The Responder: release date of BBC drama, who is cast with Martin Freeman, trailer, and is it a true story?

Martin Freeman and Adelayo Adedayo star in this police drama

Martin Freeman in The Responder (Credit: BBC/Dancing Ledge/Rekha Garton)

Policing drama The Responder is coming to BBC One on Monday 24 January.

The series, which stars Martin Freeman, is based on a script from first-time writer and former police officer Tony Schumacher.

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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 five night 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.

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”.

Why should I watch it?

Because its grounding in fact will give it that extra dramatic edge.

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