The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey to lead second season of BBC prison drama Time

Bella Ramsey has been announced as the new lead of the critically acclaimed BBC prison drama Time.

The actor, 19, recently shot to fame after playing Ellie in HBO’s adaptation of the video game The Last of Us, alongside Pedro Pascal.

Ramsey will appear in Time season two alongside Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins) and Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who).

The first season of the show, written by Jimmy McGovern, was a searing, high-stakes portrayal of life in British prisons. Sean Bean and Stephen Graham led the cast and the series won two Baftas.

Time’s inaugural season followed Bean’s character as he goes to prison and befriends a prison officer, after killing someone while drink-driving. The show averaged more than 10 million viewers per episode, with McGovern winning praise for his portrayal of life behind bars.

Now, the show will move to Carlingford women’s prison, where Ramsey will play Kelsey alongside Orla (Whittaker) and Abi (Lawrance), three prisoners who are “thrown together to face an unfamiliar world”.

Ramsey said: "I’m very happy to be a part of this project, working with an incredible team and following on from a stellar first season.

"It’s such an honour to be Kelsey, I’m really excited to experience the world through her for a few months."

Finneran will reprise her role from season one as Marie-Louise, a prison chaplain.

Whittaker said: “Time was such an incredible and powerful show created by an extraordinary team, and being a part of this project in its second iteration is an absolute dream.”

Sean Bean in ‘Time' (BBC/James Stack)
Sean Bean in ‘Time' (BBC/James Stack)

McGovern and Helen Black wrote the new three-part run. Andrea Harkin will direct it.

McGovern said: "This is the best cast I have ever seen assembled for any drama of mine. The best crew too. I am so, so looking forward to it."

Viewers of the BBC drama praised the first season for its “heartwrenching ending”, while The Independent’s own Ed Cumming described it as an “avant-garde experiment in what prison with Sean Bean would be like”.

Ramsey made her professional acting debut as young noblewoman Lyanna Mormont in season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

She also starred in Lena Dunham’s Catherine Called Birdy last year, and will also soon voice the part of Molly in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.