The Responder: release date of BBC drama, cast with Martin Freeman, trailer, and Series 2 news

Martin Freeman and Adelayo Adedayo star in this police drama

Policing drama The Responder began on BBC One on Monday 24 January. In March 2022, the BBC confirmed that a second series of The Responder had been ordered.

The series, which stars Martin Freeman, is based on a script from first-time writer and former police officer Tony Schumacher. The Responder is set in Liverpool, which is where Schumacher worked as a police officer.

Here’s everything you need to know about The Responder.

What is it about?

The Responder is about Chris, an urgent response police officer working in Liverpool – the first on call in an emergency, the series sees Chris work sixnight shifts in a row. (Each night shift corresponds to an episode of the series.)

The series is written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher, and is largely drawn from his own experiences on the job.

Who is in the cast?

Martin Freeman stars as Chris, an urgent response police officer. You’ll know Freeman from any number of projects like Sherlock, The Hobbit, Black Panther, The Office, and more.

He’s joined by Adelayo Adedayo playing Rachel, a rookie police officer who joins Chris on patrol. Adedayo has previously starred in comedies Timewasters and Some Girls, as well as BBC One drama The Capture.

The rest of the cast includes Warren Brown (Trigger Point), David Bradley (After Life), Ian Hart (The Terror), and MyAnna Buring (The Salisbury Poisonings), as well as Josh Finan and Emily Fairn.

Where can I see the trailer?

You can see the trailer for The Responder here. It shows Martin Freeman working night shifts in Liverpool, reflecting on his increasingly compromised state.

When is it on and how can I watch it?

The Responder airs on BBC One on Monday 24 January at 9pm. The five episodes will air weekly.

Is The Responder based on a true story?

Not exactly – the series is a fictionalised account of some of writer Tony Schumacher’s experiences as a police officer, indirectly inspired by it rather than specifically based on it.

Where was it filmed?

The series was set and filmed in Liverpool, and was partially funded by the Liverpool Film Office.

Some scenes were filmed in and around student accommodation block St. Andrew’s Gardens.

Martin Freeman has adopted a Liverpudlian accent for the role, based in part on writer Tony Schumacher’s accent.

Will there be a second series of The Responder?

Yes! A second series of The Responder was confirmed the BBC’s Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore in an interview with the Radio Times in March 2022. We don’t yet know when the next series will film, or when it’ll make it to air either.

Moore also confirmed further series of Vigil, Time, and The Tourist.

What do reviews of The Responder say?

National World’s review of The Responder praises Martin Freeman’s performance in particular, pointing to his role here as an example of Freeman not just playing against type but pushing himself to new dramatic heights.

We also drew attention to the direction, and its “cold, harsh shades of cyan” that gave it “a cold, austere feeling”.

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