BBC Two has ordered The Responder, a six episode drama series that explores the extremes of modern day policing. Martin Freeman (Fargo, Sherlock) is attached to star in the lead role.
The Responder follows Chris (Martin Freeman), an urgent response officer tackling a series of six night shifts on the beat in Liverpool. Whilst trying to save his marriage and keep his head above water as a police officer, Chris is forced to take on a new rookie partner Rachel.
The antagonism between them immediately threatens to make their new partnership unworkable and both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless night time world, will depend on them either helping or destroying each other. Each of the six episode will be self contained.
Former police officer Tony Schumacher created the series, which was commissioned by the BBC’s Controller of Drama Piers Wenger and BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland. Dancing Ledge Productions are producing. The executive producers are Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey for Dancing Ledge Productions and Mona Qureshi for BBC Two. Filming is set to take place in Liverpool. Fremantle will handle global sales for the series.
“If you had told me six years ago that I would be working with the BBC, a company of the calibre of Dancing Ledge, and an actor with the talent of Martin Freeman, I would have thrown you out of my taxi for being drunk”, Tony Schumacher said in a statement. “And yet here I am, surrounded and supported by all these great people, and able to launch this story on one of the greatest TV channels in the world. It turns out that dreams can come true after all.”
While Laurence Bowen, CEO of Dancing Ledge Productions, added: “Tony is one of the most talented new writers we’ve ever worked with. His ability to distill trauma, empathy, poetry and humour into every character he creates is extraordinary. And then the fact he’s worked as a policeman for fifteen years so can harness all that personal experience too brings a real truth and depth to his voice. Writers like him are the reason drama producers want to produce.”