The Responder, BBC One's new police drama, has been labelled "magnificent" and a "tour de force". It stars Martin Freeman (The Office) as urgent responder Chris Carson and is written by former cop Tony Schumacher, so it's both realistic and gripping. All five episodes are available to watch free on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) in the UK. Not in the UK? Follow this guide on how to watch The Responder online with a VPN (opens in new tab).
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Relentlessly forced into distressing situations by the nature of his work, the 12-hour nights of endless pressure have taken a heavy toll on Chris Carson (Freeman). Disillusioned with the job he's been doing, unhappy in his marriage, and seeking a change, he decides to go beyond the line of duty when he meets Casey, a young heroin addict who's stolen drugs from the wrong person.
But in order to do something good, Chris is going to have to take a walk on the wild side. To make matters worse, he's been paired up with a rookie partner, Rachel Hargreaves (Adelayo Adedayo), who suspects the worst of him. Cue gritty action as Carson takes an unconventional approach to the Liverpool night shift.
All five episodes are available to stream right now on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) (free of charge to those with a TV licence). Make sure you know how to watch The Responder online from anywhere.
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The Responder official trailer
Watch The Responder online for free
In the UK, all five episodes of The Responder are available to stream now on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) free of charge to those with a TV licence.
Simply sign up for a BBC account (opens in new tab) with an email address and a UK postcode (e.g. W1A 1AA). Done? You're good to go!
Of course, BBC iPlayer is ONLY available within the UK.
Outside the UK? Simply use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access BBC iPlayer from overseas. Using a VPN is easy – simply follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Watch The Responder from abroad using a VPN
Even if you have a BBC account, you won't be able to access BBC iPlayer when outside the UK. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. It creates a private connection between your device and the internet. There are lots of VPNs to choose from, but we think ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is one of the very best...
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ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee with its VPN service. You can use it to watch on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV, games console and more. There's 24/7 customer support and three months free when you sign-up
How to use a VPN
Using a VPN is incredibly simple.
1. Install the VPN of your choice. ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is the one we recommend.
2. Open up the VPN app and choose the location of the service you wish to access. For The Responder, you may wish to choose 'UK' for BBC iPlayer.
3. Then head over to BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) on your browser or device and enjoy The Responder live stream free of charge.
If, for whatever reason, you can't get it working, do remember that you have the comfort of a 30-day money back guarantee with ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). You could also try NordVPN (opens in new tab), which also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, and Surfshark (opens in new tab) which offers 24 hour assistance.
Is the The Responder available in the USA?
The Responder will be available on BritBox North America at some point later this year.
Remember: UK nationals who are outside the UK can watch The Responder free of charge on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) right now, using a VPN. Details just above.
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Is the The Responder available in Australia?
The Responder is will be available on SBS in Australia at some point later this year.
Remember: UK nationals who are outside the UK can watch The Responder free of charge on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab) right now using a VPN. Details above.
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Watch The Responder in other territories
Such is the success of the The Responder, the show has now been sold to most major territories around the world (see below).
France – Canal Plus
Italy – Disney Plus
Germany – Magenta TV
Spain – Movistar Plus
Russia – Viasat
Africa – Canal Plus / MNET
Hungary – RTL
Greece – Cosmote
Balkans – Pickbox
Slovakia – Rozhlas A Telvize
The Responder: episode guide & air dates
All times GMT
Episode 1 – first aired 9pm, Monday 24th January 2022 (BBC One/iPlayer)
Police response officer Chris is struggling to keep a grip on his mental health and marriage when he is offered a path to redemption in the form of a young heroin addict.
Episode 2 – first aired 9pm, Tuesday 25th January 2022 (BBC One/iPlayer)
Chris must juggle rookie Rachel while tracking down Casey after Chris threatens his family. Casey puts her trust in a friend to hide her from Carl.
Episode 3 – first aired 9pm, Monday 31st January 2022 (BBC One/iPlayer)
Chris plans to hand the drugs in, until Carl makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Rachel strikes a deal with Mullen, but Chris' behaviour makes her feel conflicted.
Episode 4 – first aired 9pm, Tuesday 1st February 2022 (BBC One/iPlayer)
Chris reaches rock bottom. Rachel begins to suspect Mullen may not be all he appears, and Casey teams up with Marco to find a buyer.
Episode 5 – first aired 9pm, Wednesday 2nd February 2022 (BBC One/iPlayer)
Chris is forced to work for a major drug dealer to return the drugs stolen by Casey. When Rachel needs his help urgently, Chris must decide where his loyalties truly lie.
The Responder production credits
The Responder (5×60 minute episodes) is written by former policeman Tony Schumacher, his first original series for television, and produced by the Fremantle-backed Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
The series is directed by Tim Mielants (The Terror; Legion; Peaky Blinders) and produced by Rebecca Ferguson (The Trial Of Christine Keeler; Cold Feet; Next Of Kin). Laurence Bowen and Chris Carey are executive producers for Dancing Ledge Productions and Mona Qureshi for the BBC.
Dancing Ledge Productions work internationally with Fremantle, which has a minority stake in the company and is handling global distribution for the drama series