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Martin Freeman's new drama The Responder is coming to screens this month

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the new police procedural

the responder
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
14 January 2022
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The BBC has finally confirmed when The Responder, its new police drama starring BAFTA award-winner Martin Freeman, will premiere – and fortunately, viewers don't have too much longer to wait.

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The five-part series will see the Sherlock star take on the role of a "crisis-stricken" and "morally compromised" urgent response officer and will begin airing on BBC One Monday 24 January at 9pm.

WATCH: Check out the trailer for The Responder

Joining Martin in the cast are a number of familiar faces, including The Witcher star MyAnna Buring, Luther's Warren Brown, After Life actor David Bradley as well as Tin Star's Ian Hart and Kerrie Hayes. 

The series has been written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher who drew on his 11-year experience working as a first-response cop in the Merseyside area, and although the premise is quite heavy, it seems that viewers can expect some light-hearted moments too.

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Speaking to The Guardian about the series, Martin said: "What I loved about The Responder, from first reading it, was its world in which there are laugh-out-loud moments, but it so quickly turns into something else. And it's not, 'Here's a funny bit, now here's a tragic bit.' It's all mixed together."

Excitement for The Responder has been growing for some time. The series was first announced almost two years ago, in February 2020. In November last year, a trailer was finally released, giving viewers a first glimpse at Martin's attempt at a Liverpudlian accent. 

martin freeman police© Photo: BBC

Are you looking forward to the new series?

Opening up about the challenges of mastering the accent, Martin said: "I worked at it. I wanted to do more than the Saturday Night Live version of it, if you know what I mean: comedy sketch scouse. I've got a decent handle on most accents for a first go. But that wouldn't be enough to sustain it for five hours. I had to get beneath the surface."

He added: "I always stay in accent from pick-up in the morning to the wrap at the end of the day, whether it's American, Scottish, Mancunian, whatever. I liken it to sport – you wouldn't ask a sprinter to run 100 metres without warming up first."

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Will you be watching The Responder? The official synopsis for the series reads: "The Responder follows Chris, a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool.

"Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, Chris is forced to take on a new rookie partner Rachel. Both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless, night-time world will depend on them either helping or destroying each other."

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