Martin Freeman stars as a police response officer in Liverpool struggling to keep a grip on his mental health and marriage in new BBC series The Responder
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BBC viewers tuning into the first episode of new drama The Responder on Monday evening were left torn over Martin Freeman’s Scouse accent.
Martin, 50, stars as a police response officer struggling to keep a grip on his mental health and marriage who comes to the aid of a young heroin addict whom his friend intends to harm.
His character Chris Carson is unaware that his colleagues are watching him, convinced that he is corrupt.
While intervening in a domestic dispute between his neighbours, the pressure he is under proves too much, causing him to lash out.
The screenplay for The Responder was written by a real former police officer who was inspired to share his experiences after suffering from a nervous breakdown due to the stress of the job.
Press Association Images)
Tony Schumacher patrolled the streets of Liverpool as a first responder, witnessing the results of horror crimes, people pushed to their limits and communities destroyed.
Therefore, Martin was tasked with playing the role using a Liverpudlian accent – but some viewers weren’t overly impressed with it.
“Not liking the accent far too strong and breaking in places, just weird…#TheResponder,” one person posted.
BBC/Dancing Ledge/Rekha Garton)
Another said: “Martin Freeman in a Scouse accent sound’s weird lol. Close your eyes and all you can picture is Stephen Graham doing the role! #theresponder.”
Someone else admitted: “Cannot cope with the accent. Cannot watch it. #TheResponder.”
However, other viewers thought that Martin was doing a great job and praised him on social media.
“Martin freemans scouse accent is better than mine in #theresponder and I’m a bloody scouser,” someone posted.
Press Association Images)
Another said: “Martin Freeman’s Scouse accent in this is absolutely spot on #TheResponder.”
A third person added: “Just putting it out there, Martin Freeman has one of the best scouse accents I’ve ever heard a non scouser have #TheResponder.”
It comes after Martin confessed he spoke to himself in a Liverpudlian accent for a year and a half in preparation for The Responder.
Having filmed the five-part series on the streets of Liverpool, The Hobbit star revealed he ‘followed his ear’, having spent a lot of time speaking to residents of the city.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Martin told Metro: “I walked around for a year and a half, occasionally just talking to myself in Scouse. Even though you’re not always the best judge of your own thing, I do trust my ear.
“If I say something, I know when it sounds off. I got very, very exact about that stuff. You have to be, because if I don’t do it well, it’s a terrible accent to get wrong.
“There are some accents where you don’t want to be in that city among the inhabitants of that city making a balls up of it!” he added.
All five episodes of The Responder are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.
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