Interview With Adelayo Adedayo, Who Plays Rachel Hargreaves In 'The Responder'

Martin Freeman and the cast and creatives discuss new characters, complex relationships, and Scouse accents in series two


Filmed in and around Liverpool, the new series joins the unconventional urgent response officer six months on from series one



30 April 2024 – The Responder is a distinctive new take on crime drama from the makers of The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge Productions. Written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher, his first original series for television, 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 on the beat in Liverpool. Whilst trying to keep his head above water both personally and professionally, his partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo) is also looking for meaning in the job but can’t seem to find it anymore. Both know that if they are to survive, they will need each other more than ever.

Series two joins Chris Carson six months on from series one. Chris is attempting to rebuild his life, and his relationships, desperate to avoid the corruption that nearly sucked him under. He is trying to be a better police officer, a better man, and most importantly, a better father to his daughter Tilly. All whilst still dealing with the relentless trauma of being a night response officer. Chris wants a day job. Chris needs a day job. But is he prepared to risk everything to get one? Rachel Hargreaves is putting her life back together too. She’s still fuming at the way Chris dragged her down with him into the dirt in series one, and now she’s desperately trying to take control of a life and a career that sometimes feels like it’s slipping away. But after working with a succession of ‘normal’ coppers, Rachel is starting to realise she’s got more in common with Chris than she’d ever want to admit. As they are sucked back together, and into the night, they must pull each other back into the light. But then a routine stop on a black Range Rover changes everything, and suddenly the darkness beckons once again.

The Responder (5x60’) is written by Tony Schumacher and produced by Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge Productions, for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

It is directed by Jeanette Nordahl, Mounia Akl, and Charlotte Regan and produced by Barrington Robinson with multi BAFTA award-winning and Emmy-nominated executive producers Laurence Bowen, Chris Carey and Toby Bruce for Dancing Ledge Productions. Rebecca Ferguson is the executive producer for the BBC.

Fremantle is handling global distribution for the series. Filming took place in and around Liverpool City Region with support from the Liverpool Film Office.

Series one of The Responder is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Interview with Adelayo Adedayo (Rachel Hargreaves)

Where do we find Rachel in series two?

We left her very much becoming disillusioned with her job and what it is that police officers do and are expected to do. Her principles were pushed to the side I would say. She had made a huge decision to protect herself and step away from somebody who was harming her. But having taken that step, she has no idea what to do next so she’s in a sort of freefall where she's made certain choices and is wondering where to go from there.

With what happened to Rachel, do you think she has PTSD?

There is 100% shock there and I think there is an element of PTSD. Just because she's put distance and time between herself and Steve, it doesn’t mean she has moved on. Even though she thinks she has, she hasn't moved on emotionally, she hasn't moved on mentally, and it's still very much in her body. We see that a lot of her reactions to situations are big when they don't necessarily need to be because things do feel bigger to her. But at the same time, when things feel very mundane and when they feel very ordinary, that is also a trigger for her. She needs to be in a space where there's something for her to hold onto and grasp, and that's usually something dangerous for her.

How do you think audiences will connect with Rachel in this series?

In series one, she was very much by the book. It is admirable but because we, as humans, are flawed it's hard to watch and connect when someone is constantly appearing to do the right thing. This series she's absolutely not doing that. She is completely disillusioned. It's sad because she's lost her belief in that kind of ideal. I hope people are going to connect to that and understand her a little bit more.

How do Rachel and Chris connect this series?

I think they connect a lot more in this series. The wool has come down from Rachel's eyes. I think she put Chris on a pedestal a little bit given how experienced an officer he was, but now she knows him, the expectation of perfection has gone, and there's a comfort she feels in knowing that you're not alone in getting things wrong. That brings a level of safety to Rachel that she maybe hasn't experienced from anyone else at work. It’s a big deal for her.

What research did you do for the role this series?

Mounia and I went to the Liverpool domestic abuse service and spoke to some of the women who use, and run, the service which was incredibly generous of them. They were so open and honest, and generous to share as many experiences as they could because there's so many nuances to abuse in all its forms. It was incredibly helpful, especially in toeing the line between Rachel and Lorna's relationship, because they're two women who have been through very similar circumstances, but they're on opposite ends of the spectrum. By the time we leave Lorna, she has just done what Rachel did in series one, which is say, no, I'm done. Leave me alone. But Rachel is six months past that without any help and is in a terrible place. You can see where Rachel might have been if she had got help right at that point, how much she would have saved herself if she’d had the opportunity to have known where to go or not been afraid to tell people about what was happening or afraid to report Steve. Not been afraid of people thinking that she's not strong enough and not brave enough. It breaks my heart.

What was it like working with Izuka Hoyle who plays Lorna?

Izuka plays Lorna - Steve's new girlfriend - who Rachel, because she hasn't done any healing and hasn't really told anybody about what she's been through, becomes slightly obsessed with. She becomes obsessed with the idea that Steve must be doing to Lorna what he was doing to Rachel. All of Rachel's journey with Steve is incredibly important to me, and the scenes with Lorna were equally as important to me and I'm really grateful to Izuka and Mounia, because we really took our time and tried to make Rachel and Lorna as seen and heard as possible in their different journeys with Steve. Izuka is a dream to work with, she has such a great energy and is brilliant at what she does.

Source BBC One

April 30, 2024 3:00am ET by Newsdesk  


  Shortlink to this content:


Latest Press Releases

We may earn a commission from products purchased via links featured on our pages