The ‘Sherlock’ star played the lead in the one-off episode, which aired to a negative reaction on Sunday (24 September) night.
Fans bemoaned the slow pace and confusing twists to the plot, as it told the story of children’s writer Stephen Lewis and his wife Julie, after their daughter goes missing.
However, many were unsure exactly what it was supposed to be about and complained that the ending was “disappointing”, especially as the little girl was never found.
There was some good news for those involved though, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly McDonald’s performances did win some praise from those watching:
‘The Child In Time’ is based on the 1987 novel of the same name by author Ian McKewen, whose books also inspired films ‘Atonement’ and ‘Enduring Love’.
There were some differences between the book and the TV film though, as the original was set in a dystopian near future at the end of the 20th century, while the small-screen version was set in the present day.
‘The Child In Time’ is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.