The Child In Time: Cast, start time and trailer from Benedict Cumberbatch drama

Benedict Cumberbatch stars and co-producers new BBC One drama special The Child In Time tonight.


But who joins Benedict on the cast, what time does it start and what’s it all about? Heres all you need to know.

Adapted by Stephen Butchard from Ian McEwan’s Whitbread Prize winning novel, The Child In Time is a lyrical and heartbreaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen.

Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children’s books, is confronted with the unthinkable: he loses his only child, four year-old Kate, in a supermarket.

The Child In Time start time

With tenderness and insight, the drama explores a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. Kate’s absence sets Stephen and his wife, Julie, on diverging paths as both struggle with an all-consuming grief.

With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.


The 90 minute one-off special will air tonight on BBC One on Sunday, September 24 at 9PM. You can catch up on iPlayer shortly after.

The Child In Time cast

The show stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen, Kelly Macdonald as Julie, Stephen Campbell Moore as Charles and Saskia Reeves as Thelma. The Child In Time is directed by Julian Farino (Marvellous, Entourage),

Set two years after his daughter went missing, The Child In Time follows Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch), a children’s author, as he struggles to find purpose in his life without her. His wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald) has left him and his best friends Charles (Stephen Campbell Moore) and Thelma (Saskia Reeves) have retired to the countryside, battling demons of their own.

With tenderness and insight, the film explores the dark territory of a marriage devastated, the loss of childhood, the fluidity of time, grief, hope and acceptance.

As well as starring in the show, Benedict also acts as a producer as part of production company SunnyMarch TV which he co-founded.

The Child In Time

Benedict 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. We’re very excited to have Stephen Butchard’s subtle and brilliant adaptation, and in Julian Farino we have an extraordinary director who delivers emotional truth.

“I’m so proud The Child In Time will be the first drama produced by SunnyMarch TV.”


Novelist Ian McEwan, added: “I’m thrilled to have my novel in the hands of such a high level creative team. I have fond memories of Benedict playing a brilliant and key part in the movie adaptation of Atonement. Now, it’s a great honour to have this actor of such immense resource, experience and subtlety in the lead role of The Child in Time.”

The Child In Time airs tonight on BBC One on Sunday, September 24 at 9PM.