Benedict Cumberbatch

HBO to Air Benedict Cumberbatch 'Brexit' Drama This January

Benedict Cumberbatch in "Brexit" (Photo: Channel 4)

Given the tumult that is still going on in the process, one has to wonder whether it’s really the best time to drop a one-off TV move about the United Kingdom’s Brexit deal, but we’re getting one whether we like it or not.

On the plus side, at least it stars Benedict Cumberbatch, so that’s something. Yes, HBO has picked up the American distribution rights to Brexit, Channel 4’s oft-maligned dramatization of the country’s historic 2016 vote to depart the European Union, from the perspective of both the Leave and Remain camps.

Benedict Cumberbatch Has Unexpected New Look in First Image from New ‘Brexit’ Drama

Benedict Cumberbatch in "Brexit" (Photo: Channel 4)

Despite the fact that the whole mess surrounding Britain’s impending departure from the European Union hasn’t even been properly sorted out yet, there’s already a TV adaptation in the works about it.

Upcoming Channel 4 drama Brexit aims to unpack the often stranger-than-fiction true life story of the run up to the landmark vote into a one-off television drama. And this is actually much less of a hot mess than you might expect, given the subject matter.

The feature is being written by playwright Jason Graham. Black Mirror’s Toby Haynes is on board to direct. And they’ve tapped Benedict Cumberbatch to star in it.

Unfortunately, they've given him what is possibly the worst hairpiece in the world.

Benedict Cumberbatch to Star in ‘Brexit’ TV Drama

Benedict Cumberbatch in "Sherlock" Season 4. (Photo: Courtesy of Hartswood Films and MASTERPIECE)

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is taking on a very different sort of role in his next project. The actor is set to star in Brexit, a Channel 4 drama that will tell the story of Britain’s landmark vote to leave the European Union. 

That’s a working title, by the way; so don’t be shocked if the one-off drama changes its name before it makes its way to air next year.

The thriller will be written by playwright Jason Graham, and aims to unpack the issues behind the historic campaign. Black Mirror’s Toby Haynes will direct. Brexit is currently tentatively scheduled to air in early 2019, shortly before the U.K. officially departs the E.U in March.

Don’t Be Shocked if We Don’t See Any More ‘Sherlock’ Anytime Soon

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in "Sherlock" Season 4. (Photo: Courtesy of Todd Antony/Hartswood Films 2016 for MASTERPIECE)

It’s been over a year since Sherlock Season 4 concluded. Since that time, there’s been no official word on the possibility of a fifth season, but that hasn’t stopped literally everyone from speculating, or asking the cast and producers about it every time they get the chance.

Now, at this point it seems kind of obvious that if a fifth season of Sherlock happens, it won’t be any time soon. Not only does the end of Season 4 work as potential series finale should the folks in charge decide to take a break that lasts longer than the series’ usual hiatus periods, but everyone’s schedules so incredibly packed it’s hard to know when they’d even film.

Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are involved with multiple other projects. They’re both part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, with Freeman recently appearing in Black Panther and Cumberbatch popping up in the just-released Avengers: Infinity War. Cumberbatch’s latest series Patrick Melrose will drop on Showtime this spring, and Freeman’s zombie film Cargo just debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. Even co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss seem busy with other things, most notably their slightly bizarre-sounding new adaptation of Dracula.

To put it kind of bluntly: No one really has time for a trip back to 221b Baker Street. Moreover, it’s not entirely clear that anybody wants to do so, anytime soon.

'The Child in Time' Recap

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald in "The Child in Time" (Photo: Courtesy of Pinewood Television, SunnyMarch TV and MASTERPIECE for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)

The Child in Time is one of those dramas that doesn’t turn out to be quite the story you think it is. On the surface, it’s a tale about a lost child. But, it also isn’t, in the most basic sense. The drama isn’t about the search for the missing Kate and it (spoiler alert!) offers little resolution about what happened to her. Her parents (spoiler alert, again!) don’t get her back. There’s no happy ending. She remains forever apart, both present and absent, a Schroedinger’s cat of a girl who is somehow both alive and dead for the purposes of this narrative. If you were looking for a crime thriller, a dramatic mystery or even a linear story that makes sense, you’re surely bound to be disappointed here.

Instead, The Child in Time is a meditation on loss and grief, telling the story of what it takes to move past the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. In short: It’s kind of a lot for an evening on Easter Sunday, though those that stick through it may find the performances contained within worthwhile. (Or, at least, I did.) The acting is top notch and the emotions feel gut-wrenchingly real. However, if you find yourself wishing the story perhaps spent a bit more time on Kate herself or the particulars behind her disappearance rather than the gamut of British political thought about child rearing or a weirdo subplot about a grown man’s descent into what appears to be childlike madness, trust me, you’re not alone.

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