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New crime drama The Responder coming to BBC One

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Martin Freeman in The Responder crime show

Best known to crime fiction lovers for his starring roles in the likes of Sherlock and Fargo, Martin Freeman is stepping into very different shoes for The Responder, written by author Tony Schumacher and set in Liverpool, which launches on BBC One at 9pm on 24 January.

Freeman plays Chris, described as “…a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool.” According to Schumacher, the stories are loosely based on his own experiences as a policeman.

“Tony Schumacher’s scripts were so unique and honest that I knew very quickly that I wanted to be a part of The Responder and take on the role of Chris. No-one writes like Tony and it has been exhilarating inhabiting the world he has created,” said Martin Freeman.

Tony Schumacher added: “My fantasy casting when I was writing the character of Chris in the Responder was Martin Freeman. Seeing that fantasy become reality is beyond exciting. Martin is one of the great British actors. He brings such a well of talent and humanity that breathes magic into the words I’ve been lucky enough to give him. I can’t wait for audiences to get to see his performance in this role, it’s one I feel very lucky to have had a front row seat for.”

This is Schumacher’s first original series for television, and it is set over five 60-minute episodes. The cast includes Adelayo Adedayo as Chris’s new rookie partner, Rachel, as well as Ian Hart, MyAnna Buring, Kerrie Hayes, Warren Brown, David Bradley and Rita Tushingham.

Tony Schumacher has received praise for his World War II crime novel The Darkest Hour, released in 2015.


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