisons, there are no full body searches without reasonable suspicion. That means women can hide drugs in their bodies and carry them around the prison. Many do so. Women’s bodies are more central to this drama than any other drama I have written. That’s why I needed a woman to work with. And that’s why we got Helen Black.
Helen Black has been a joy to write with. Andrea Harkin, our Derry born director, has been wonderful. So too have been the cast and crew. It’s a tough drama, this, but it is full of love. I hope you enjoy it.
Helen Black (Writer)
In the Spring of 2022 I was on holiday when my agent emailed saying Jimmy McGovern was planning to write season two of Time. Excellent, I thought, loved the first one. This series was going to be set in a women’s prison. Even better, I thought. Can’t wait to watch it. As such the email continued, Jimmy wanted a female writer on board and ‘would Helen be interested in having that conversation?’ It took me six seconds to say yes.
And that’s how I found myself a few weeks later in a room above Radio Merseyside meeting one of this country’s greatest writers. A room we would return to again and again with our fabulous producers Andrew and Michael. A room where we set out to tell the stories of women serving time with integrity and brutal honesty.
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. We may be watching something well beyond our own experience, but it is always the humanity that leaps out at us.
I hope you enjoy this series. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to write it with Jimmy. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried and when you watch it, I know you will too.
Meet The Cast
Jodie Whittaker (Orla)
Where do we meet Orla in at the start of the series?
Orla is a single mother of three and we meet her in a stereotypical domestic scenario that any mother can appreciate where you’re just trying to get your kids ready for school. But for Orla it’s particularly heightened because she’s in a rush to get somewhere that nobody knows she’s going.
The beauty of Helen and Jimmy’s writing is that the audience isn’t completely spoon-fed every scene. So you then have a very hard cut with them realising that she’s gone to court and is then sent down for six months. In law there are very clear lines on what is legal and what is not legal – but then there are very blurred lines of what warrants prison sentences and what warrants fines. In Orla’s situation, the crime doesn’t necessarily merit the sentence. The cost of living crisis has absolutely contributed to Orla’s situation.
The first season of Time was widely praised, what has it been like working with Jimmy and telling this story off the back of the success of the first season?
As an actor, whenever you’re sent any script, it’s incredibly exciting because you are sat in a position where you’re lucky enough to read all that hard work, especially when it follows something that has been so impactful, important, and of such high quality like Time series one. The fact that this is being told, not as a season two, but as another unique standalone piece covering different storylines and characters has been amazing. I think for me growing up, Jimmy’s writing was hugely impactful on my love of television and screen, and hearing things in a voice that I understood. And so, when he came on set, I was pathetic. You know with both Helen and Jimmy that the research has been done and we’re in safe hands. There’s an incredible ensemble of stories and I felt very lucky to be on set.
How will watching Time series two change people’s perspectives on female prisons?
I think what Time series one did, and hopefully what this series is doing, is giving a face to the statistics or the problems. You can say there’s a there’s a wrong or a right, there’s a baddie and a goodie, or there’s a situation where there’s a bad decision and a good decision, but we all live in a grey area. Some of us are in a lucky position – wherever we’re coming from or are going to we are helped in many ways by society or the financial bracket you’re in. All these things are contributing factors to your daily ability to choose certain things. For Orla, the domino effect of her being in prison shatters everything for her.
What’s it like working in an ensemble cast?
The thing that’s been wonderful filming is just being in an environment of so many actors, in such an ensemble. You’re supported all day and given the space to work, to be challenged and to discover really brilliant details because there are other people in the scene. Sometimes when you play characters like Orla that require such an emotional journey it can make you a little bit insular, whereas Time is all about the ripple effect. It’s been brilliant, it feels like the epitome of working on a team – you feel like you’re in a football team or something, and as characters you’re not always playing on the same side so it’s quite complicated and there are a few screams at the referee.
What research did you do to prepare for the role and did you utilise that for your performance?
What has been wonderful is learning from other actors, the wealth of knowledge within us that’s been so openly shared.
Tamara Lawrance (Abi)
Tell us about Time series two
Time is a series that follows predominantly the storylines of three women who have come into prison for very different reasons and who, for most of the show, share a cell and interact with each other. It’s about loss, it’s about redemption, it’s about grief, and family, and friendship, connection and the lack of it, and also transformation – I think every character sort of evolves through their circumstance. So I think resilience is probably the salient theme and I hope that compassion, understanding and a new perspective is what people take away from it the most.
Tell us about your character, Abi
Abi is an inmate, she’s doing a life sentence for a crime that she is trying to keep under wraps. She has served three and a half years in a different prison and she’s in quite an anxious space because the nature of her crime was revealed in the previous prison and the inmates turned against her for that. So she’s trying to keep herself to herself, but also looks out for other inmates as well because she knows what it feels like to be ostracised.
What did you love about the first season and what attracted you to come on board?
I was on the BAFTA jury actually that year and watched for Best Actor – I voted for Sean and it was actually a unanimous vote for Best Actor. Similarly from the last season to this season, what I loved about it was the subversion of stereotype and recognising how sometimes people do things that people might see as reprehensible not because of who they are, but because of the circumstances they’ve been put in. I think there’s an amazing arc from the first to the second season, even though it’s entirely different people and stories.
Societal and class issues often play a part in Jimmy’s work, how is this illustrated in Time series two?
The writing was the main thing that struck me when I first read it. Just how human and real and timely these storylines felt, particularly Orla’s storylines – somebody who can’t afford to pay for gas and electricity, and ends up being imprisoned for what most would see as quite a minor crime compared to some of the other people she’s inside with. I think a lot of people will be able to resonate with struggling to afford things right now.
Also, I felt like characters that would ordinarily be vilified or people that would ordinarily be seen as the lowest of society, for example, Kelsey, or somebody who’s done something like what Abi has done, we get a chance to empathise with them through this show. Especially with the nature of flashbacks for Abi. Hopefully that will give a lens into the pressure she was under which led her to do what she did. It gives honour to people who otherwise are dehumanised by the criminal justice system. It can be unkind to some of the people that go through it. I think that this this show allows the audience to connect with them rather than the system.
What research did you do to prepare for the role and how did you utilise that for your performance?
I did lots of research into stats around women’s prisons, their quality of living, and watched lots of documentaries on women’s prisons and the dynamics there. The stakes are interesting when everything becomes so myopic, particularly for people who are doing long sentences, the importance of your belongings, everything becomes heightened. If all you have to your name is the hair oil you own and the hash browns you eat for breakfast, those things become currency, and so it’s interesting to see that through those documentaries.
How will watching Time series two change people’s perspective on female prisons?
For all the characters, what this show brings is context. People find it very easy to cast judgement on the final result, as it were, but this series shows the relationship with Orla and her kids and how well-meaning she is, it shows how Kelsey is in an abusive relationship and is being groomed into this addiction, and how Abi has a complete lack of support and how loneliness is a massive trigger for a lot of illnesses. I hope people can clue into that detail in the writing and feel that these people are fully fleshed. Even if they don’t obviously condone what they’ve done, I hope people come away with a level of understanding of how people end up where they are.
How do inmates’ experiences differ due to their crime and other prisoners’ perceptions of crime?
I think the level of ostracization Abi faces hardens her. I think from the flashback, you can see that she’s the average woman that came actually from a level of privilege, which most people in prison don’t, which is part of why the other inmates struggle to sympathise with her. Effectively, there’s a fall from grace, and then coming into a landscape which she had no connection to in her history before, she recognised in the previous prison that you have to harden your demeanour. It’s a very eat or be eaten dynamic in prison. She comes across quite tough and there’s a symbiosis there – everything feeds into itself, the more people isolate her, the more she withdraws, and then the less people want to connect with her.
On top of that, there’s a moralistic hierarchy where the inmates feel a level of superiority because of the nature of their crimes compared to hers. Abi is dealing with guilt which they don’t realise at first and that seeming remorselessness is part of why they hate her. But she is riddled with sleeplessness and oral and visual hallucinations and struggles to forgive herself. I think her persona is that she doesn’t care, but I believe that she’s deeply sensitive and she shows that in the ways in which she steps in and steps up for people around her, particularly Kelsey.
With women working both on screen and behind the camera, has this felt different from working on previous sets?
It is a lot. It’s a lot for everyone. I think the crew have expressed that they’ve been affected by every storyline as well. I’m grateful that there’s a cast full of people that are compassionate, understanding and also very funny. On jobs where the subject matter is really heavy, there’s often lots of levity in other areas because you have to find things to laugh about to shake it off. There’s a lot of support and admiration in the cast. I think we all learnt from each other and enjoyed the bits in between the takes.
Bella Ramsey (Kelsey)
Tell us about your character, Kelsey
Kelsey is full of life. She’s a bit of a joker and very young, immature and lost. 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. When we meet her, she’s a heroin addict and she finds out she’s pregnant. Her story evolves and she comes into herself. This addiction and the state that she’s got herself into is largely informed by her boyfriend, Adam, but she’s just a bit of a lost soul who ends up working things out and finding herself.
In lots of ways, Kelsey is very far removed from me, but as we’ve been filming and going through this I’ve found a lot of similarities and it was so natural for me to play her. But initially, when I read the script, I was genuinely afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’d get on set and then it just wouldn’t work. But thankfully it did, I think.
Tell us what it’s been like working with the other actors that you’re with
Time is such an ensemble. Everyone’s so giving and generous – we just immediately got on and are there for each other, supporting each other, and messing about. The big group scenes with all of us are a nightmare for everybody because right up until action we’re gabbing!
How has it been filming highly emotional scenes?
There have been a lot of traumatic scenes on this and they stick in my mind because of how gruelling they were, but also how supported and safe I felt during all that. It’s also fun between takes, I think when something really funny happens during a really emotional scene it’s 1000 times funnier than it would be at any other time – the moments where you shouldn’t laugh are just the funniest. What I love about doing this is that every take you find something different. The Time storylines are so real and alive and the stakes are so high.
I’m quite good in between takes, I’m good at not carrying things with me. One of the things that I’ve done since I started in this industry is, after an emotional scene, as soon as they say cut I pull a stupid face or do a massive smile to let everybody know I’m fine. With the bigger, more physical scenes, it’s much easier to snap in and out of because you have so much adrenaline. But with the more quiet and introspective, ones, I really tried to stay in a bit more.
What research did you do to prepare for the role and how did you utilise that for your performance?
I was keen to do research for this. I got to go to visit a prison. I didn’t realise that women’s prisons tend to work differently in that there isn’t just one building that everyone’s in, it’s more of a complex of residential units where groups of women will stay. I talked with somebody who was about to be released in five weeks – she’d been in and out of prisons since she was 15 and was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. Although her story was different, hearing her talk about addiction and how it feels in your body was really helpful for me. It was amazing that she was so open and shared with me – I don’t think I’ll ever forget going there and hearing her story. She said something that I carry with me, especially into the scenes where Kelsey is really struggling and really needs the drugs. She said that you feel addiction everywhere in your body – if you want the hit and the whole of your body wants it, it’s almost like electricity coursing through you.
What did you love about the first series?
I watched the first series during the first week of filming and it really affected me. I thought it was amazing. I love the fact that it’s just three episodes, but within those three episodes so much happens. The performances of Stephen Graham and Sean Bean were just phenomenal. Watching that just made me feel so honoured to be working on this second version of it. I love the humanity that is given to the prison staff. They feel like real people, not caricatures or stereotypes.
Tell us about Jimmy’s writing and the process of reading the scripts for the series
Jimmy’s writing is very nuanced. What’s really struck me about his writing is the confidence that he has just to have really simple dialogue, just be like: ‘Yeah, that’s what would happen, it’s not elaborate or fancy, it’s just real people having real conversations.’ He’s created really nuanced characters with so many layers beneath them that so when you read the script, you are suddenly piecing together this character that he’s created. He’s amazing.
Siobhan Finneran (Marie-Louise)
Tell us about your character, Marie-Louise
Marie-Louise is a nun with the chaplaincy team in Carlingford Prison. I’ve just felt very privileged and very honoured to be part of this cast, although you can’t say you’ve enjoyed the filming process because the content is really quite dense and brutal. For me, being able to sit and watch the performances has been really quite breath-taking and brilliant. My character’s is that little glimmer of hope for some of the inmates. She’s supportive and doesn’t judge any of them. She offers a little bit of help when she can, and hopefully encourages them to tell their stories because she understands that in some way this may go towards them healing.
The first season of Time was widely praised, what has it been like working with Jimmy and telling this story off the back of the success of the first season?
Well, Jimmy McGovern’s writing is legendary and I think you would be hard pushed to find an actor who wouldn’t want to do his work. He writes about the characters and you’re desperate to find out how these people are going to get through whatever they’re going through. You’re supporting them and you’re also heartbroken for them. That’s what he does so brilliantly, he gets you by the scruff of the neck and drags you along. But that’s because he writes truthfully, and that’s usually what we all want as actors. We want to turn up and do something that’s really rooted in some truth.
There are similarities in this series in that there are characters who are trying to do the best for their family, and if that means they’ve got to break the law then they will do that because their family is the most important thing to them. There are others who are really struggling with addiction or their mental health and how they then cope after a mistake been made or something has happened.
What research did you do to prepare for the role?
I had a brilliant conversation before I did series one with a woman who works as a chaplain in a prison. She’d worked in schools and the reason she’d gone into the chaplaincy team was because she was seeing a lot of children in the schools she worked in who were very affected by one or both maybe of their parents being in prison. She said a great thing to me which just stayed with me, she said: ‘you will never be more needed than working in a prison.’ I think that this is probably the reason why a lot of people who work in prisons keep going back, because they know they are helping at least one person. I found her humbling to speak to because she had a real understanding of people’s mental health and people’s way through life, and that it’s not always easy.
What attracted you to come on board for series two?
I love the script. That’s why I do any job, if the script’s good, I just felt very honoured and flattered to be asked back to do this again. I think there are a few times in this series where I tell a few different characters they need to tell their story or need to be honest. Everything she does is with kindness and care.
Tell us about the process of reading the scripts
The scripts and characters are very believable, and that’s it for me. The reason why you want to watch it is because you believe it, you believe what you’re watching and you believe the stories. We all like to escape, but it’s important to watch something that’s truthful. It’s difficult to watch but hopefully we’re learning something when we watch it. The great thing about television is we have a direct line into everybody’s home and, even though this is a drama and not a documentary, these stories are very real. It’s hard-hitting, some of the stories in this are heart-breaking.
Time series two is a women’s story, with women working both on screen and behind the camera. Has this felt different from working on previous sets?
It’s been an absolute treat to work with this group of women. It feels like a really good, creative atmosphere, and also very supportive. It’s been a real privilege to sit and watch everyone do their work.
Group Interview with Jodie Whittaker, Tamara Lawrance, Bella Ramsey and Siobhan Finneran
Tell about the experience portraying these characters and how you prepared for the roles?
Jodie: I’ve got a career defining moment to talk about. In Doctor Who I was playing a role and in every press junket I wasn’t asked about how it felt to play that. I just was playing the Doctor and it was my own version of that character who’s an alien. It was such a wonderful experience because it was the ultimate playing pretend. And it’s been three years of running around and having this other thing which isn’t a human experience – you’re essentially playing somebody who has all this life experience so you can be incredibly mercurial and you don’t need to be limited to the constraints of the time period or the setting.
On Time, it’s been really interesting to jump back into something where you have your character’s experience and you have to be incredibly respectful and loyal about that person’s journey. With someone like Orla you’ve got to be absolutely clear about where you’re from and what the constraints and possibilities are because of who you’re playing.
Bella: We’re representing real people and real situations and scenarios so I think it’s really important to get it right. Kelsey is, amongst many things, a heroin addict. And so understanding addiction and trying to embody that in a way that’s real and not a caricature is really important. These are people that are very much in the world and I think that’s why it’s important that we honour that.
Tamara: For me, the research was quite alarming. I can’t remember all of the stats now, but the biggest thing that stood out to me was the intersection between childhood trauma, people in the family who’ve offended before, domestic violence survivors, sexual abuse, poverty and mental health issues, and how all of those things intersect as reasons why people commit crimes. On the other side of that, recognising how prison exists pretty much as an industry, as a business, pre-eminently even though as a society I think we’re led to believe that it’s about rehabilitation and when you see and you understand the stats of what everyone is experiencing, for me I was quite shocked that there’s not much focus on care especially around mental health and families as well. I think prison decimates a lot of community and that then becomes a cyclical thing, because if you have less people to lean on, you’re more likely to leave and re-offend or self-harm. And these stats are a lot higher for women than for men as well. And so, yeah, I kind of was shocked and taken, yeah, taken aback by that and thought that as a society people in general I think we need to deal with the root cause rather than the symptoms.
Bella: And you have a line about that in the series?
Tamara: Yeah, “a third are mentally ill, a third are smack heads and a third shouldn’t be here”.
Bella: I feel like that sums it up massively.
How has it been working with the other cast members?
Jodie: Time is an incredible ensemble piece and every single person has their vital role within any moment which can often be in scenes where not everybody’s necessarily leading the dialogue. There are a lot of scenes in the visiting room with characters that maybe don’t have dialogue, but they have incredibly important moments of eye contact that can tell an entire story in a side glance. It’s really wonderful being surrounded by such a brilliant cast and crew and so you have this, our energies between takes feed each other, so that then when there is this moment of drama or stillness or emotion, it’s like we’ve all been there for each other in whatever state we’re in and it lets everybody thrive. An environment has been created where everyone can work, and it feels really beautiful to be a part of that.
Siobhan: It’s a real privilege for me because I’m getting front row seats to watch some really quite stupendous acting, so I don’t have to wait for it to come out on the telly. I’m getting to sit in the room and watch really incredible actors do really incredible work.
How has it been filming very emotional and intense scenes?
Bella: We’ve had some long days of high-level emotion scenes, all day. You’re switching on and off all the time. And the reality of that, because between the moment of action and cut, it’s real. And even though your body and the trauma isn’t actually happening to me, Bella, the trauma that I’m creating in my body and in my mind to feels real. The lines get blurry. Your body almost doesn’t know the difference between real trauma and induced trauma.
Jodie: The physical thing of shaking and crying or getting yourself into a very heightened state, it stays within you. It’s difficult as well when you are filming with little beings. Orla has scenes with her children who are 8, 9 and 12/13. So the whole thing of that being real, to have two little faces kind of looking at you and these wonderful little actors… It can be one eighth of a page in the script and it can have only taken an hour out of your day to shoot that, but the residual effect on you lasts for quite a while. And it’s really important to experience that because that is what some people’s life is and we’re lucky this is not happening to us, but we’re very aware that it is happening to a lot of people.
Tamara: That’s what’s been getting me – whether they’re the principal or more tertiary storylines, everybody’s carrying a massive history and everything is so rooted in reality. There’s a character who receives a card from her son and it really touched me, the amount of people that are so disconnected from the people that they love and maybe never hear from them. Fiction is painful enough, but the reality of that must be insurmountable sometimes. It’s really hard hitting stuff.
Why are these important stories to tell?
Jodie: When you’re in something, not in the narcissistic sense, but you hope what you individually do contributes to a bigger thing, which is hold up your end and make sure the truth of this person’s storyline is delivered in the best possible way. Knowing the impact that Time series one had, it gives a window into something that has no window. People who have no experience of prison have a very strong idea about it… Hopefully this humanises a situation that any of us could be, every single privileged person in this room could be in this situation.
Bella: We can have biases and we think about people in prison, but it’s so complex. I think just understanding how complicated everything is, nothing’s linear, nothing’s black and white. Just seeing that and respecting everybody’s individual story is so important.
Jodie: There’s a scene where you say to Orla, some of the…
Siobhan: Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet are in prison.
Jodie: And also that coming from your character and in particular, because someone in your position would have experienced the best and worst of everyone.
Tamara: I think we’re led to believe it’s a moral issue, people in prison are bad and people who are not in prison are good – when actually, victim and perpetrator are two sides of the same coin when it comes to people in here. It’s important to understand that.
What I found interesting about this script is that every character that has kids has experienced loss in some way. I think it’s really important to show flawed mothers or complicated situations within which people have to raise children. Orla isn’t a bad mother, but she obviously did something that people see as illegal to keep her kids warm. I think we are taught that being a mother is a divine right, being a mother should be the highlight and love of your life. It should be the best thing that ever happened to you and should be easy despite all the pain, which is also Abi’s storyline, the psychological pain of having children – none of these things are ever spoken about.
Some of the most detailed stories I’ve heard about this have been from people in this cast who have shared their stories, or the research that I’ve done, but it’s not commonplace. I know a lot of people that still feel like there’s a box in their life that they haven’t ticked because they’re not married or haven’t had kids yet. But actually, sometimes, having kids is the undoing of someone. I think it’s important to show that because if it might make someone think twice about whether they have capacity in their life actually to manage caring for someone else, because a lot of the women in this show actually needed to care for themselves first, and I think that’s something that is a very important narrative that I will always stand by.
One of the stats was only 9% of kids that have mothers in prison are raised by their biological fathers, which means over 90% of children are either in care or being raised by someone else. And so a lot of people that are in this place, have no support. And some of that lack of support is the reason they’re here in the first place. I think just dispelling the myth of the benevolence of motherhood is important, and showing that actually we’re humans that are dealing with lots of systemic, personal and physical layers, as well as being expected to take care of someone else.
For me, it’s incredulous some of the things that women are expected to be able to carry along with everything else. I hope this shines a light on the pressure on women. Maybe if it even leads someone to ask somebody else: ‘How was that experience for you? How are you coping?’
What appealed to you about the series and your role?
Jodie: I read the script and it was one of those moments where I went: ‘I don’t know if I need to read this, I think I’m probably just saying yes!’ Because I was so excited to see the culmination of names pop into my inbox of who’s doing it, the first series, who’s written it, who I was going to get to work with and all those things. And then when I started to read Orla’s storyline, I was just very excited to immerse myself in something that felt like a brilliantly difficult challenge, because I’m very lucky to not have come from Orla’s world, but I feel as if there’s so much of Orla that feels very within me and kind of within all of us. Orla’s a lioness and the decisions around the need to keep her cubs shows the fierceness of that. She emotionally leads to decisions, not academically leads to decisions, and that is me all over.
Siobhan: Well, I just felt very honoured to be asked to come back to do another series of it because I had such a great time. It sounds wrong doesn’t it, always sounds wrong with this subject matter to say I had a great time and very much enjoyed the first series. But when I started reading these scripts… What you can say. I think they’re genius, they’re brilliant, and they’re raw. They just get hold of you and then don’t want to let you go. I was a hell yes as well.
Bella: I was the same, I just sat down and read the first for 40 minutes and was like ‘wow, that’s amazing, but I don’t know if I can do that, but I’m not going to tell them that I don’t know if I can!’ Kelsey’s so far removed from me in so many ways, but I really wanted to do it because it’s phenomenal. So I was like ‘yeah, this is amazing, absolutely’. Even for the rehearsal process I was still worried, but when we got on set on the first day, and it wasn’t until the first action that I was finally like, okay, I might be able to do it. Now I’m very comfortable with Kelsey and I now feel like similarities have emerged since then. So I’m really happy to be to be here.
Tamara: I was excited about a prison drama actually. I thought this is going to be good, especially because I knew who was writing it and obviously what it was following. But then I read Abi’s storyline and my head was a bit in my hands for a little bit. These really are traumatic characters, but luckily we’re in a cast where you feel safe. It’s hard to be vulnerable when you don’t feel safe, but the team and the scripts are a redemptive quality to every storyline. Every character goes on an amazing arc and every character in the background also feels real as well – there’s no cardboard cut outs anywhere. It’s a privilege to be able to tell a story depicting this subsection of society. So yeah, I was happy to come onboard.
Key cast and creatives
Jodie Whittaker – Orla O’Riordan
Tamara Lawrance – Abi Cochrane
Bella Ramsey – Kelsey Morgan
Siobhan Finneran – Marie-Louise O’Dell
Lisa Millett – Prison Officer Martin
Julie Graham – Lou Harkness
Alicia Forde – Sarah Duddy
Faye McKeever – Tanya Helsby
Kayla Meikle – Donna Mills
Louise Lee – Prison Officer Carter
James Corrigan – Rob Cochrane
Matilda Firth – Nancy O’Riordan
Brody Griffiths – Callum O’Riordan
Isaac Lancel-Watkinson – Kyle O’Riordan
Maimuna Memon – Tahani
Sophie Willan – Maeve Riley
Nicholas Nunn – Adam Muller
Written and executive produced by Jimmy McGovern, and written by Helen Black
Directed by Andrea Harkin
Executive produced by Priscilla Parish, Michael Parke and Andrew Morrissey for BBC Studios
Executive produced by Lucy Richer for the BBC
Executive produced by Reemah Sakaan and Stephen Nye for BritBox North America
Produced by Mark Hedges
Thank you for reading this post.