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When is The Child in Time with Benedict Cumberbatch on TV?

Everything you need to know about the upcoming BBC1 drama with the Sherlock star

Published: Sunday, 24th September 2017 at 8:00 pm

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is taking on the BBC1 adaptation of Ian McEwan’s harrowing 1987 novel The Child in Time, the first drama made by his production company. But exactly what is the show about? Here’s all you need to know.


When is The Child in Time on TV?

The one-off drama airs at 9pm on 24th September on BBC1.

What’s it about?

The plot centres on Stephen Lewis, a successful children's author whose life is torn apart after his only child – four-year-old Kate - disappears in a supermarket. And that’s just the start of the story. The 90-minute one-off special will focus on how Stephen and wife Julie cope with their all-consuming grief.

Three years on from her disappearance, the two have gone their separate ways, with Stephen still conducting daily futile searches for his missing daughter.

Who’s in the cast?

Doctor Strange, Sherlock and Star Trek actor Benedict Cumberbatch will play distraught father Stephen. Joining him is Trainspotting's Kelly Macdonald, who’ll play wife Julie. Also starring are Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys) and Saskia Reeves (Luther).


Cumberbatch said,“I read the novel years ago and it stayed with me – profound, beautiful and very moving. Only Ian McEwan could write about loss with such telling honesty.”


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