About the Show

MASTERPIECE on PBS to Co-Produce The Child in Time Starring Benedict Cumberbatch

In their first television commission, Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV will produce The Child In Time for BBC ONE, co-produced by MASTERPIECE. Adapted by Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) from Ian McEwan’s Whitbread Prize winning novel, and directed by Julian Farino (The Newsroom, Entourage), The Child In Time is a lyrical and heart-breaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen. The 90-minute drama will be distributed by STUDIOCANAL. MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Parade’s End) will star as Stephen Lewis, a successful writer of children’s books, who is confronted with the unthinkable: the loss of a child.

Benedict Cumberbatch, SunnyMarch TV Co-Founder, 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.”

With tenderness and insight, the film explores the dark territory of a marriage devastated by the loss of a child. Kate’s absence sets Stephen and his wife 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.

“MASTERPIECE has been proud to showcase Benedict’s work for many years, and of course Sherlock has been a fantastic gift to our audience,” says MASTERPIECE Executive Producer, Rebecca Eaton. “To co-produce the first television drama out of his shop, SunnyMarch TV, with Pinewood Television is very gratifying.”

Pinewood Television’s Creative Director Helen Gregory, said: “I am delighted to be bringing Stephen’s beautiful adaptation of The Child In Time to the screen in collaboration with such huge talents as Julian Farino and Benedict.”

Novelist Ian McEwan, said: “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 honor to have this actor of such immense resource, experience and subtlety in the lead role of The Child in Time.”

Piers Wenger, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “The Child In Time is a unique and moving story and one which I think will touch the heart of every BBC One viewer. I’m proud to be involved with both Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV’s first television commission, and to welcome Benedict back again to BBC One.”

The Child In Time was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, and will be produced by Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV and co-produced by MASTERPIECE for BBC One. Executive Producers are Helen Gregory for Pinewood Television, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland and David Boulter for SunnyMarch TV, Lucy Richer for the BBC, Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE, and Stephen Butchard.

Support Provided By: Learn More

MASTERPIECE Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest news on your favorite shows like Victoria, Sherlock and Poldark, exclusive content, video, sweepstakes and more.