Martin Freeman

TV’s Greatest On-screen Rivalries

For drama to arise, the hero’s intention must meet an obstacle, and what better obstacle than an arch-rival.

But rivalries come in all forms, from the most petty to the most fierce, and are therefore wellsprings of drama and hilarity that can be found in series of all genres.

Here are some of the greatest to have graced the small screen.

First look at Martin Freeman in new BBC One drama The Responder

Martin Freeman in The Responder (credit: BBC)

Freeman stars as Chris, a crisis stricken and morally compromised urgent response officer working a series of night shifts in Liverpool.

As Chris struggles to keep both his personal and professional life in line, he is forced to take on a new rookie partner, Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo, Timewasters).

After getting off to a rocky start, the pair must learn to work together if they have any hope of surviving in the high-pressure, relentless world of Liverpool’s criminal underbelly.

Exploring a parenting nightmare in Sky comedy Breeders

(credit: Sky)

I opened the door and f****** exploded.” Dreams can be wild – stories that our minds involuntarily create as we sleep. While most of us forget them the next morning, Martin Freeman had one five or six years ago that became the inspiration for a TV series.  

“I knew I had gone through this many times in real life… I was going up the stairs to go and shout at my children,” he recalled. “With each step, I was talking myself down: ‘You know you’re better than this, and they won’t respond positively.’  

How a parenting nightmare inspired Sky One’s Breeders

The dream occurred five or six years ago. “I knew I’d gone through this many times in real life. I was going up the stairs to shout at my children,” he recalls.     

“With each step I was talking myself down ‘You know you’re better than this and they won’t respond positively.’  

“I thought I’d got the better of my temper before I opened the children’s bedroom door, but I opened the door and exploded.”  

BBC announces remake of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads

Left to right: Jodie Comer, Monica Dolan, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Sarah Lancashire, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati, Maxine Peake, Rochenda Sandall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Imelda Staunton and Harriet Walter (Credit: BBC)

Ten of the original monologues will be remade and two new ones, written by Bennett last year, will also be showcased.

Produced by Nicholas Hytner’s London Theatre Company and Kevin Loader, filming will take place at the BBC Elstree Studios using current sets.

The monologues tell stories that are important and timely, all while allowing the actors to perform despite the coronavirus lockdown.

Jeff Pope discusses writing drama and looks back at his life in TV

Caroline Frost and Jeff Pope (Credit: Phil Lewis/Media24)

Speaking to the RTS he said: “It meant that people came to me with their ideas. Steve Coogan came to me with Philomena (Coogan and Pope’s screenplay was nominated for an Oscar and won best screenplay at the Venice Film Festival).

“Success gets you meetings, but it still doesn’t get something past the finishing line if it’s not good enough…It also means you can be more ambitious and more expansive.”