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The Responder — release date, plot, cast and everything you need to know

Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman leads the cast of The Responder. (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Responder is ex-police officer Tony Schumacher's first original story for television, and is drawn from Tony’s real-life experiences as an urgent response officer. 

The series closely examines the emotional, often heartbreaking extremes of modern day policing, told from the perspective of someone who's seen it all firsthand. The BBC has revealed that the series will focus on both victims and perpetrators, adding that it’s as much about life on the streets of Liverpool as it is about the police.

Martin Freeman leads the cast of The Responder, starring as Chris, a police officer who is trying to save his marriage and keep his head above water. His character has been described as "crisis-stricken, morally compromised" and as an "unconventional cop".

Here's what we know so far...

The Responder release date

The Responder doesn't have a confirmed air date yet, but filming is set to take place in and around Liverpool. As soon as we have an update on a release date, we'll be sure to tell you!

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What is The Responder about?

The Responder follows Chris (Martin Freeman), a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, and unconventional urgent response officer who is tackling a series of night shifts in Liverpool. While juggling his own complicated life, Chris takes on a new rookie partner named Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo) which adds a new layer of stress to his routine. But they soon discover that in order to survive, it depends on them either helping or destroying each other.

Mona Qureshi, Executive Producer for the BBC, says: “The Responder is a unique take on modern policing, and Tony Schumacher gives us in Chris a heartbreakingly honest portrait of a man coming undone by the pressures around him. We’re so excited to see Martin Freeman in this extraordinary role and for Tim Mielants to bring the night streets of Liverpool to vivid life.”

Who stars in The Responder?

The Responder sees some great names joining Martin Freeman, with further cast now confirmed by the BBC.

Tony Schumacher says: “I'm so incredibly fortunate to be writing for a cast as amazing as the one we've assembled for The Responder. From legends at the top of their game, to young talents who are legends in waiting, it's a writer's dream come true.”

Here's the cast list we know so far:

  • Adelayo Adedayo (Unsaid Stories)
  • Ian Hart (The Last Kingdom)
  • MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street)
  • Kerrie Hayes (The English Game)
  • Warren Brown (Luther). 
  • David Bradley (Broadchurch) 
  • Rita Tushingham (In The Flesh) 

Martin Freeman says: “Tony Schumacher’s script for The Responder resonated with me immediately. It felt like nothing that I’d read or seen.

“Great to work with Laurence and Chris at Dancing Ledge again and finding a home at the BBC has been a wonderful start to the journey.”

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, but watch this space!