2/5

Last night the BBC aired one of its most pretentious and disappointing shows ever. No, Strictly was broadcast on Saturday.

Let’s not beat around the bush: The Child in Time attracted lots of viewers because of Benedict Cumberbatch. The last time he was on the Beeb it was for Sherlock (who he could’ve done within the painstaking 90-minute ‘drama’ to find his missing child Kate). The plot of the one-off show is about abduction. Usually, it’s a good plot to go with. Look at the BBC’s infinitely more thrilling The Missing and you’ll see why.

This abduction was boring. Kate somehow disappeared when Stephen (Cumberbatch) was paying for the shopping. The rest of the story isn’t about finding out what happened to her, but about Stephen and Julie (played by Kelly Macdonald) and how they get on with life. That’s fair enough and, for around twenty minutes, it’s interesting. But that’s only because of the acting.

When the show, adapted from Ian McEwan’s novel, throws in a best friend Charles who decides to play around in the woods like a child as well as an unusual political subplot that never concludes anything rational, it fails. There was nothing tangible about The Child in Time whatsoever. No character to really feel for because we didn’t get to know them and no real lesson to learn.

Don’t get me wrong, it was heartbreaking in the beginning, but that heartbreak shouldn’t be lost as the show goes on. But it was and it became a confusing, pretentious mess. I’d say it needed longer, but I really would not want to watch another minute.