It could be some time before we learn if Benedict Cumberbatch ever gives us another 90 minutes of Sherlock, but Masterpiece and BBC have another way to fill the void. Cumberbatch will star in and executive produce new drama The Child in Time, based on Ian McEwan’s 1987 novel.

Per Deadline, Cumberbatch’s Masterpiece return will see Stephen Butchard adapting the story of a couple who lost a child, with Sherlock and Doctor Strange star Cumberbatch in the role of Stephen Lewis, a “successful children’s book author whose daughter suddenly goes missing in the lyrical and heartbreaking exploration of love, loss and the power of things unseen.”

Said Cumberbatch of the project:

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 BBC and Masterpiece will naturally take as much Cumberbatch as they can get, but could The Child in Time keep him in the family long enough for that elusive fifth Sherlock season? No filming date or premiere window has been issued, so stay tuned.

More From