The Responder episode one

The Responder episode one: Five questions we have after watching BBC One police drama

Martin Freeman stars as a Liverpool copper struggling with the grim realities of his job

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The Responder is the latest police drama from the BBC, and episode one left us with a whole heap of questions.

The five-part series kicked off this Monday (January 24 2022).

Viewers were introduced to Martin Freeman‘s character Chris Carson, a police response officer pushed to the brink.

And, despite its bleak beginnings, we were left wanting more.

Here’s five burning questions we want answered as the series unfolds.

***Warning: spoilers from episode one of The Responder ahead***

Martin Freeman in The Responder - when is it on?
Martin Freeman as Chris Carson in The Responder (Credit: BBC)

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The Responder episode one – what is Chris’ connection to Carl?

It’s clear from episode one of The Responder that Chris Carson is a man on the edge.

He’s almost definitely depressed, and liable to reach breaking point at any minute.

And therein lies the tension.

We know Chris doesn’t always play by the book – he smokes drugs, even buys them off street dealers, and can be violent towards those he’s supposed to be helping.

But what’s his connection to Carl Sweeney?

The Responder episode one makes it clear that Carl is a nasty piece of work who has a direct hotline to Chris’ phone.

The implication is that Chris works or has worked for the drug dealer.

Bent copper alert.

The pair even exchange pleasantries about each other’s families – until things turn nasty between them.

When Carl asks Chris to bring him young drug addict Casey, it’s a line Chris won’t cross.

What’s the history between Chris and Carl? And will it save Chris’ skin now he’s defied Carl’s orders?

Is Chris in danger?

Carl is a bad man, who has a bunch of heavies working for him who carry hammers.

Chris is essentially, we hope, a good man in a difficult position.

He chose to help Casey escape, rather than deliver her to Carl to be made into mincemeat.

But at what cost?

Carl was last heard telling Chris “you are dead lad”.

Is Carl going to kill Chris?

The Responder episode one
Ian Hart as Carl Sweeney in The Responder episode one (Credit: BBC One)

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The Responder episode one: Is Chris’ wife having an affair?

During episode one of The Responder, viewers see that Chris and Kate’s marriage is strained.

She begs him to seek more counselling, but he struggles to open up.

It’s easy to understand her concerns – he comes home and punches walls, and adds slightly menacing details to the bedtime stories he reads his daughter.

But it soon becomes clear that Kate has an ‘interested other’.

Over the dinner table – well, breakfast for Chris – she receives a text she tries to hide from her husband.

We later meet the texter – a school dad called Ray.

Is Kate having an affair with Ray?

It’s certainly hinted at…

And, if so, could the knowledge of it be the final straw for Chris?

What did Chris’ dad do?

At the end of episode one, we learn that Chris’ dad was “a monster”.

And it seems Chris is battling with his own Jekyll and Hyde persona.

The police officer is struggling to accept what sort of a man he is.

Although, we don’t know for sure if he’s a chip off the old block.

What was his dad capable of?

Was he a violent man, and does Chris have the same traits?

The Responder episode one
Is Chris’ wife Kate having an affair with Ray in The Responder? (Credit: BBC One)

The Responder episode one: What happened in Chris’ past?

In episode one of The Responder on BBC One, police response officer Chris is struggling to keep a grip on his mental health – and his marriage.

Chris is a man struggling with the relentless nature of his job.

He works nights, and deals with drug addicts, stupid neighbourly disputes and horrific deaths every night.

It’s enough to put anyone on edge.

Episode one begins with Chris telling his therapist that he wants to be a good police officer.

He says: “I want to be a good bobby.

“I want to do good things. I want to be normal.”

During the episode, we learn that Chris used to be a well-regarded sergeant.

So what happened to his career, and why is he now working as a first response officer?

The Responder continues with episode two on Tuesday January 25 2022 at 9pm on BBC One.

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