BBC One drama The Responder is one of the grittiest dramas to hit British Television since Happy Valley – it tells the tale of a corrupt bobby caught up in a Liverpool drug war.
The series pulled in 4.2m on its opening night on BBC1 – and has already is tipped for a second series.
Written by former copper Tony Schumacher – with scripts praised as being “so unique and honest”.
The Responder is also one of the first working-class dramas to be set in Liverpool since Brookside – that was axed by Channel 4 in 2003.
It’s working-class gritty theme shows why dramas need to be set away from London.
Martin Freeman who plays the lead role said: “I knew very quickly that I wanted to be a part of The Responder and take on the role of Chris.”
Chris is a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool.
The BBC said: “Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, Chris is forced to take on a new rookie partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo).”
“Both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless, night-time world will depend on them either helping or destroying each other.”
The Responder holds a mirror up to the emotional extremes of life on the front line of British policing – sometimes darkly funny, sometimes painfully tragic, always challenging.
Tony Schumacher said: “My fantasy casting when I was writing the character of Chris in the Responder was Martin Freeman.”
“Seeing that fantasy become reality is beyond exciting. Martin is one of the great British actors. He brings such a well of talent and humanity that breathes magic into the words I’ve been lucky enough to give him. I can’t wait for audiences to get to see his performance in this role, it’s one I feel very lucky to have had a front row seat for.”