Daisy Haggard has said her new series Back To Life grew out of her interest in the way women are judged for their crimes more harshly than men.
The comedy drama – which Haggard created, wrote and stars in – follows a woman named Miri who returns to her hometown after 18 years in prison for a violent crime.
The actress and writer, 41, said: “I have always been very fascinated about how harshly we judge women who have done a bad thing, compared with how we judge men.
“That was a really strong pull for me to write something about somebody who had done a terrible thing.”
She went on: “What that would be like to then have to go home into your small town where the ‘terrible thing’ happened, to go back to living with your parents who have lived with the impact of ‘the thing’?
“How on earth would you start your life, now as a grown woman, with this baggage trailing behind you? How hard must that be?
“Life is hard enough anyway; women are judged harshly enough.”
Haggard describes Miri as a “an optimist and a fighter” who is determined to get her fresh start.
The star said it is a good time for woman as there are “finally” more complex, layered female characters on screen.
“I hope there are many more to come, to the point where we don’t compare them anymore, it’s just a really good character,” she said.
“It’s an exciting time for women but I hope it gets more exciting and continues this way.
“We need to be getting excellent parts and if we need to write them ourselves then we’ll do that.”
Back To Life also stars Geraldine James, Richard Durden, Adeel Akhtar, Liam Williams and Christine Bottomley.
Episodes one to six are available on BBC Three from 10am on April 15. The first episode airs on BBC One at 10.35pm the same day.