Meet the cast of Time

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) and Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) lead the three-part drama.

Time

BBC One’s new prison drama Time can prove a “difficult to watch” series, but that’s down to the stunning and at times heartrending performances at its core.

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The dark three-parter was created by Jimmy McGovern, and written with Sean Bean and Stephen Graham in mind.

The two actors, who previously co-starred in another McGovern project, Accused, play the two main characters: an inmate out of his depth, and a prison guard wrestling with his conscience.

Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters in BBC drama Time.

Sean Bean plays Mark Cobden 

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BBC

Who is Mark Cobden? A father of one and a former teacher who faces four years in prison, and who seems woefully ill-equipped for the harsh realities of prison life.

Where have I seen Sean Bean before? You probably know him best for playing Boromir in The Lord of the Rings, and Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark in Game of Thrones. He’s starred in the likes of Black Death, Accused (alongside Time co-star Stephen Graham), Broken, Medici, The Frankenstein Chronicles, Legends, and the film Troy (as the Greek hero Odysseus).

Stephen Graham plays Eric McNally

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BBC

Who is Eric McNally? A prison guard, and personal support officer to Mark Cobden. Eric is a decent man, but his principles are challenged over the course of the series.

Where have I seen Stephen Graham before? He played Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire (a role it’s rumoured that he’ll reprise in Peaky Blinders), and Combo in This is England and its subsequent spin-offs. He played Anthony ‘Tony Pro’ Provenzano in the Netflix film The Irishman, and has recently starred in the likes of White House Farm, The Virtues, Line of Duty, Save Me, and the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Siobhan Finneran plays Marie-Louise

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BBC

Who is Marie-Louise? The prison’s Catholic chaplain.

Where have I seen Siobhan Finneran before? She’s best known internationally for playing ladies maid Sarah O’Brien in Downton Abbey. She also played Clare Cartwright in Happy Valley, and starred in the likes of The Stranger, The Other One, A Confession, and Cold Feet, among other projects.

Paddy Rowan plays Daniel McNally

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BBC

Who is Daniel McNally? An inmate at another prison, and the much-loved son of guard Eric McNally.

Where have I seen Paddy Rowan before? He’s probably best known for playing Sean Mercer in Little Boy Blue, but he’s also starred in Amazon Prime Video series Hanna, and in Cursed.

James Nelson-Joyce plays Johnno 

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BBC

Who is Johnno? A violent inmate who arrives at a similar time to Mark Cobden.

Where have I seen James Nelson-Joyce before? He played James Yates in Little Boy Blue, and has also starred in World on Fire, The Virtues, and the film The Nest. He will play ‘Spider’ in the upcoming series The Offenders.

Kadiff Kirwan plays Pete 

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BBC

Who is Pete? An inmate who’s serving time at the same prison where Eric McNally works.

Where have I seen Kadiff Kirwan before? He played Anthony (Claire’s hairdresser) in the smash hit Fleabag, and DC Wesley Ross in Netflix series The Stranger. You might also know him as Aron in Chewing Gum (alongside creator Michaela Coel), Officer Tom in I May Destroy You, and Bradley in This Way Up.

Bobby Schofield plays Baz 

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Who is Bobby? An inmate whose reputation risks making him a target.

Where have I seen Bobby Schofield before? He played Clover in the Tom Holland film Cherry, and Tobin in Black Sea. Other projects include Knightfall, Locked Down, and How to Build a Girl.

Cal MacAninch plays Galbraith 

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BBC

Who is Galbraith? A prison guard.

Where have I seen Cal MacAninch before? He recently starred in both Vigil and Des, and previously starred in well-known period dramas like Downton Abbey, Banished, and Mr Selfridge (as Mr. Thackeray).

Sue Johnston plays June Cobden 

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BBC

Who is June Cobden? Mark Cobden’s mother, who visits him in prison.

Where have I seen Sue Johnston before? She’s probably best known for playing Barbara Royle in The Royle Family. Other projects have included Waking the Dead, Downton Abbey, Hold the Sunset, Little Dorrit, and Being Eileen.

David Calder plays John Cobden

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BBC

Who is John Cobden? Mark Cobden’s father.

Where have I seen David Calder before? He recently starred in the BBC comedy Motherland, and in Bulletproof. He’s also known internationally for starring in films like Rush, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Brian McCardie plays Jackson Jones 

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BBC

Who is Jackson Jones? A dangerous inmate whom Mark asks for help in exchange for a favour.

Where have I seen Brian McCardie before? He played Tommy in Line of Duty, and has starred in the likes of Ordeal by Innocence, Dirigenten, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Rovy Roy, The Ghost and the Darkness, and recently in Domina.

If you want to see what we thought of the series, you should read our Time review. Or, if you’ve already watched the show, you can see our analysis of the Time ending.

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Time is coming soon to BBC One. While you’re waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.