BBC’s The Responder | Exclusive Images

“In some way I feel that I am The Responder to a degree and that this is my story” reflects ex-police officer, Tony Schumacher, the Liverpool screenwriter and creator of BBC’s upcoming police drama from the makers of The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge Productions.

Schumacher imagined his story of Chris Carson portrayed by the BAFTA-winning Martin Freeman, by dipping his “pen into the inkwell of my own darkness but painting Martin’s face on the pages.”

Freeman wanted to play Chris for his “great mixture of vulnerability and strength.” Praising the script as “unfiltered Tony Schumacher.”

When it came to transferring script to screen, Schumacher “would literally punch the air at something Martin would do and have a real rush of emotion.”

Ahead of the show’s premiere, we’ve got some exclusive behind-the-scenes images.

(C) 2021 Dancing Ledge Productions

Summarised by Series Producer, Rebecca Ferguson, The Responder is the essence of the phrase “Big Town, Little City.”

Executive Producer and CEO for Dancing Ledge Productions, Laurence Bowen described The Responder’s Liverpool: “The city is one of our main characters so we’re trying to hold a mirror up to the city in all its shapes and forms.

(C) 2021 Dancing Ledge Productions

“It is often felt that it hasn’t received the recognition or the funding that other parts of Britain have and that’s created a real identity and solidarity within the community.”

The Responder is set and shot across Liverpool City Region with investment and support by the LCR Production Fund through the Liverpool Film Office with funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Single Investment Fund.

Production filmed scenes in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral and St Helens, visiting a wide range of LCR locations, just as Schumacher would have travelled to on duty as a policeman.


(C) 2021 Dancing Ledge Productions

Christopher Moll, Fund Advisor and EP for Liverpool Film Office applauded Schumacher and The Responder: “The energy, confidence and truth in Tony’s portrayal of contemporary Liverpool means that the city itself becomes a compelling character in the drama in a way that recalls the work of Jimmy McGovern, Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell.

(C) 2021 Dancing Ledge Productions

When asked about how Liverpool fits in as a character, Tony said: “I travelled a lot, but to me Liverpool is unique. I love the city, however the stories I’m trying to tell, could be set in Lagos, Kabul, Sydney or New York because they’re universal.”

The Responder will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Monday 24 January at 9pm.