The BBC has confirmed that filming has begun on The Responder season 2, meaning Tony Schumacher's multi-BAFTA winning cop show could back on our screens next year.
The five-part first season, which saw Liverpool police officer Chris Carson battling to hold his life together after getting tangled up in the city's criminal underworld, was a bit hit with viewers on BBC1 and the BBC iPlayer.
In the first series, Martin Freeman led an all-star cast as the troubled copper and earned praise from critics for his portrayal of a man on the verge of a mental health crisis due to the stress of his job. Now he's set to return for a six-part follow-up, which will give us a closer look at his complex world.
"These characters have grown and the situations have changed slightly," Tony Schumacher told Radio Times. "Where they live has changed slightly. Everything has just shifted. I want them to do new things and move forward."
Here's everything we know about The Responder season 2 so far...
*WARNING - Contains spoilers for The Responder season 1*
When is The Responder season 2 on BBC1?
Filming on The Responder season 2 began in Liverpool in September 2023.
"Then we'll carry over for about three months, four months, and then it's in the hands of the BBC in terms of when it goes out," said the show's creator, Tony Schumacher. "But sooner rather than later, I hope."
That would mean a release date of Spring or Summer 2024 is most likely, although when we have more information, we'll be sure to let you know.
Happy #TheResponder day! It's weird, and I don't want to torment you, but having spent the day sitting in a room with the great team at Dancing Ledge Productions and Martin reading first episode of season two, well, all I can say is I think you're in for a treat... https://t.co/7NKawmnoDmJanuary 24, 2023
What could happen in The Responder season 2?
The first series ended with Chris Carson taking the stash of cocaine from Casey and giving it to Carl Sweeney's widow in a bid to buy her silence. He then advised Dr Diane Gallagher, who was running her brother's drug empire while he was in prison, to tell her bosses the drugs had been seized by the police.
In the final scenes we saw the troubled copper returning home and vowing to make a new start with his wife Kate (MyAnna Buring), before going back on patrol with his partner Rachel Hargreaves (Adelayo Adedayo). But will his plan to put those dodgy dealings behind him work out?
We're very excited to find out, but Schumacher has hinted that the characters are just as important as the plot in all his work...
"Everything I ever work on, everyone's going, 'Put more plot in. We need more plot.' For me, it's about the people. It's about Marco (Josh Finan) and Casey (Emily Fairn) and Chris and Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo), about what they've been through. You could only grow [across the episodes]. You could only be a different person at the end of season 1 than the person you were at the beginning of season 1.
"And everyone's doing their absolute best. Everyone was just trying to be normal [when we first met them] and that's where we find them now. We find them all in this 'normal', trying to just get through. That's where we find Chris at the moment. He's just trying to put the pieces back together."
Chris might be confident that convincing Dr Gallagher's boss their stash has been seized will save her brother's life, but there's no guarantee that her boss will accept her explanation. Could she be back to demand the money from Chris if the show returns?
What's more, Ray Mullen still has an axe to grind with Chris and may well renew his vendetta if a new series does hit our screens. We could also see Carl's widow Jodie coming out of the woodwork again if she struggles to move the drugs Chris gave her.
An interesting storyline involving Chris's abusive father was also not explored, so could this be something Tony Schumacher expands upon in a potential second series?
Two characters we definitely hope return if there is a new series are young Casey and Marco, played by Emily Fairn and Josh Finan, who were a big hit with viewers!
Which cast members will be returning?
Martin Freeman will be returning, which is no surprise after he told us he'd be very keen to take on the role once again.
"Chris is a character I'd like to return to because I'm a sucker for good scripts," he said. "I'll walk anywhere for a good script and we had a great team on this. I love the team, it's beautifully produced and so yeah I would hope to do it again!"
The following cast members are also expected to return...
- Adelayo Adedayo as Rachel Hargreaves
- MyAnna Buring as Kate Carson
- Emily Fairn as Casey
- Josh Finan as Marco
Warren Brown previously hinted that he would be willing to return to the show too, saying: "So often you don't know how well something's going to be received, so you don't know from the off that they're wanting to do more of a series.
"But I think more and more now when an audience reaction has been great for a show, there's definite scope to do more. So there are murmurs of season two, but nothing set in stone. I'd love to go back if that happens."
There will also be some new characters on the way, according to Tony Schumacher.
"There are some great characters to come," he said. "We're hoping we're going to get a few good names [to join]. We're really excited. I think people are going to love them."
Is there a trailer for The Responder season 2?
There's no trailer yet, but in the mean time here's the trailer for series 1 to tide you over...
All episodes of The Responder season 1 are currently available on BBC iPlayer.
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Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.