Martin Freeman unrecognisable as he debuts rugged new look in first trailer for BBC police drama The Responder

MARTIN Freeman has been spotted looking unrecognisable with a rugged new look as he makes his debut in a new BBC police drama.

The Sherlock actor will star in five-part series The Responder, which looks at the "emotional extremes of life on the front line of British policing".

Martin, 50, will take on a more rugged look for his role as response officer Chris, who works night shifts with the police in Liverpool.

The first trailer for the series showcases the actor's Scouse accent, as well as a rugged beard and noticeably shorter hair.

Character Chris can be seen interacting with his family in the first-look scenes, striving to live a "normal" life despite his stressful responder job.

Other snippets from the series see the protagonist overcome with stress as he deals with those in the back of his police car.

Martin is set to act alongside Adelayo Adedayo, who will play his policing partner Rachel – and bring yet more drama into Chris' already tricky life.

The synopsis for the series details: "The Responder follows Chris, 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.

"Both soon discover that survival in this high pressure, relentless, night-time world will depend on them either helping or destroying each other."

The Responder was written by ex-police office Tony Schumacher and produced by the same team behind hit drama The Salisbury Poisonings.

Harry Potter's Ian Hart and David Bradley, The Witcher's MyAnna Buring and Luther's Warren Brown are also set to star in the series.

While fans may also recognise Vera's Kerrie Hayes, Ridley Road's Rita Tushingham and Hellboy's Josh FInan and Emily Fairn.

Speaking about his new role, Martin 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."

The Responder is coming soon to BBC One

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