The new police series “The Responder” with Martin Freeman

May 11, 20225 min

The star Martin Freeman plays an exhausted and desperate cop in the British series “The Responder”. A program for which the creator Tony Schumacher was inspired by his night patrols in the streets of Liverpool.

The Responder gives Martin Freeman reveals a dark aspect of his wide range of play, far from his performances in Fargo, The Hobbit trilogy, Sherlock or Breeders. In this British series created by Tony Schumacher, the actor lends his features to Chris Carson, a Liverpool cop assigned to night patrols.

Badly regarded by his management and demoted following a dark case, haunted by old demons and distancing himself from his loved ones, the policeman has trouble keeping his head above water and his therapy sessions are not much help. Sent to the city’s toughest neighbourhoods, Chris seems on the verge of exploding at any moment.

He is forced to team up with Rachel Hargreaves (Adelayo Adedayo), but he has trouble getting along with her because of their opposite work methods. Things go wrong when the pair are threatened by Carl Sweeney (Ian Hart), a fearsome drug dealer.

This super actor is Martin Freeman, he is inhabited and as usual excellent in the skin of this cop on the razor’s edge. MyAnna Buring (The Witcher) and Warren Brown (Luther) accompany him in this descent into hell.

Having been a police officer himself on nightly patrols of the streets of Liverpool, Tony Schumacher drew on his own experience to develop the five episodes of the program. The Responder is a departure from much other crime shows in that rather than focusing on investigations and twists and turns, it focuses on the fall and struggle of a character in search of redemption, but also on the people who come across his path.

Interviewed by Premiere, the writer explained that he wanted to “paint a picture of the city”. For this, he was inspired by real cases on which he worked, but also by “the mental breakdown” that he had to overcome. He adds on this subject:

He quit this job because he was going crazy. He said, “I was even having a little bit of a nervous breakdown, you could say. I think I was too sensitive, too vulnerable, I couldn’t take it anymore in the end.

In an interview with Focus Vif, he says he probably would have “put an end to his life” if he had stayed in the police force. Having now been able to step back and look back on this period of his life, Tony Schumacher was able to transcribe it into a powerful psychological and sociological drama.

Aviva Smadja

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