The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Martin Freeman distinguishes The Responder from "clichéd" police dramas

Freeman spoke about the hit BBC series at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival.

The Responder, Martin Freeman
BBC/Dancing Ledge/Rekha Garton
Published: Monday, 23rd May 2022 at 1:59 pm
Subscribe to Radio Times magazine and get 12 issues for £1

Martin Freeman's BBC drama The Responder won praise earlier this year for its complex and unflinching look at modern policing, with saying that while "the concept might seem familiar, the material is approached from an angle that feels fresh, raw and utterly compelling".


Now Freeman has explained what he thinks sets the series apart from other police dramas, saying it's "the lack of cliché" which makes the show uniquely compelling

Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, as part of a Q&A which also featured writer Tony Schumacher and executive producer Laurence Bowen, and was hosted by Jane Garvey, Freeman explained: "It’s not procedural, it’s not a kind of case of the week sort of thing.

"It didn’t feel clichéd to me, it didn’t feel like a lot of guys standing around saying police TV writing sort of stuff."

"This felt more personal, it felt more like the writer, whoever this person was - I didn’t know it was Tony, we hadn’t met yet - I thought, whoever this writer is has got something to say," Freeman continued.

"Not just about wider police culture or wider English society or anything like that, but just about the inner stuff that we all go through, you certainly don’t have to be a copper to relate to a lot of this stuff."

Freeman also said that he "wasn’t at all surprised to find out that Tony had been a copper for a long time" and that he thought "someone else who hadn’t been through that would find it very, very difficult to write this sort of detail".

The Responder is already confirmed to be getting a second season, with Schumacher once again writing the scripts and filming taking place in Liverpool.


The Responder is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.


Sponsored content