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Time season 2 – BBC drama review

Time is a BBC drama portraying the reality of prison from the perspectives of those behind bars.

The first season engrossed us as we saw the difficulties between a resident (Sean Bean) and a prison officer (Stephen Graham) play out within a fictitious male prison. In season 2, we ride an emotional rollercoaster as we encounter the stories of a handful of women in a female prison.

We are introduced to Orla (Jodie Whitaker), mum of three, whose crime is an act of desperation to provide for her children. We witness the painful journey her children must endure when they are thrust into the care system, separated from each other and detached from the life they are familiar with. 

We also meet Kelsey (Bella Ramsay), a young addict in an abusive relationship, and Abi (Tamara Lawrance), who is serving a life sentence for murder. Three different women whose lives intertwine with one common factor – they are all victims entangled within the criminal justice system.

The drama depicts the differences women face in prison, bringing attention to the need for sanitary products, the struggle of being separated from one’s own children and the importance of emotional support.

We also see a section of the prison for mums with young babies, portraying the significance of maternal bonds in helping women turn their lives around and highlighting the maternal role as being a key deterrent from crime.

Chaplaincy also plays a central role in Season 2. We see the significance of pastoral care as the Chaplain (Siobhan Finneran) offers consolation and a safe space for the women to share their stories.

Women make up a small percentage of the prison population, so it is refreshing to see their unique needs televised. Time portrays the journeys of women struggling through a system of hopelessness, but who find hope in community. 

You can catch Season 2 of Time here on BBC iplayer. 

This article was first published in our quarterly magazine in:sight. You can sign up to receive our free magazine by post or via email by visiting

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