Where was The Responder filmed? Liverpool filming locations of BBC crime drama starring Martin Freeman

The new series written by former police officer Tony Schumacher was filmed around Liverpool

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Crime drama, The Responder, has begun on BBC One with Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) starring as urgent response officer Chris Carson.

The five-part series was inspired by the experiences of the show’s writer Tony Schumacher, who is an  ex-police officer.

Carson, who is morally compromised and crisis-stricken, works five-night shifts on the streets of Liverpool - but where exactly was the drama filmed?

Where was The Responder filmed?

Funding for the series came from the Liverpool Film Office through the LCR Production fund.

The crew was spotted filming around Merseyside, which aligns with the writer’s own experiences and knowledge.

A letter sent by the producers, Dancing Ledge Productions and the BBC revealed one of the locations for filming would be Lark Lane, where the crew were reportedly stationed for two days.

In April 2021, they were also spotted filming in Everton, Liverpool with Freeman seen in a police uniform walking towards his character’s car on Richmond Row.

The production of the BBC crime drama moved 11 miles from Liverpool to St Helens in Merseyside in May 2021, with “filming in progress” signs seen in Taylor Park.

That month, the crew was also spotted in Meols on the north coast of the Wirral peninsula, about a 20-minute drive from Liverpool.

As filming took place over the pandemic, Covid-19 restrictions meant members of the public were asked not to attend or gather around the set and location.

When did filming take place?

The Responder was announced in February 2021, but filming was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It finally premiered on 24 January 2022.

Why was Liverpool chosen for filming of The Responder? 

The Responder is based on Schumacher’s experience as a police officer.

When asked how Liverpool fits into the story he said: “I’ve been all around the world in my life doing various jobs, some good and some bad. I did stand-up comedy for a few years and I travelled a lot, but to me Liverpool is unique.”

“Seeing Martin playing Chris - driving round the streets that I once drove around, sitting in a police car I had once driven with the streetlamps strobing on the glass was incredible to watch.”

The Responder takes place over a series of five nights. When asked why the night was chosen, Schumacher said: “I set the story at night-time in Liverpool because there’s a real peace about the night that I love. I worked for ten years as a copper and I drove a taxi for five years working nights in both jobs.

“Our director, Tim Mielants, really understands Liverpool - he knows it like the back of his hand because of his work on Peaky Blinders, and really gets the ‘darkness’ of the night.”

The Responder premiered at 9pm on 24 January and continues on Tuesday 25 January at the same time on BBC One. Episode three and four will air on Monday 31 January and 1 February at 9pm on BBC One.

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