Benedict Cumberbatch is coming back to the small screen in the chilling drama, The Child In Time.
Based on Ian McEwan’s prize-winning 1987 novel of the same name, the heartbreaking tale is the story of successful author Stephen Lewis (Cumberbatch), whose child is abducted in a supermarket.
As the scarring moment replays in the years that follow, the 90-minute film – the first feature to be made under Cumberbatch’s production company, SunnyMarch TV – explores a marriage devastated by the loss of a child and the struggle and longing for hope that stems from all-consuming grief.
“It’s about how two people who had each other before their love was manifest in a child break apart and come together again when they realise that they have to accept their circumstance,” he explains of his character’s relationship with on-screen wife Julie (played by Trainspotting star Kelly Macdonald). “And never be in denial of it, never forget it, but also live a life and move on.”
It was just the role Cumberbatch – a self-confessed ‘huge McEwan nut’ – had been looking for.
“You want to give as much emotional veracity and truth as possible to those situations,” he maintains.
“They’re kind of unthinkable for any parent.”
The Child in Time, BBC1, Sunday, 9pm.