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The Child In Time
The Child In Time“A successful writer is plunged into
  a living nightmare when he loses sight
  of his small daughter in a supermarket
  and cannot find her; setting in motion
  a devastating turn of events that see
  him relentlessly trying to discover what
  happened to her while his marriage
  disintegrates in the gripping BBC1
  drama The Child In Time
...”

WHILE SHOPPING IN A LOCAL SUPERMARKET, successful children's book writer Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch) watches his four-year-old daughter Kate, his only child, happily leafing through magazines. But in the time it takes him to pack and pay for his groceries, he is shocked and horrified to find that she has disappeared and nobody seems to have seen her.

Having called the Police to report Kate missing, Stephen has to return home to break the dreadful news to his wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald, portraying perfectly the shock and horror of the mother of a lost child), who is beside herself with worry and grief.

The Child In Time,
despite its distressing
storyline,
is quite remarkable;
told sympathetically with
a depth of feeling
and understanding that
is both heart-wrenching
and very compelling
because, like Kate’s
parents, as the tension
mounts you never lose
hope that she will be
found safe and well...”
Naturally at first blaming her husband, they eventually separate; but Stephen never gives up searching for his lost child — a desperation that leads him into tricky situations where he convinces himself he has seen Kate and suffers unfathomable gut-churning disappointment when he finally realises he has made a mistake.

It is a situation that all parents can identify with. In one horrifying moment that replays itself over the following years, Stephen struggles to accept that his child is lost forever.

While the drama explores a marriage destroyed by a child's disappearance, there is gentleness and insight as Kate's absence leads Stephen and Julie on different paths; neither able to shake off the shadows cast as they are plunged into the depths of despair.

Described as a lyrical and heartbreaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen, The Child In Time does have a return to a balance of sorts where hope comes to the fore and triumphs unexpectedly. A very sad tale of loving parents whose child disappears in a moment of distraction.

The Child In Time, despite its distressing storyline, is quite remarkable; told sympathetically with a depth of feeling and understanding that is both heart-wrenching and very compelling because, like Kate's parents, as the tension mounts you never lose hope that she will be found safe and well.

Benedict Cumberbatch is superb as the grief-stricken father, especially at the point where he realises with rising panic that his little girl is no longer in the store and then is taken by a policewoman to break the terrible news to his wife. It is excruciating.

The Child In Time attracted an audience of 5.7 million viewers when first aired and is produced by Benedict Cumberbatch with the independent film and television production company SunnyMarch, run by Adam Ackland and Benedict.

The drama also features: Stephen Campbell Moore as Charles; Saskia Reeves as Thelma; Anna Madeley as Rachel Murray; John Hopkins as Home Secretary; Elliot Levey as The Prime Minister; Karen Bryson as Mrs Matterson; Lucy Leimann as Joanna Buckley; Richard Durden as Stephen's Father; Geraldine Alexander as Stephen's Mother; and Eloise Henwood and Lindy Barrett as Schoolgirls.

Music is by Adrian Johnston; Cinematography by David Odd; Adapted for television by Stephen Butchard, based on the novel The Child In Time by Ian McEwan; Executive Producers include Adam Ackland, Stephen Butchard and Benedict Cumberbatch; Producer is Grainne Marmion; and Directed by Julian Farino.

* STUDIOCANAL announces the release of the gripping BBC One drama The Child In Time, an adaptation by Stephen Butchard of Ian McEwan's Whitbread Prize-winning novel of the same name, as Digital Download now and on DVD in the UK on 30 October 2017 (Available to pre-order at Amazon). Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 89 Minutes Approximately | Extras: Promos & Deleted Scenes.

"The Child In Time, despite its distressing storyline, is quite remarkable; told sympathetically with a depth of feeling and understanding that is both heart-wrenching and very compelling because, like Kate's parents, as the tension mounts you never lose hope that she will be found safe and well" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar
.