Martin Freeman Is 'The Responder': Watch the Exclusive Trailer for the Intense BritBox Series

Freeman plays a cop in the all-new gritty crime drama coming to BritBox.

Prepare to see Martin Freeman like you never have before. The English actor plays a disheartened cop in the gritty BritBox drama, The Responder, and only ET has the exclusive first look at the intense trailer for the series inspired by real-life events. 

Created by Tony Schumacher, whose past serves as the basis for the series, The Responder sees Martin starring as Chris Carson, a Liverpool cop, whose night after night facing crime, violence and addiction on the streets has begun to fuel his own personal demons. 

The series plays out over one week as Chris gets paired with a rookie partner, Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo), and becomes bent on saving the life of a young addict trapped in a deadly dilemma. The more he loses his way, the more destabilized his work, marriage and mental health become. 


Ahead of The Responder’s debut in May, Schumacher opened up to ET about drawing inspiration from his own past and what Freeman brings to the series. 

ET: What inspired you to turn your own experiences into a series like this? 
Tony Schumacher: In some way I feel that I am “the responder” to a degree and that this is my story. I was a police responder who was out in the rain at all hours, chasing people up and down alleyways and running over rats. I quit the police because I was cracking up and I had this overwhelming urge to write about it. I was really struggling mentally and I needed to get away and find myself. 
Coming from a place of knowing that [police] world completely, I really wanted it to be as real as it could possibly be. I wanted to show audiences that people are three-dimensional and it’s not enough to say they are good or bad. It’s not all about blue flashing lights and running down alleyways. It’s about real people, going through real issues and just trying to get by in the reality they are living in. 
What makes Martin Freeman the perfect person to play Chris Carson? 

What nobody knew at the time was I had written the script with Martin in mind. I knew there was something in him that I wanted to bring to the forefront, and so I wrote The Responder by dipping my pen into the inkwell of my own darkness but painting Martin’s face on the pages when I was writing. 
Based on the trailer, this looks like a Martin we’ve never seen before onscreen. What can you tease about his performance? 
I remember during production I’d be watching the dailies and have a real rush of emotion. Seeing Martin playing Chris -- driving round the streets that I once drove around, sitting in a police car I had once driven with the street lamps strobing on the glass -- was incredible to watch. Martin inhabiting the character that I've created, talking like him and moving like him was just incredible and very emotional. 

The Responder premieres May 24 on BritBox