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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Responder (BBC)

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

It can't be easy being a copper. You get no end of grief when all you're trying to do is a look after the same people that can be giving you ritual abuse every day. And the people you most want to speak to in the course of your job every day are the same ones that are doing their very best avoid you. Every. Single. Day.

And as if we needed reminding of what is involved in the daily grind of upholding the law and the protection of others, here comes Martin Freeman as Chris, bizzy on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Surprisingly brittle, this series fails to pull any punches and Freeman himself is on as good form as I have ever seen him. I wondered if he could pull off an effective Scouse accent, but I shouldn't have worried as he's clearly spent a good deal of time on it. As far removed from The Office as you're likely to find him (unless you're skulking around Hobbiton), Freeman gives a very credible performance of a man that has reached the end of his tether but still has to hold it all together for the benefit of everyone else. Clearly having made some questionable decisions in the past, he appears to be paying for them still every day. Not a situation to find yourself in for a man in his most precarious of positions.

When the BBC put their minds to it, they really are very good at producing this type of thing. Gritty but accessible drama is something they do very easily and the skill is that it is far from easy to achieve, despite how it may look.

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