Benedict Cumberbatch Is Headed Back To TV For A New Project

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British actor Benedict Cumberbatch made a name for himself on an international scale thanks to his work on BBC One's Sherlock. Now, Cumberbatch is heading back to BBC One for a project that could be pretty fantastic. Unfortunately for Sherlock fans, he reportedly won't be back as the consulting detective any time in the foreseeable future, but his new role promises to take him in an intriguing new direction. Cumberbatch is attached to a TV movie based on the 1987 novel The Child In Time.

Benedict Cumberbatch will both star in and executive produce The Child In Time for BBC One. He'll play a character named Stephen Lewis, who is a very successful author of children's books until his daughter disappears and changes everything about his life. Stephen and his wife will react to their daughter's disappearance in very different ways as they attempt to process their grief. They face dark days together and apart as time passes, until they find a way to settle into a status quo.

The Child In Time TV movie will run for 90 minutes on BBC One. Deadline reports that it will be penned by Stephen Butchard, who is fresh off writing The Last Kingdom, which was the BBC America adaptation of The Saxon Stories historical novels. If anybody has the skills the pull off a killer script for a BBC book adaptation, it's Stephen Butchard. The Child In Time will be a one-off rather than an ongoing series like The Last Kingdom, but Butchard should have the experience with bringing novels to life to craft a successful TV movie for Benedict Cumberbatch.

The book was published in 1987 by author Ian McEwan, and the BBC One adaptation will be the second time that Benedict Cumberbatch is featured in a McEwan-inspired project. Cumberbatch had a pivotal role in the 2007 film Atonement, which was based on McEwan's 2001 novel of the same name. That film was a hit with critics; we'll have to wait and see if The Child In Time works as well on the small screen as Atonement worked on the big screen.

Benedict Cumberbatch has evidently been a fan of Ian McEwan's novel for many years, so we can expect a stellar performance in the TV movie. Unfortunately, it may be a while before we get to see him back on BBC One. He's busy at the moment filming the historical film The Current War, and he's also set to appear in Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok. Given how significantly his film career set back filming for Sherlock Season 4, we might have quite a wait before The Child In Time hits the small screen. Only time will tell.

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.