| 25.7°C Belfast

Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Child In Time to air amid packed TV schedule

The Sherlock actor stars in the harrowing adaptation of Ian McEwan’s award-winning novel.


Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

New BBC One drama The Child In Time – starring Benedict Cumberbatch – will have some serious competition in the TV schedules when it airs tonight.

Cumberbatch stars as author Stephen Lewis, a father who is dealing with the loss of his young child, in the adaptation of Ian McEwan’s award-winning novel of the same name.

But the highly-anticipated one-off will have to contend with popular ITV period drama Victoria and Channel 4’s Philip K Dick adaptation Electric Dreams, all of which air at 9pm.

BBC Two’s popular business programme Dragons’ Den is also on at the same time, adding to the scheduling clash.

The Sherlock actor, who stars alongside Trainspotting’s Kelly Macdonald in the heart-breaking 90-minute episode, previously admitted to finding the experience emotionally and psychologically difficult.

“I think it is for an actor – for anyone to imagine those circumstances is pretty harrowing,” Cumberbatch told the Press Association.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“And you want to give as much emotional veracity and truth as possible to those situations.

“They’re kind of unthinkable for any parent, they’re unthinkable for anyone who has children in their life, whether it’s a brother or a sister or a son or a daughter.


Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

PA Wire/PA Images

Benedict Cumberbatch

“It’s a horrific circumstance and it’s very, very upsetting.”

The story tells the tale of Stephen and his wife Julie, who struggle to cope after their four-year-old daughter Kate goes missing in a supermarket.

Cumberbatch said: “There’s a passage in the book, which we dramatise, where he imagines he’s seen her again three years after he’s lost sight of her in the supermarket, and it’s that thing of everything opening up with a sort of double sledgehammer of grief, because of re-imagining what that loss was initially, and experiencing it all over again.

“And it’s the humiliation of following this hunch that this girl going into a school is his daughter and running after her.”

He said: “There was a point when I was worried I was getting a bit too upset in all of these scenes, which is hard to avoid.”

The Child In Time airs on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

Top Videos