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Its five episodes are directed by Susanna White and written by Tom Stoppard. Early life and education
Benedict Cumberbatch was born on 19 July 1976 in London the son of actors Timothy Carlton (birth name Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch) and Wanda Ventham. At Harrow he was introduced to the works of playwright Sir Terrence Rattigan and began acting in school plays.
He portrayed Smaug the Dragon through voice and motion capture and also provided the motion capture for the Necromancer in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit (2012). He also stars as Christopher Tietjens in the BBC/HBO co-production television miniseries Parade's End which first aired August 2012. His most acclaimed roles include Stephen Hawking in the BBC drama Hawking (2004); William Pitt in the historical film Amazing Grace (2006); protagonist Stephen Ezard in the miniseries thriller The Last Enemy (2008); Paul Marshall in Atonement (2007); Bernard in Small Island (2009); and Sherlock Holmes in the modern BBC adaptation series Sherlock (2010).