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Meet the Time season 2 cast: Who stars in the prison drama?

 The cast of Time season 2: Bella Ramsey as Kelsey, Jodie Whittaker as Orla, and Tamara Lawrence as Abi in Time season 2.
The cast of Time season 2: Bella Ramsey as Kelsey, Jodie Whittaker as Orla, and Tamara Lawrence as Abi in Time season 2.

Meet the cast of Time season 2: The excellent prison drama is back for a second outing, and some people are wondering who is in the cast and what they've appeared in before. 

It's hard to forget Sean Bean's heart breaking turn as the guilt-ridden and newly imprisoned Mark Cobden, in the first series of Time. There was also the remarkable Stephen Graham as prison officer Eric McNally, a man trying to do his best for those he's in charge of, while protecting his own incarcerated son at all costs. Now Time season 2 is here, with an entirely new cast and storyline.

As with other anthology series including The White Lotus, Time's second series follows three very different inmates portraying life inside a women’s prison. As they arrive at Carlingford Prison on the same day to do their time, Orla, Abi, and Kelsey are thrown together to deal with the ongoing threat of violence for the incarcerated. But who are the show's leading actors, and where have you seen them before? Read on to find out.

Time season 2 cast

1. Jodie Whittaker as Orla

Jodie Whittaker as Orla in Time
Jodie Whittaker as Orla in Time

Jodie Whittaker stars as Orla, a single mother-of-three who finds herself in prison for "fiddling the leccy" during the cost of living crisis. Whittaker was already an acclaimed actress before really shooting to fame as the first ever female Doctor Who. Before this, she had high-profile roles in Broadchurch, Attack The Block, St Trinian's, and Black Mirror.

She became the thirteenth incarnation of The Doctor in 2017, taking over from Peter Capaldi in the 2017 Christmas special. Whittaker's first full series as The Doctor was for series 11, which premiered in October 2018. She stepped down from the role in 2022, with Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa taking the helm.

2. Tamara Lawrance as Abi

Tamara Lawrance as Abi in Time
Tamara Lawrance as Abi in Time

Tamara Lawrance stars as Abi, a woman serving a life sentence. Having transferred from another prison, the inmates at Abi's previous place of incarceration turned on her when they found out the nature of her crime - she's careful to keep it a secret now she has a fresh start.

Lawrance has appeared in theatre throughout her career, with roles in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Unreachable, Twelfth Night, and The Tell-Tale Heart. Television audiences might recognise her from her role as Prince Harry's girlfriend in the BBC TV film King Charles III, and as Miss July in the BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel The Long Song.

The actress has also appeared in biographical drama The Silent Twins, about twin sisters June and Jennifer Gibbons, who were institutionalized at Broadmoor Hospital. The film depicted the true events surrounding June and Jennifer, identical twins who only communicated with each other, becoming completely catatonic when separated.

3. Bella Ramsey as Kelsey

Bella Ramsey's Kelsey, is a 19-year-old pregnant heroin addict. The multi-talented Ramsey shot to fame as the starring role of Mildred Hubble in The Worst Witch. Alongside this, they had a recurring role as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones. Most audience members are sure to know Ramsey however, from the role of Ellie, in the epic The Last of Us.

They have also appeared in the Lena Dunham directed Catherine Called Birdy in the titular role, and as Jane in Becoming Elizabeth. Ramsey can also sing and play the guitar, occasionally sharing videos of themselves doing so, to social media.

4. Siobhan Finneran as Marie-Louise

Siobha Finneran as Marie-Louise O'Dell in Time
Siobha Finneran as Marie-Louise O'Dell in Time

As one of the only returning cast members, Siobhan Finneran is reprising her role as prison chaplain Marie-Louise. With Finneran's extensive television credits, it will be unlikely viewers haven't seen her somewhere before. Her most recent high-profile role was as Catherine Cawood's troubled sister Claire in Happy Valley. She is also currently appearing in the Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning.

Finneran also had a two-year run in Downton Abbey, and portrayed real-life Detective Constable Christine Freeman in The Moorside, a dramatisation of the disappearance of Shannon Matthews. She had a recurring role in Cold Feet when it came back after a hiatus, and as Detective Sergeant Johanna Griffin in Netflix's The Stranger.

5. Faye McKeever as Tanya

Fay McKeever as Tanya in Time
Fay McKeever as Tanya in Time

Faye McKeever has appeared steadily on television since her first major role as Marie, in Hollyoaks: In The City. She had a major role as Linda in Trollied, appearing in 65 episodes of the supermarket comedy. In 2017 she appeared alongside Siobhan Finneran in The Moorside, and as Claire in Little Boy Blue.

In 2020, McKeever had roles in Death in Paradise, and a major part as Jodie in The Responder. She is once again currently appearing alongside Siobhan Finneran, as Alison in The Reckoning.

6. Julie Graham as Lou

Julie Graham as Lou in Time
Julie Graham as Lou in Time

Julie Graham is another hugely recognisable actress, whose face has been popping up on television for decades. Going back to 2000–2003, Graham appeared in the popular drama At Home with the Braithwaites as Megan Hartnoll. A run on The Bill followed, along with the role of Mary Gilcrest in William and Mary.

Between 2011–2013 Graham portrayed Mandy Lewis in Being Eileen, and appeared in 7 episodes of The Bletchley Circle between 2012 - 2014. She has also appeared in Death in Paradise, Shetland, New Tricks, Benidorm, Doctor Who, Two Doors Down, and the 2023 hospital drama, Maternal.

The remaining Time cast members include:

  • Kayla Meikle (The Girl Before, The Capture) as Donna

  • Sophie Willan (Alma's Not Normal, The Circle) as Maeve

  • Alicia Forde (Waterloo Road, I Know A Place) as Sarah

  • Maimuna Memon (Sherwood, Unforgotten) as Tahani

  • Lisa Millett (Warren, Life on Mars) as Prison Officer Martin

  • Louise Lee (Exploits) as Prison Officer Carter

  • Michelle Butterly (Casualty, Minder) as Nurse Garvey

  • Karen Henthorn (Coronation Street, Shameless) as Orla's mum, Elizabeth

  • Nicholas Nunn (The Nevers, SAS: Rogue Heroes) as Kelsey's boyfriend, Adam

  • James Corrigan (This England, This is Going To Hurt) as Abi's ex-husband, Rob

  • Matilda Firth as Nancy, Orla's daughter

  • Brody Griffiths as Callum, Orla's son

  • Isaac Lancel-Watkinson as Kyle, Orla's son

Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Abi (TAMARA LAWRANCE), Orla (JODIE WHITTAKER) Time Season 2
Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Abi (TAMARA LAWRANCE), Orla (JODIE WHITTAKER) Time Season 2

Where was Time season 2 filmed?

Time season 2 was filmed in Liverpool and parts of Wales. According to National World, confirmed filming locations in Liverpool include The Wirral, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley.

Although the first series was partially shot at HM Prison Shrewsbury, the crew decided not to return to the same location to film season 2. HM Prison Shrewsbury is former men’s category B and C prison, that was decommissioned in 2013 - the crew could have dressed it differently to represent the new cast, storyline and aesthetic required for the new series, but decided against it.

It was reported by Radio Times that a purpose-built set was created for the new prison, with director Andrea Harkin confirming "We just couldn't find anything that we could film inside. 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."

To create the right look, the team visited real women's prisons to get a feel for how to recreate one of their own. "They weren't anything like what I was expecting," Harkin said of the ones she looked around, adding "In my head I had a big old Victorian men's prison, that's what was in my head. And that building [in season one] was a character that was visual and filmic." She concluded "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."

Although filming locations in Wales haven't been revealed, the crew were hoping for rain to add to the gloomy atmosphere of the show. However, they were surprised to be met with a lot of sunshine on the days they chose to film in the country. "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," Harkin said.

The director concluded "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."

Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Abi (TAMARA LAWRANCE) in Time
Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Abi (TAMARA LAWRANCE) in Time

Time season 2: Reviews

If there was ever any doubt Time season 2 wouldn't live up to season 1, the response has fully shut that down.

Lucy Mangan from the Guardian offered four stars. She said "The oppressive environment and physical threat that lurked everywhere in the men’s prison first Time round are (largely) replaced here by the mental suffering created by the very different positions of women in society and the ramifications for the families they are taken from."

"McGovern and Black do not make their main or supporting characters out to be saints, but they do give full emphasis to the known fact that most women are imprisoned for low-level, non-violent crimes such as Orla’s – the kind that often wouldn’t get a man incarcerated – or as a result of being forced into illegalities by the men who control them."

Nick Hilton from the Independent also offered four stars. He was of the opinion "it is really Ramsey who steals the show. After starring turns as precocious kids in Game of Thrones and The Last of Us, their casting as a hard-bitten addict could easily have been a misstep. Instead, it is a confident performance that exploits that childlike vulnerability, and feels like the moment they break into the mainstream."

On social media platform X, one viewer was full of praise, writing "If you thought series one of @BBCOne prison drama "TIME" was good - well last night's first episode of series two was simply different class. Jodie Whittaker, Tamara Lawrance, Bella Ramsey, Siobhan Finneran & Sophie Willan in Time Series 2 are all superb."

Another added "BBC Time series 2 - great to see this one filmed in a women's prison with a shift in the crimes and different pressures faced. Brilliant acting too."

Elsewhere on BBC One, Boiling Point also left viewers feeling similarly anxious, and wondering if the show is based on a true story. You might not know that Boiling Point was filmed in a different location to the film it's based on, and we reveal where. Series star Stephen Graham is currently appearing in a Netflix hit show - we've also looked into where Bodies filmed, for those who like to know where their favourite shows were shot.