The Responder season 2: how to watch, trailer, images, cast, plot and everything we know

Adelayo Adedayo plays Rachel Hargreaves and Martin Freeman plays Chris Carson in The Responder season 2
Martin Freeman and Adelayo Adedayo have returned for The Responder season 2. (Image credit: BBC)

The Responder season 2 has returned after the huge success of The Responder season 1 on BBC One. 

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 big hit with viewers on BBC One 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 back with a five-part follow-up, which is giving us a closer look at his complex world.

Here's everything we know about The Responder season 2...

*WARNING - Contains spoilers for The Responder season 1*

The Responder season 2 release date 

The Responder season 2 launched on BBC One at 9 pm on Sunday, May 5. The final episode aired on Sunday, June 2 at 9pm and the whole series is now available on BBC iPlayer.  

Jodie (Faye McKeever) and Casey (Emily Fairn) in The Responder season 2 episode 2 recap

Jodie (Faye McKeever) and Casey (Emily Fairn) in The Responder season 2. (Image credit: BBC)

The Responder season 2 episode guide

The Responder - episode one
Chris is trying to get better and go straight, but when DCI Barnes tricks him into doing a dodgy car stop, he is drawn into a drug war between two of Liverpool’s top dealers.

The Responder - episode two
Chris and Rachel are on the hook to Franny, and the only way to fix it is to pay him. Chris’s solution? Get money from Jodie for picking up a bag of drugs from the docks. 

The Responder - episode three
Chris needs Franny to get him a day job, so he agrees to pick up a guy Franny is looking for called Vernon Hartley. But can he convince Vernon’s mother and grandmother to give him up? 

The Responder - episode four
Chris has Franny’s encro phone, but can’t decide whether to hand it over to the drug squad, or return it to Franny. As he wavers, Franny hunts him throughout the city. 

The Responder - episode five and ending explained

In accepting a new flat from Franny, Chris becomes fully corrupt. His first job – to deliver Casey. But will Chris cross the line and hand Casey over to impress his new boss? 

The Responder season 2 trailer

A trailer for The Responder season 2 landed back in April 2024, check it out below...

The Responder season 2 images 

The BBC has released a first-look at The Responder season 2 earlier tis year, giving fans a first glimpse of Chris (Martin Freeman), Rachel, (Adelayo Adedayo), Marco (Josh Finan) and Casey (Emily Fairn).

What happens 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.

'The Responder' series 2

Emily Fairn return as Casey in 'The Responder' series 2  (Image credit: BBC / Dancing Ledge)

Which cast members have returned? 

Martin Freeman is back, 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 back:

  • Adelayo Adedayo as Rachel Hargreaves
  • MyAnna Buring as Kate Carson
  • Emily Fairn as Casey
  • Faye McKeever as Jodie Sweeney
  • Amaka Okafor as Deborah Barnes
  • Josh Finan as Marco

We have also had some new characters joining the ranks, with Adam Nagaitis (The Terror), Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings), and Ian Puleston-Davies (Pennyworth) all appearing this season...

All episodes of The Responder season 1 and 2 are currently available on BBC iPlayer.  

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 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 I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.