TIME'S Sue Johnston has admitted the BBC drama is 'frightening and horrendous' after the first episode left viewers shaken.
The three-part series began on BBC One on Sunday night and stars Sean Bean as Mark, a mild-mannered teacher who is jailed for killing a man after drink-driving.
The series also stars Stephen Graham as a prison guard who faces his own conflicts, as well as Sue, who plays Mark's mum.
The first episode featured bullying, violence and a suicide, leaving viewers shaken and obsessed in equal measure.
Appearing on today's This Morning to discuss the drama, Sue, 77, admitted she also found it a tough watch despite being in it.
She said via video link: "I've worked in prisons quite a lot and I know a bit about what it's like, but a lot of people have this attitude that, you know, it's a holiday camp and they shouldn't have this and that.
"But it's not, it's frightening and horrendous and it's a different, different world."
She added: "I think because [Mark] is such a sensitive and ordinary man, what happens is just awful."
Meanwhile, viewers called out the choice of casting, pointing out that there was only a 15 year age gap between Sue and her on-screen son Sean.
While Sue is 77, Sean is 62, but when asked about it on today's This Morning, Sue insisted it was possible for her to be Sean's mother.
She said: "I am old enough to be Sean's mother, in real terms, so lets put that one to bed.
"I actually am physically old enough to have given birth to him."
Time continues on Sunday, June 13 at 9pm on BBC One, with all three episodes available now on BBC iPlayer.
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