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First look at North West dramas The Responder and The Listeners

The BBC has released imagery from two new dramas which have been shot in the North West.

The Responder series 2 sees the return of Martin Freeman for Tony Schumacher’s Liverpool-based series.

Made by Fremantle’s Dancing Ledge Productions (The Salisbury Poisonings, Crossfire, Domino Day), it will see cast, including Adelayo Adedayo (Unsaid Stories; Timewasters), MyAnna Buring (The Salisbury Poisonings; The Witcher), Warren Brown (Ten Pound Poms; Luther) and Josh Finan (Baby Reindeer; The Gentlemen) reprise their roles.

They’ll be joined by Adam Nagaitis (The Terror; Chernobyl), Bernard Hill (Wolf Hall; Lord of the Rings, Titanic) and Ian Puleston-Davies (Tin Star; Pennyworth).

The first series attracted 9.6m viewers, making it one of the year’s biggest new dramas. It’s since been sold in over 195 territories.

The Responder (5×60’) is directed by Jeanette Nordahl, Mounia Akl, and Charlotte Regan. It is produced by Barrington Robinson with Laurence Bowen, Chris Carey and Toby Bruce serving as executive producers for Dancing Ledge Productions. 

Rebecca Ferguson is the executive producer for the BBC. 

Filming took place in 2023 in and around Liverpool with support from the Liverpool Film Office. 

The Listeners

Over in Greater Manchester, another Freemantle label, Element Pictures is behind The Listeners. 

Shot across Greater Manchester, including Space Studios, the drama is led by Rebecca Hall (Christine, The Town, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire). 

It’s based on the novel by Jordan Tannahill, who has also written the adaptation and is directed by Janicza Bravo (Zola, Poker Face, Mrs America).

The series centres around Claire (Hall), a popular English teacher, who begins to hear a low humming sound that no one else around her can hear.

The seemingly innocuous noise gradually upsets the balance of her life, increasing tension between herself and her husband, Paul, and daughter, Ashley. 

But despite multiple doctors, no obvious source or medical cause can be found. When she discovers that a student of hers, Kyle (Ollie West – Hamnet), can also hear the sound, the two strike up an unlikely and intimate friendship. Finding themselves increasingly isolated from their families, friends and colleagues, they fall in with a disparate group of neighbours, led by a charismatic couple, Jo and Omar, who also claim they can hear The Hum – and who believe it could be a gift, heard only by a “chosen few.”

Also starring are Prasanna Puwanarajah (The Crown, Ten Percent, Patrick Melrose), Amr Waked (Ramy), Gayle Rankin (Men, Perry Mason, The Greatest Showman), Mia Tharia (Phoenix Rise), Franc Ashman (The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself, Inside Man), Samuel Edward Cook (Peaky Blinders, The Gallows Pole), Karen Henthorn (Coronation Street, The Rising), Lucy Sheen (Ping Pong) and Ian Mercer (Doctors, All Creatures Great And Small).

The series is produced by BAFTA-nominated Ed King (His House, Suspect, Howl)

Both will air on the BBC later in the year.

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