Martin Freeman takes on what is perhaps his most intense role yet in new drama The Responder, which kicked off last week on BBC One to great critical acclaim. Fair enough, considering we've called it one of the finest dramas to come out of the BBC in recent memory (read more about this in our The Responder review).


Freeman plays Chris Carson – an urgent response police officer on the beat in Liverpool whose mental health begins to buckle under the demands of the job – in the five-part series, which is written by real-life former bobby Tony Schumacher.

Alongside Freeman, Adelayo Adedayo co-stars as rookie Rachel Hargreaves, who is reluctantly paired up with Carson on his arduous night shifts, while Ian Hart, David Bradley and The Witcher's MyAnna Buring also feature.

The Responder also functions as a miniature The Office reunion, with Elizabeth Berrington in close-quarters with Freeman again in The Responder as Carson's therapist.

Read on for your full guide to The Responder cast on BBC One and iPlayer.

The Responder full cast list: Who stars alongside Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman plays Chris Carson

Martin Freeman stars in The Responder

Who is Chris Carson? Chris is a policeman stationed in Liverpool, currently working nights as a responder to urgent calls. The job is tough and has taken a serious toll on his mental health, with a programme of free therapy sessions doing little to alleviate the strain. As his state continues to darken, Chris becomes distant from his loving wife and young daughter, while he also exhibits increasingly extreme outbursts towards nuisance callers. In the first episode, he saw an opportunity for redemption – but it could put him in the sights of the some very dangerous people.

What else has Martin Freeman been in? After breaking out in the cast of acclaimed Ricky Gervais sitcom The Office (UK), Freeman went on to bag film roles in Love Actually, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Nativity. However, it was the BBC One crime drama Sherlock that really catapulted him to stardom, leading to blockbuster gigs including Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther and The Hobbit films. He also picked up an Emmy nod for his performance in the first season of Fargo.

Elizabeth Berrington plays Therapist

Elizabeth Berrington in The Responder

Who is the therapist? She is a therapist employed by Merseyside Police to offer counselling to officers for whom the job has taken a psychological toll.

What else has Elizabeth Berrington been in? Berrington previously shared the screen with Martin Freeman in two-part Christmas special of The Office (UK). Since then, her career has included roles in Waterloo Road, Stella, Good Omens and Sanditon. Last year, she also appeared in Last Night in Soho, as well as taking a minor role in awards contender Spencer, which is inspired by the late Princess Diana.

Adelayo Adedayo plays Rachel Hargreaves

Adelayo Adedayo in The Responder

Who is Rachel Hargreaves? Rachel is just a few months into her job as a police officer, but is already feeling the strain of long hours and intimidating encounters. Still, she remains more idealistic than the world-weary Chris, believing that procedure must be followed regardless of how complex the circumstances. When she has to go on patrol with Chris, her views may be challenged by the realities of police work.

What else has Adelayo Adedayo been in? Adedayo played the lead role in BBC Three sitcom Some Girls, following it up with another comedy gig on ITV2's Timewasters. She also had a supporting role in the first season of crime thriller The Capture.

Emily Fairn plays Casey

Emily Fairns in The Responder

Who is Casey? Casey is a desperate young addict sleeping rough in Liverpool city centre. She hopes to get her hands on some money after stealing an enormous stash of cocaine, but this lands her in hot water with some very dangerous people. With no one to turn to, Chris is the only one who stands between Casey and a grisly fate – and she doesn't seem that focused on helping herself.

What else has Emily Fairn been in? Fairn is a screen newcomer.

Josh Finan plays Marco

Josh Finau in The Responder
BBC/Dancing Ledge/Rekha Garton

Who is Marco? Marco is a local youth known to Chris for being a petty criminal, but occasionally relied on for information – such as Casey's whereabouts.

What else has Josh Finan been in? Finan has acted on-stage for The Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as taking minor roles in 2019's Hellboy reboot and factual drama The Current War.

Ian Hart plays Carl

Ian Hart in The Responder

Who is Carl? Carl is a small-time drug dealer operating across Liverpool, who is now looking to step up to the big leagues. He has known Chris since school, but their relationship has taken a turn for the worse in recent times.

What else has Ian Hart been in? On the small screen, Hart recently wrapped up a five-year stint playing kind-hearted Father Beocca on Netflix's The Last Kingdom, while he also played a key role in BBC One's recent Noughts + Crosses adaptation. His film roles include the deceptive Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in acclaimed 2004 drama Finding Neverland.

MyAnna Buring plays Kate Carson

MyAnna Buring in The Responder

Who is Kate Carson? Kate is Chris' wife, with whom he has one young daughter. She is well aware of his psychological issues and has been making great efforts to reach out to him, but time and again he has pushed her away. With their marriage on the verge of collapsing, it's imperative that he pull himself back from the brink soon.

What else has MyAnna Buring been in? Fantasy addicts will recognise Buring as Tissaia de Vries in Netflix's hit series The Witcher, which recently dropped its long-delayed second season. Previously, she had taken major roles in Downton Abbey, Ripper Street and The Salisbury Poisonings. On the big screen, Buring played Tanya in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts One and Two, while she also starred as Sam in cult favourite horror flick The Descent.

Warren Brown plays Ray Mullen

Warren Brown in The Responder

Who is Ray Mullen? Mullen is an old and bitter adversary of Chris, who believes he is corrupt and wants to see him booted out of the force.

What else has Warren Brown been in? Brown is probably best known for his role in hit BBC One drama Luther, where he played DS Justin Ripley across the first three seasons. He is also known for his roles on Sky's action-packed Strike Back and Doctor Who, where he guest starred in series 12 episode Praxeus.

Faye McKeever plays Jodie

Faye McKeever
Faye McKeever attends the National Television Awards 2018 at The O2 Arena Mike Marsland/WireImage

Who is Jodie? Jodie is the partner of Carl, with whom he has one daughter.

What else has Faye McKeever been in? McKeever is best known for her role in Sky's supermarket comedy Trollied, where she played customer service assistant Linda across all seven series. She has also impressed in more dramatic roles in the past, having appeared in ITV dramas Little Boy Blue and Des.

Kerrie Hayes plays Ellie

Kerrie Hayes in The Responder

Who is Ellie? Ellie is Ray's wife and a good friend to Kate, providing crucial support to her during this rough patch in her marriage.

What else has Kerrie Hayes been in? Hayes has starred in a number of high-profile television dramas, including Lilies, Little Boy Blue, Three Girls, and Julian Fellowes' The English Game.

David Bradley plays Davey

David Bradley in The Responder

Who is Davey? Davey is a homeless man living in Liverpool City Centre, who Chris has become acquainted with over many nights on the late shift.

What else has David Bradley been in? Another veteran actor, Bradley has credits dating back to 1971. However, his career has reached new heights since the turn of the millennium, as he has landed major roles in hot properties including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and The Strain. Most recently, he collaborated with Ricky Gervais on three seasons of his Netflix comedy After Life.

Rita Tushingham plays June Carson

Rita Tushingham in The Responder

Who is June Carson? June is Chris' mother, who is terminally ill and currently living in an expensive care home.

What else has Rita Tushingham been in? Tushingham has been acting since the 1960s, with legendary epic Doctor Zhivago among her earliest credits. In recent years, she has appeared in BBC Three's In The Flesh, ITV's Vera, and Agatha Christie adaptation The Pale Horse. Last year, she joined the cast of period drama Ridley Road and Edgar Wright's psychological horror flick Last Night in Soho.

The Responder continues tonight on BBC One. All five episodes are available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.


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