McDonald & Dodds is the latest cop series for ITV with another mismatched pairing, this time with London hotshot DCI Lauren McDonald (Tala Gouveia) arriving to put a rocket over the comparatively sleepy policing procedures of Bath as she’s paired with DS Dodds (Jason Watkins).
Like the mysteries of old, a shot rings out in the dark, and it’s a homeless man, albeit mistaken for Maxton Crockett (Robert Lindsay), a man who made his fortune from being an inventor, and with three daughters in his brood, he has told them that only one of them will get his cash, in a bid to force them all to, similarly, make something of himself.
So, out of those three, is the killer one, all or none of those?
There’s a theft of an expensive statue, plus Max has a high standing in society, and the top cops want to get out of his hair as soon as possible. As for Dodds, he hasn’t been out in the field for 11 years and is rather rusty, leaving younger McDonald rather frustrated. All that said, whoever is the culprit, Jason Watkins, himself, has a look that can kill…
The new ‘cold fish’ DCI has been drafted in by smug Chief Superintendent John Houseman (James Murray), and she states she’s in Bath for “two years, max, so don’t get attached to me“, even though she rubs everyone’s backs up the wrong way, and they’d quite like to be rid of her ASAP. Will the ratings state that she’s her just for the initial, planned two-parters or for the next ten years?
Overall, this first episode of McDonald & Dodds is amusing at times and well-acted, it’s always good to see Robert Lindsay back on the box, but while there’s typical cop tropes of bending the rules to advance the plot, it passes a couple of hours without complaint, but as TV Sunday evening cop dramas go, it does feel a bit ‘put together by numbers’, and I don’t think I need to see a second episode.
However, on a plus side about that last bit, it will appeal to its undemanding target audience with no alarms and no surprises, and it’s the kind of thing that’ll be repeated endlessly on ITV3 in due course, and I expect it’ll do well as a result.
McDonald & Dodds concludes with its second story on Sunday March 8th at 8pm. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
After broadcast, each episode will be on the ITV Hub.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Series Directors: Laura Scrivano, Richard Senior
Writer/Creator: Robert Murphy
Producer: Amy Thurgood
Music: Blair Mowat
DCI Lauren McDonald: Tala Gouveia
DS Dodds: Jason Watkins
DC Laura Simpson: Pearl Chanda
Chief Superintendent John Houseman: James Murray
DC Darren Craig: Jack Riddiford
Maxton Crockett: Robert Lindsay
Mathilde Crockett: Natalie Mendoza
Ellie Crockett: Ellie Kendrick
Jack Valentine: Jack Ashton
Tamara Valentine: Susannah Fielding
Kasha Perry: Cassie Bradley
Seth Murdoch: Sebastian Knapp
Megan Wattal: Rosalie Craig
Pete Wattal: Navin Chowdhry
Megan Wattal: Rosalie Craig
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.