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'The Responder' viewers want Martin Freeman to win a BAFTA after 'fantastic performance'

Martin Freeman in The Responder
(Image credit: BBC / Dancing Ledge)

The Responder kicked off on BBC1 last night, with fans tuning in to ex-police officer Tony Schumacher's gritty new drama series.

Martin Freeman plays Chris, a police officer who is trying to save his marriage and keep his head above water amid his incredibly stressful job. He is described as "a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, and unconventional" person, and the series focuses heavily on how he struggles to manage everyday life.

During the events of the series, Chris takes on a new rookie partner named Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo) which adds a whole new level of stress to his routine, and they have to learn to work together effectively.

The first episode alone shows us just how exasperated Chris is with certain parts of his job, especially when he keeps having to come back to the same house after a couple is seen having a loud domestic argument outside, causing disturbance to the local area.

Chris is very brutally honest with those in the community, with Martin Freeman delivering a disturbing performance where he openly reveals how much he's struggling and even threatens to kill someone for continuing to waste his time. Right from the get-go, it seems like he's about to snap, we're just not sure when.

Fans on Twitter were very impressed with Martin's performance especially, with some even calling for the star to be given a BAFTA for his work and calling it his "best performance in years".

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There are five episodes in total, so we're just getting started when it comes to Chris' complicated story, but things could turn from bad to worse if he's unable to properly balance work, home, and his own mental health.

Teasing Chris' fate further, Martin Freeman told us: "He's very intelligent, he's emotionally smart, but he's a copper. He finds it hard to be open at home and with his counselor and in his job it’s probably wise not to be open so he picks his moments when he can let off steam and talk to people. 

"But those are few and far between and the number of plates he is spinning is frightening. So much so that if he drops even one of those plates he could wind up dead."

The Responder continues on BBC1 at 9 pm on Tuesday 25th January. Episodes are also available on BBC iPlayer.

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance