BBC One and Masterpiece are working together to bring Ian McEwan’s prize-winning novel “The Child in Time” to the small-screen. If you haven’t read the award-winning novel yet, you can find it at, and should have enough time to finish it before the adaptation premieres.

Pinewood Television and SunnyMarch TV will produce “The Child in Time,” for BBC One. The adaptation will be co-produced by Masterpiece, and marks the first television commission for the studio.

Adapted by Stephen Butchard (Five Daughters, The Last Kingdom) from Ian McEwan’s Whitbread Prize winning novel, and directed by Julian Farino (Marvellous, Entourage), “The Child in Time” will be distributed by StudioCanal.

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 his child.

Benedict Cumberbatch, a SunnyMarch TV Co-Founder, said in the announcement, “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.”

The studio described the story stating, “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.” The studio continued, “With the passage of time, a balance of sorts returns, until hope surfaces and triumphs unexpectedly.”

Pinewood Television’s Creative Director Helen Gregory also spoke about the adaptation. 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.”

Ian McEwan, stated: “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 is a unique and moving story and one which I think will touch the heart of every BBC One viewer,” explained Piers Wenger, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. “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.”

As we stated before, the project is being co-produced through Masterpiece. Executive Producer of Masterpiece, Rebecca Eaton, also spoke about the project. “Masterpiece has been proud to showcase Benedict’s work for many years, and of course Sherlock has been a fantastic gift to our audience,” Eaton said in a statement. “To co-produce the first television drama out of his shop SunnyMarch TV, with Pinewood Television is very gratifying.”

The adaptation 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.