Liverpool Film Office backs Jimmy McGovern TV drama

Using funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, Liverpool Film Office is backing Jimmy McGovern’s new three-part BBC prison drama

Jimmy McGovern
Sean Bean and Stephen Graham star in Jimmy McGovern’s Time


Liverpool Film Office is supporting Jimmy McGovern’s return to primetime series drama with an investment in BBC One’s major new production Time.

Using funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, the film office is backing the three-part prison drama which is currently shooting at locations across the city region.

It sees McGovern re-team with Sean Bean for a third time, after the latter’s BAFTA-winning performance as a troubled priest in Broken, and with Stephen Graham who also starred in the writer’s international Emmy-winning Accused back in 2010.

Time is a “visceral, emotional and high-stakes” portrayal of life in a British prison. Mark Cobden (Sean Bean) is consumed by guilt after accidentally killing an innocent man. Accepting his four-year sentence and separated from his family, he meets Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), a caring prison officer doing his best to protect those in his charge.

However, when one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his family.

It is the second Liverpool-based and Fund-backed shoot that Stephen Graham is headlining, following the Film Office’s recent announcement of its investment in Channel 4/The Forge’s Help (w/t), alongside Jodie Comer.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s continuing support for the local film and TV sector has enabled the city council’s film office to step up its activities in recent months through its development & production funding initiatives and its leadership of the upcoming Pop-Up film studios, adjacent to the Littlewoods site off Edge Lane.

Time was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama and Charlotte Moore, chief content officer. It is directed by Lewis Arnold (Des, Humans) and executive produced by Tom Sherry and Michael Parke for BBC Studios Production and Lucy Richer for the BBC.

McGovern said: “I am so grateful to the Liverpool City Region Production Fund for its substantial contribution to the budget for Time, my new three part drama for the BBC. Film and television production brings with it vital, well-paid jobs and the Liverpool Film Office plays a crucial part in ensuring that many of those jobs come here.”

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