Jodie Whittaker has discussed how her character in Time season 2 is clearly connected to the cost of living crisis currently wreaking havoc on people's lives up and down the country.


The prison drama from Jimmy McGovern, which won high praise for its initial run starring Stephen Graham and Sean Bean, is back with a largely new cast including Whittaker, Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us) and Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins).

It marks the first major project starring Whittaker since her dramatic departure from Doctor Who, with fans looking forward to seeing her in a very different role.

The actor explained: "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."

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"The beauty of Helen and Jimmy's writing is that the audience isn't completely spoon-fed every scene," continued Whittaker. "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."

Jodie Whittaker in Time wearing a grey top, looking stressed
Jodie Whittaker in Time. BBC/Sally Mais BBC/Sally Mais

Whittaker doesn't divulge exactly what lands Orla behind bars, although her comments evoke recent headlines connecting a rise in shoplifting to the cost of living crisis as the poorest in society struggle to pay for essential items (see The Big Issue).

Co-star Lawrance was taken aback by "how human and real and timely" the series felt, singling out Orla's storyline as particularly compelling.

She added: "[Orla is] 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."

Time season 2 premieres on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm on Sunday 29th October 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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