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The Responder: The True Story Behind BBC Drama Series

Gregory Robinson

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The Responder: The True Story Behind BBC Drama Series

Featured Image Credit: BBC

BBC One viewers are totally obsessed with the new drama The Responder following its debut on Monday night and naturally they want to know everything about Martin Freeman’s character Chris Carson.

Set on the streets of Liverpool, urgent response officer Carson takes on the night shift and witnesses horrific crimes in local communities.

But the series, which has received acclaim from viewers and critics alike, is actually based on the real life experiences of screenwriter, series creator and author Tony Schumacher. 

Tony Schumacher created The Responder (Credit: BBC)
Tony Schumacher created The Responder (Credit: BBC)

Before making the transition to primetime television, Schumacher worked for 11 years on the streets of Liverpool as a first responder. His experience was so distressing he had a nervous breakdown which led to him becoming homeless. 

"When I first joined the police, I remember on my second or third night, an old bobby called Colin said to me ‘you will never knock on someone’s door and tell them they’ve won the lottery,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

Martin Freeman's character is based on Tony's experiences as a patrol officer (Credit: BBC)
Martin Freeman's character is based on Tony's experiences as a patrol officer (Credit: BBC)

"You are only ever going to deliver bad news in this job; so it’s a big responsibility to take on but conversely, it’s incredibly exciting.

"Occasionally, you do things that change people's lives be it saving someone’s life or locking up a criminal – you and your colleagues are working all night, every night and living constantly on your wits."

Tony left the role in 2006 due to the pressure from the job. He eventually went on to publish his first novel titled The Darkest Hour after a period of homelessness. This was followed by his self-published book Rear View Mirror: Stories from the Streets and the Night, a retelling of his experiences as an officer and taxi driver in Liverpool. 

The Responder is set in Liverpool (Credit: BBC)
The Responder is set in Liverpool (Credit: BBC)

The Responder also stars Adelayo Adedayo, MyAnna Burin, Ian Hart, Warren Brown, and Josh Finan - to name a few.

Viewers are already loving the series, especially Freeman's Liverpudlian accent.

The Responder continues Mondays and Tuesdays on BBC One at 9pm. You can binge all five episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Topics: TV And Film, BBC

Gregory Robinson
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