BBC prison drama Time returns to our screens for season 2, with a new story and a predominantly new cast.


Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who), Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins) and Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us) play Orla, Abi and Kelsey, three women who are behind bars for different reasons and different stretches of time.

Over the course of three episodes, we learn crucial context that explains how they came to be incarcerated, and most strikingly, the core trio and the rest of the women they're imprisoned with discover that a sense of community can form in the most unexpected of environments.

Read more:

Unlike the prison that features in the first season, the new instalment of Time sees the inmates housed "in large units" in which they're "free to wander: to the showers, to the television lounge, to the kitchen".

More like this

But as creator and co-writer Jimmy McGovern notes, the front door remains locked.

He also explained why there's no "vulnerable prisoner" or "sex offender" wing in the prison depicted in season 2.

"If you're a sex offender in a British women's prison, you have to mix with the other prisoners," he said. "No matter what you've done, no matter how grievous your offence, you have to mix with the other prisoners. That can be dangerous."

Read on to find out where the cast and crew of Time pitched up for season 2.

Time season 2 filming locations

A distressed Orla in prison, standing at a desk, talking to PO Martin
Jodie Whittaker as Orla in Time season 2. BBC Studios/Sally Mais

The drama's second outing was predominantly filmed in Liverpool, as was season 1. But the cast and crew also spent some time in Wales for the "exterior" shots.

"You'd think it wouldn't be a big ask to pray for cloud in Wales, we just wanted cloud and rain for it to be really atmospheric," said director Andrea Harkin.

"That's how it was when we recced it. It looked amazing. And then we just got four days of blistering sunshine, and we're trying to make this really grim prison drama. But it still has a great atmosphere."

Harkin went on to explain that they constructed the set themselves.

"We just couldn't find anything that we could film inside," she said. "And that was a challenge because I wanted it to feel real. I don't really like filming on sets, but we made it work, I think. We just tried to make it spacious enough to film in."

In order to make it look and feel as authentic as possible, they visited a couple of women's prisons.

"They weren't anything like what I was expecting," said Harkin. "In my head I had a big old Victorian men's prison, that's what was in my head. And that building [in season 1] was a character that was visual and filmic.

"But I also knew, ideally, that it would be different and feel different, so it was a relief to go to the women's prisons and see how different they were.

"Some of them have this wing building where women are kept for a short time and then they're moved into these houses, and others don't have a wing at all. They're just in houses, and they have about 15 women," explained Harkin, who described it as being like a "really sh*tty halls of residence".

Bella Ramsey as Kelsey in Time, walking outside on the grass while two other prisoners are having a conversation near by. Her arms are folded and she looks deep in thought
Bella Ramsey as Kelsey in Time season 2. BBC Studios/Sally Mais

"I really fell in love with that location, it felt quite atmospheric," she continued. "And at times, it almost looked like you could shoot a horror film there."

Harkin also enjoyed the fact that there was some "exterior" space to play with, rather than being confined to one location.

"Their stories, the women's stories, are very real, and I feel like having a bit of in and out in the real world is an extension of that," she said.

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


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now and celebrate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who with a special issue of Radio Times. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.