The Responder is a British police procedural series set in Liverpool, written by former Merseyside Police officer Tony Schumacher and starring Martin Freeman, Adelayo Adedayo, Ian Hart, and MyAnna Buring.
A crisis-stricken, morally compromised first-responder tackles a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool, while trying to keep his head above water personally and professionally.
Chris Carson is a police officer, in a fictional constabulary covering Liverpool, who has been demoted from his position as a sergeant and undertakes a series of night shifts in central Liverpool. His work scenes are interspersed with scenes of him at therapy, at home, and with his mother in a nursing home. He is partnered with Rachel Hargreaves, an inexperienced and still idealistic officer who wants to play by the rules. Carl Sweeney is a mid-level drug dealer whose stash of cocaine has been purloined by Casey, a local “baghead”. Chris is trying to help Casey and, in doing so, crosses Carl. Other major characters include the naïve local scally Marco, who finds himself out of his depth.
Carson is a conflicted and compromised man, with somewhat divided loyalties, a desire to do good but violent aggressive streak brought on by childhood trauma exacerbated by his experience in the police. He has been demoted from sergeant and is pursued by the officer responsible as part of a corruption probe, whose motives may not be entirely honest. The effects of the jobs and Chris’ mental state take a toll on his family.
- Martin Freeman as Chris Carson.
- Adelayo Adedayo as Rachel Hargreaves, a probationary police officer.
- Warren Brown as Raymond Mullen, a demoted officer with an axe to grind.
- MyAnna Buring as Kate Carson, Chris’ wife.
- Emily Fairn as Casey, a drug addict.
- Josh Finan as Marco, Casey’s friend.
- Philip S. McGuinness as Ian, Carl’s henchman.
- Mark Womack as Barry, Carl’s henchman.
- Ian Hart as Carl Sweeney, a drug dealer.
- Rita Tushingham as June Carson, Chris’ mother.
- Philip Barantini as Steve, Rachel’s boyfriend.
- David Bradley as Davey, a local homeless man.
- Kerrie Hayes as Ellie Mullen, Raymond’s wife and Kate’s best friend.
- Faye McKeever as Jodie Sweeney, Carl’s wife.
- Philip Whitchurch as Joe, Casey’s grandfather.
- Christine Tremarco as Dr. Diane Gallagher, Greg’s sister.
- Amaka Okafor as Detective Inspector Deborah Barnes, Chris’ boss.
- James Nelson-Joyce as Greg Gallagher, a drug lord.
- Elizabeth Berrington as Lynne Renfrew, Chris’ therapist.
- Victor McGuire as Trevor.
- Dominic Carter as Sergeant Bernie Wilson.
- Matthew Cottle as Father Liam Neeson.
- Dave Hill as Billy.
- Sylvie Gatrill as Mary.
- Sonny Walker as Stevo Marsh.
- James Ledsham as Enno.
- Connor Dempsey as Kyle.
- David Ayres as Andy.
- Kieron Urquhart as Paul.
- Harry Burke as Liam.
- Tony Schumacher (creator and writer) has said that the character has “a lot to do” with him and the struggles he faced as a police officer, but that the storyline is fictional.
- In late March 2022 the series was officially renewed for a second season.
- The series was be shown by Canal plus in France and on SBS TV and SBS On Demand in Australia, as well as various other deals seeing the series being shown around the world.
- Martin Freeman spent 18 months before he filmed the series talking to himself in a Scouse accent so he could perfect it.
- Elizabeth Berrington and Martin Freeman previously worked together in The Office Christmas Special (2003).
- The first season is broadcast in some countries in a six-episode edit.
The Responder Series
- Series 02 (?2023):
- Renewed in March 2022.
Production & Filming Details
- Tim Mielants.
- Fien Troch.
- Philip Barantini.
- Laurence Bowen … executive producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Toby Bruce … story producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Chris Carey … executive producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Susan Dunn … line producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Nawfal Faizullah … commissioning executive / commissioning executive: BBC (5 episodes, 2022).
- Rebecca Ferguson … series produced by (5 episodes, 2022).
- Martin Freeman … executive producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Mona Qureshi … executive producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Barrington Paul Robinson … co-producer (5 episodes, 2022).
- Phill Reeves … assistant line producer (3 episodes, 2022).
- Charlie Greenstein … line producer (1 episode, 2022).
- Tony Schumacher.
- Matthew Herbert … (5 episodes, 2022).
- Johan Heurlin Aidt … (4 episodes, 2022).
- Matthew Lewis … (1 episode, 2022).
- Danielle Palmer … (2 episodes, 2022).
- Alex Fountain … (1 episode, 2022).
- Donovan Jones … (1 episode, 2022).
- Dancing Ledge Productions.
- British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (for).
- Liverpool Film Office (funding).
- BBC One (2022) (UK) (TV).
- British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (2022) (UK) (all media).
- BBC iPlayer (2022) (UK) (video) (VOD).
- BritBox (UK) (video) (VOD).
- Fremantle (2022) (World-wide) (all media).
- Release Date: 24 January 2022.
- Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
- Rating: 15.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.