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The Responder: Cast and Creatives on Series 2

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The Responder Series 2

In the eagerly anticipated second series of The Responder, premiering 5 May on BBC One, we are immersed once more in the complex world of Chris Carson (Martin Freeman), a crisis-ridden urgent response officer, and his former mentee, Rachel Hargreaves (Adelayo Adedayo). Navigating their personal and professional struggles, they are drawn back into the high-stakes realm of night response policing in Liverpool.

Series two picks up six months after the gripping events of series one, exploring the enduring impact of trauma on Chris and Rachel’s lives. Chris, haunted by his past and struggling to repair his relationships, yearns for a day job to escape the relentless pressure of night shifts. “Chris wants a day job. Chris needs a day job,” reveals Tony Schumacher, the creator, writer, and executive producer. “But is he prepared to risk everything to get one?”

Meanwhile, Rachel, grappling with the aftermath of abuse inflicted by her ex-partner, Steve, finds herself in a downward spiral, questioning her principles and her ability to continue in her profession. “She’s damaged and she’s trying to put the parts of her life back together but is using the wrong tools to do it,” Schumacher explains. “She won’t admit it, but she’s been through so much trauma… Rachel characterises people who go through terrible things, and how they can carry the weight of that for the rest of their lives.”

The series introduces several intriguing new characters, adding depth and complexity to the narrative. Chris’s father, Tom, who is being played by the legendary Bernard Hill, makes an appearance, shedding light on Chris’s troubled past. “Introducing Chris’ dad was important because he’s been there in every breath Chris takes, in every thought he has,” Schumacher shares. “In series one, there’s a scene between Chris and his mum… he alludes to an incident of domestic violence… Now we have Bernard Hill playing the character that has invisibly played a large part in the show.”

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Another notable addition is Adam Nagaitis as Franny, a drug dealer and Chris’s nemesis. “Franny is Chris’ mirror in many ways,” Schumacher reveals. “He’s also the one with the poison apple, drawing him back into a world he wants so desperately to leave.” Freeman, impressed by Nagaitis’ performance in ‘The Terror’, advocated for his casting. “I asked if we could see Adam Nagaitis… He has something that was scary and very, very beguiling… because he has that balance of danger and charm, I thought he would be right for Franny.”

The Responder stands out among police dramas due to its unique perspective and authentic storytelling. Creator Tony Schumacher, a former police officer himself, draws on his experiences to craft a narrative that delves into the emotional extremes faced by those on the front lines. “It’s about people under pressure from organisations that are under pressure,” he explains. “I wanted to show that good people can do bad things to survive, and bad people sometimes do good things.” This honest portrayal, interwoven with dark humor, has garnered acclaim both domestically and internationally. “Some people had doubts that people would buy into a show from Liverpool,” Schumacher reflects, “but I had confidence that if we made a great show, it wouldn’t matter where it was set… We had a screening in Rome and at the end… there were two people waiting for me… They were in the Italian police, and they told me that [the show] had profoundly affected them.”

The cast of The Responder shares their excitement and insights about the new series. Adelayo Adedayo (Rachel Hargreaves) delves into Rachel’s state of mind: “She’s in a sort of freefall… Her principles were pushed to the side… She hasn’t moved on emotionally, she hasn’t moved on mentally.” Myanna Buring (Kate Carson) reflects on the appeal of the show: “The audience fell in love with the show because it had this unique voice… You could like [the characters], love them and hate them in equal measure.” Warren Brown (Ray Mullen) shares his thoughts on the dynamic between Chris and Mullen: “You see these two men with a shared history and a relationship that has broken down over time… He’s lost Kate. He knows that Ray is with Kate.”

As series two unfolds, expect intense drama and humor, and a deeper exploration of its beloved characters. Freeman, reflecting on the audience’s reaction, shares, “There are a few times in your life, if you’re lucky, when people connect with something you’ve made… I really believed in the show and felt it was a very good piece of work.” With its compelling characters, intricate relationships, and universal themes, The Responder promises an unforgettable viewing experience.

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The Responder Series 2 Premieres on BBC One at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, 2 May 2024.


Mia Silva is a talented British entertainment reporter whose passion for storytelling and diverse background (half Mexican, half English) adds a unique perspective to her coverage. With a keen eye for detail, she brings the latest features, news and interviews to our avid readers.

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