Martin Freeman has revealed he didn't originally anticipate his BBC One drama The Responder becoming a continuing series.


It was announced back in March that the acclaimed police drama would return for more episodes, but Freeman told that he originally approached the five-part first season as "a standalone thing".

"I didn't [see it as a returning series], not necessarily," he said. "But as we were doing it, I could see more of it.

"I first read it as a standalone thing, with just five episodes, but I enjoying the doing of it very much and obviously it's been well-received.

"If anything, I'm too much of a fan of things being finite, you know? If it was up to me, we probably wouldn't finish a single episode of anything – just three scenes and then stop before it goes bad!"

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Written by Tony Schumacher, The Responder followed Chris Carson (Freeman), an urgent response officer operating in Liverpool who ends up caught in a criminal web as he grapples with mental health struggles.

The series was acclaimed by critics, with branding it "a triumph" and "a sophisticated look at modern police work" – Freeman, though, insists he's wary of being "led by reaction".

"Don’t be flattered into doing another one where you really shouldn't do it," he said. "In my experience on a couple of shows, people think they want another one and then you give them another one and they go, ‘Oh, it was much better [before], you should have just stopped.'

"You can be damned if you do, damned if you don't – but I think as long as you've got something to say, then doing another one of anything is fine."

Martin Freeman as Chris in The Responder
Martin Freeman as Chris in The Responder BBC/Dancing Ledge/Rekha Garton

Freeman will next be seen on-screen in the new season of Breeders, the Sky comedy-drama that he co-created with The Thick of It's Chris Addison and Simon Blackwell. The series casts Freeman and Daisy Haggard as Paul and Ally, who struggle with the harsh realities of parenthood as they raise two children.

Breeders returns on 13th July 2022, airing on Sky Comedy from 9pm, with all three seasons also available to watch via Sky TV and NOW – sign up for Sky TV here.

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