Sean Bean was forced to take a 10-day break from filming BBC’ The new prison drama Time due to a coronavirus scare, the director has said.
The 62-year-old actor plays newly incarcerated Mark Cobden in the series written by Jimmy McGovern, while Stephen Graham appears as Eric McNeely, a principled prison officer.
Lewis Arnold, who directed three episodes, said that production had to go ahead without many of its stars, including Bean, following a health scare.
He said: “We were filming in Liverpool during the height of the pandemic, we had to change plans every day.
“We lost Sean Bean and all of our main cast for 10 days because we had an incident with Covid.”
Arnold said the cast was “all right”.
The director also explained the difficulties of filming during a pandemic, with production taking place in Liverpool and a prison in Shrewsbury.
“Everything changed on a day-to-day basis,” he explained.
“And the cast and crew were so friendly and understanding, and the work never really impressed, they found ways.
“And I think our producer team is really struggling and still hopefully managed to make a play where I hope you don’t think it was filmed during the pandemic, with social distancing in place and With all those kinds of things.”
Time also stars Siobhan Finneran, Sue Johnston, David Calder, Nadine Marshall and Hannah Walters, who is Graham’s wife.
Graham, an established Hollywood star, praised the “organization” of the show.
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He said: “I personally feel that the amount of talent that was on display in this piece, I know you are mainly following the story of these two men, but around the cast is phenomenal. “
Time will air weekly on BBC One from Sunday 6 June at 9 pm, with the full series available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer once episodes have aired.
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