Martin Freeman experiences awkward scene with another former Office actor in The Responder

Virgin Radio

1 Feb 2022, 15:26

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

New BBC drama The Responder is gripping audiences, with viewers being wowed by Martin Freeman’s performance in the lead role. And fans of the show have also noticed an unlikely reunion between Freeman and another star of much-loved sitcom The Office.

Indeed, the most recent episode of The Responder included a scene which wouldn’t have been entirely out of place in the hit comedy, given that it displayed some fairly hefty unprofessionalism in an office, and large helpings of awkwardness.

In gritty drama The Responder, Freeman plays Chris Carson, a Liverpool-based police officer who, as well as having an incredibly stressful job on the front line of the force, is also dealing with mental health issues and marital problems. It’s a juggling act that takes its toll on the character, and he ends up getting the support of a therapist.

The therapist is played by Elizabeth Berrington, who fans of The Office will remember as being the heavily-pregnant character who sat opposite Freeman’s Tim in the Christmas specials, and who was the cause of some of Tim’s trademark bewildered looks.

Whilst the tone of The Responder is somewhat different to that of Ricky Gervais’ show, this week Berrington’s character, Lynne Renfrew, made an Office-worthy gaffe that left viewers shocked.

In the episode, she started a session with Chris, but because she got her times wrong, she thought she was speaking to someone else, and started making references that left Chris completely baffled. 

“I’m so sorry,” she said when realising her mistake. “But I’m absolutely swamped. There’s so many of you.”

Viewers took to Twitter to comment on the mistake. One person wrote: “The most useless therapist I’ve ever seen.”

Someone else added: “What a fantastic therapist, should be struck off the register.”

Another commenter agreed, saying: “he needs to start again with a new therapist.”

Meanwhile, one Twitter user said: “With all the things going on in #TheResponder, the scene that got to me the most was when Chris' therapist mixed up the files and didn't know who he was. That really devastated me. Just gutwrenching.”

Elsewhere on Twitter, others were just enjoying seeing two characters from The Office back together.

One person wrote: “Really liking Responder, great performances, gripping plot. Nice little nod to the office as well.”

Someone else said: "OMG The counsellor in #TheResponder is Tim's colleague from The Office. 'Do you mind not smoking next to me? I am pregnant'"

Whilst it’s good to see these two cast members from The Office back on screen together in The Responder, just don’t expect Brent or Gareth to rock up! Although, that said, Finchy did appear in Sunday’s episode of new ITV drama Trigger Point.

The Responder is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.


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