Viewers Divided Over Martin Freeman’s ‘Weird’ Scouse Accent In BBC Drama The Responder
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New crime drama The Responder began on BBC tonight (Monday 24 January) and people are divided over Martin Freeman's accent.
To get a glimpse of his take on the accent, you can watch the trailer here:
The five-part show is the first original TV series written by former cop Tony Schumacher.
Set in Liverpool, it follows officer Chris Carson (Martin Freeman) as he faces a series of gruelling night shifts on the beat.
While everyone has been praising the show for its storyline, they were a bit divided on how they felt about Freeman's accent.
Martin Freeman has turned into Stephen Graham #TheResponder- Paul Gibbons (@funkygibbons) January 24, 2022
I have to admit I did have to put the subtitles on. Being a southerner, I do struggle with the Liverpool accent. :joy: #Theresponder- Hannah ' No Time To Die Era. (@BrainyNewSexySH) January 24, 2022
Martin Freeman's Liverpool accent is weirding me out and I don't know why :weary: #theresponder- CC (@cc_catalano) January 24, 2022
I am HIGHLY unsettled at martin freeman's accent in #theresponder already- Emma Hughes (@emmahughes1991) January 24, 2022
I mean I'm not from Liverpool but Martin Freeman's accent seems absolutely spot on?! #TheResponder- Jenna Farmer (@jennafarmeruk) January 24, 2022
As a non-Scouser I think Martin Freeman's accent is quiet good. Feel like his point of reference was just Stephen Graham in his everyday life #theresponder- Jenny Kirkham (@PJ_Kirkham) January 24, 2022
Some people on Twitter felt he delivered a convincing Liverpudlian tongue and even claimed he's better than some locals who have lived there for decades.
A synopsis reads: "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.
"The Responder follows Chris Carson (Martin Freeman), a crisis-stricken, morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer tackling a series of night shifts on the beat in Liverpool.
"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."
While some crime dramas are criticised for being unrealistic, you'd think The Responder offers a very real view of the world of policing, given that it's written by a former policeman.
Indeed, it was the honesty of the script which drew Freeman to the lead role.
He said: "Tony Schumacher's scripts were so unique and honest that I knew very quickly that I wanted to be a part of The Responder and take on the role of Chris.
"No one writes like Tony and it has been exhilarating inhabiting the world he has created."
Landing Freeman was a dream for Schumacher, too.
He recalled: "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."
The idea for the show was built on his own experiences as a responder and shines a light on the pressure and strain of the role.
He explained: "A responder is someone who never gives you good news, somebody who kicks in doors, races around town centres and who fights literal and sometimes metaphorical fires.
"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'.
"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."
The next episode will air tomorrow (Tuesday 25 January) at 9pm, with the remaining three episodes broadcast from Monday to Wednesday next week. You can also catch up on BBC iPlayer.