The Child In Time. Television Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kelly Macdonald, Stephen Campbell Moore, Saskia Reeves, John Hopkins, Anna Madeley, Lucy Liemann, Richard Durden, Geraldine Alexander, Elliot Levey, Karen Bryson, Andrea Hall, Gerard Monaco, Laurence Spellman.

An adult is just a child that has found a way to deal with growing up, growing old and finding that rare solution to owning responsibility; an adult is the child and then forgets what it was to be carefree, to be light hearted and cheerful. It is only in the urgency of our parent’s voice that the child begins to understand that the world is a dangerous place, not the untroubled paradise of learning, of playing and the hopefully cheery memory we wish it could be.

For The Child In Time is the product of our own being losing touch with the ability to imagine like a child, to have the vision of innocence and the harrowing nature that comes with the responsibility we gain far too early in life.

The disappearance of a child is perhaps one the most heart-breaking moments that dares cross the mind, you never know how you will react, how even if only for a minute how fast the heart will pump as the worry threatens to envelope and take over. The child though that is in all of us is such that we say goodbye to those with dementia in the same way, we never truly grow out of being someone who can scare our loved ones to death.

Stephen Campbell Moore’s portrayal as the former Government Minister Charles Darke who starts to regress in his own mind to childhood is perhaps one of the most brutal and heart-breaking performances of the year. To slip back to a time when childhood was all about fun, games and learning, is something that we all perhaps think of, to be with those that shaped our life, to be carefree and nothing had too great a consequence is very tempting, it is why nostalgia is such a prominent part of social media, the urge to connect with the past is so palpable; it is almost as if we are trying to reclaim something that was stolen from us.

It is easy to see that the film will divide audiences, those especially that have not read the original novel could feel cheated by the title, that they might believe the experience is not one that should have taken place due to its slow paced revel. Yet for those who have taken the time to take the novel into consideration, it is a true marvel of adaption, the measure of each actor’s participation is keenly felt and delivered in the manner expected.

A marvellous adaption of a classic book, one that did not need to be spiced up or adulterated in any way; The Child In Time is a story that requires watching with a heart built of compassion for all that suffer under the weight of expectation in the modern world.

Ian D. Hall