Martin Freeman's gritty police drama The Responder also functions as a miniature The Office reunion, with another Wernham Hogg staff member making an appearance in the new series.


Fans of the legendary sitcom will remember Elizabeth Berrington from the two-part Christmas special, where she played pregnant office worker Anne, who became the overbearing desk neighbour to funnyman Tim Canterbury (Freeman).

She frequently disturbs his productivity in their scenes together, whether by patronisingly pointing out an incorrect date on one of his letters (above), or by graphically describing the exact sexual position that made her pregnant.

Anne's behaviour provoked more than one of Tim's famous looks to camera, with her challenging presence demonstrating how unfulfilling his life had become following the departure of his office crush, Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis).

Berrington and Freeman are trapped in close-quarters once again for The Responder, although this time the circumstances couldn't be more different.

The new series from writer Tony Schumacher puts Freeman in the shoes of police officer Chris Carson, whose mental health is beginning to buckle under the demands of his job.

He is assigned a therapist (portrayed by Berrington) by the force to help resolve some of his issues, although his conversations with her are yet to bring about any breakthroughs.

With a limited number of sessions left and a strained family life on the brink of falling apart, let's hope she can work some magic with Carson in the four remaining episodes.

Speaking to and other press, Freeman acknowledged the reunion, saying that the show was "lucky" to have such talented actors filling its supporting roles.

“[Elizabeth] was in the two Office Christmas specials; she had sort of taken the place of the annoying person who wasn’t Gareth. She’s lovely. She's great. And yeah, people like Elizabeth in smaller but important roles... we’re lucky with who we got."

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This is the latest in a string of high-profile projects for Berrington, who has recently made appearances in HBO's The Nevers, Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho and ITV period drama Sanditon.

Of course, her former Office colleague has also enjoyed a meteoric rise since getting out of the paper business, leading the cast of The Hobbit trilogy as well as taking major roles in BBC One's Sherlock and Marvel's Black Panther.


The Responder continues tomorrow night at 9pm on BBC One. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.