Time, episode 1, review: Crime and punishment – Is this what justice looks like?
Bean does an excellent job of conveying this vulnerability, and tries to keep his chin up when his parents (Sue Johnston and David Calder) come to visit. “It’s noisy, it’s boring, the food’s a bit rubbish but apart from that it’s all right. I wish I had more to complain about,” he says brightly, as he attempts to reassure them.
Really, prison is no place for quite a few of the inmates. McGovern has wider points to make about the system, including the decision to keep the mentally ill in jail rather than psychiatric units. Aneurin Barnard, fresh from playing the factory boss in The Pact, has a memorable supporting role here as Mark’s cellmate, a prisoner with serious mental health problems.
You can tell it’s a McGovern production by the visiting room scene. We dip into conversations taking place around the room – the father struggling not to cry when he sees his little girl, the young man explaining that he’s launched an appeal to reduce his sentence. Everyone has a story. Some of the inmates made terrible choices, as in Mark’s case, and now they’re paying for it. And some are bullying psychopaths, as he finds out. “You’re in here as punishment, son, not for it,” Mark’s mother tells him, as puts on a brave face.