Sean Bean and Stephen Graham are to star in Jimmy McGovern's new drama 'Time'.

Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham

The 'Accused' stars will reunite in the BBC One prison drama from acclaimed writer Jimmy, which will follow life in the UK's modern penal system from the perspective of two very different men.

Sean will play a teacher, Mark Hebden, who accepts and even welcomes his four-year sentence after killing a man in an accident.

While Stephen stars as a caring and honest prison officer, Eric Reid, who tries to protect those in his care.

The three-part drama will follow the two men as they must learn how to "survive" and "find the strength to move forward".

Jimmy said: "The BBC have given me a brilliant young director and two of the greatest actors on the planet. I am overjoyed."

The two actors worked together in 2012 for an episode in Jimmy's anthology series 'The Accused', and Sean is delighted to be reuniting with his co-star.

He said: "Getting to be involved in a Jimmy McGovern drama again is a real privilege and it will be great to be reunited with Stephen.

"Mark Hebden is another of Jimmy's complex and superbly written characters and I am looking forward to bringing him to life on screen."

'Line of Duty' star Stephen was equally thrilled to be back on set with Sean and Jimmy, as well as director Lewis Arnold.

He explained: "It is an absolute honour to be working with Jimmy again, I'm feeling blessed. I'm excited to be working with Lewis as I have heard so many incredible things about him as a director, I can't wait to get stuck in. Of course, I am made up to be back on set with Sean."

The BBC's Controller of Drama, Piers Wenger added: "Jimmy has a unique style of creating thought-provoking dramas which tell raw and emotional stories, and Time is exactly that.

"With Sean and Stephen in lead roles, Jimmy and Lewis behind the camera, 'Time' is a shining example of British drama talent at its best."