Filming for the second series of the critically acclaimed BBC drama “The Responder” has commenced in Liverpool. The initial series, which garnered multiple awards and received six BAFTA nominations, presented a unique perspective on crime drama. Produced by Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge (known for “The Salisbury Poisonings” and “Crossfire”) for BBC One and iPlayer, the series was penned by former police officer Tony Schumacher. “The Responder” offered a candid portrayal of the emotional highs and lows experienced by frontline British police officers—sometimes darkly humorous, at times profoundly tragic, yet always thought-provoking. The first series premiered on the BBC in January 2022, drawing in an impressive 9.6 million viewers (based on the 28-day figure for episode one), making it one of the standout new dramas of the year. It quickly gained international recognition through Fremantle’s global distribution, solidifying its position as one of Europe’s premier dramas.
Schumacher continues to lead the writing for the second series, with an ensemble cast featuring Martin Freeman, Adelayo Adedayo, MyAnna Buring, Warren Brown, Josh Finan, Emily Fairn, Philip S McGuinness, Faye McKeever, Mark Womack, and Amaka Okafor reprising their roles. Joining them are new additions to the cast, including Adam Nagaitis, Bernard Hill, and Ian Puleston-Davies.
The second series picks up with Chris Carson six months later. Chris is determined to rebuild his life and relationships, striving to steer clear of the corruption that nearly consumed him. He aspires to become a better police officer, a better person, and most importantly, a better father to his daughter Tilly—all while grappling with the enduring trauma of being a night response officer. Chris yearns for a daytime role, even if it means taking significant risks.
Rachel Hargreaves is also in the process of rebuilding her life. Still nursing resentment towards Chris for shattering her dreams of becoming a police officer and pulling her into the mire, she now fights to regain control of her slipping career and life. After collaborating with a series of ‘conventional’ officers, Rachel begins to acknowledge the unexpected similarities she shares with Chris, more than she’d care to admit.
As circumstances reunite them and draw them back into the night, they must find a way to guide each other back into the light. However, a routine stop involving a black Range Rover transforms everything, and the shadows loom once more.
Writer Tony Schumacher says: “Throwing myself back into the world of The Responder has been such a ride over this last year or so. Gathering the characters old and new around me has been a delight, and finally getting to see these people brought to life by so many incredible people fills me with genuine excitement. I just can’t wait for you to see them too!”
Toby Bruce, Executive Producer for Dancing Ledge Productions, says: “It’s such an incredible joy, and privilege, to be back working with Tony’s magic scripts, continuing the stories of characters we’ve all fallen in love with. Martin Freeman as Chris, and Adelayo as Rachel, both have the ability to be emotional lightning rods and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them, and the rest of our amazing cast, back together.”
Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “Series one of The Responder gave us a bold and thrilling new take on the police drama, winning five-star reviews and millions of fans on BBC One and iPlayer in the process. It’s a joy to once again partner with Tony, Martin, Adelayo and such a fantastic team to see what’s next for Chris and Rachel.”
“The Responder” (5×60′) is written by Tony Schumacher and produced by Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge Productions, recently named Production Company of the Year at the 2023 Edinburgh Television Awards, for BBC One and iPlayer. Direction is helmed by Jeanette Nordahl, Mounia Akl, and Charlotte Regan, with Barrington Robinson serving as producer and Laurence Bowen, Chris Carey, and Toby Bruce as executive producers for Dancing Ledge Productions. Rebecca Ferguson is the executive producer for the BBC.
Filming will primarily occur in and around Liverpool City Region, with support from the Liverpool Film Office. Fremantle will oversee global distribution for the series.
The first series of “The Responder” is currently available for streaming on BBC iPlayer.