Guest stars revealed as filming begins on four new McDonald & Dodds murder mysteries

Mismatched detectives played by Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins are joined by Outnumbered's Claire Skinner and a host of guest stars including Alan Davies and Catherine Tyldesley.

By Rhys Lewis Published: 12 October 2021 - 4.46pm
ITV Filming McDonald & Dodds season 3

Good news for fans of Bath detectives McDonald & Dodds who are wondering when the mismatched pair will be back on our screens - filming has just begun on a third series, consisting of four more standalone films.

Crime drama's odd couple - played by Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins - will be solving four new murder mysteries on ITV and BritBox next year, and they'll have a brand new boss to keep them on their toes. Claire Skinner is joining the cast as Chief Superintendent Ormond, an officer the Outnumbered star describes as "intimidating".

"I'm a huge fan of McDonald & Dodds so I'm delighted to be joining the cast as Chief Superintendent Ormond. Ormond is a quietly intimidating character so she'll be keeping McDonald & Dodds on their toes throughout this new series," said Skinner, below.

Claire Skinner Getty Images

The first of the four new films, Belvedere, begins with the discovery of a young woman's body sitting in a deckchair in a busy Bath park, with a broad smile on her face.

Guest stars in this first outing include Alan Davies, Holly Aird, Catherine Tyldesley and veteran actress Dame Sian Phillips. 

McDonald & Dodds ITV

The cosy crime drama was recommissioned for a third series in April 2021, after the first two films in series 2 had aired. 

“I’m delighted to be returning to Bath for the third series of McDonald & Dodds," said Jason Watkins, who plays DS Dodds (his first name remains a mystery).

"Tala [Gouveia, who plays DCI Lauren McDonald] and I are so thrilled to be in a partnership which the audience seem to have affection for. It’s gratifying that we’ve been able to bring a little sunshine in these difficult times.

"I look forward to filming in the beautiful city of Bath and to Dodds solving more puzzles with Lauren McDonald. I’m bracing myself for more chips in butter!”

'There’s far too much of me in Dodds' - Watkins and Gouveia talk McDonald & Dodds

Gouveia added: “I can’t wait to start filming again and to see what adventures writer Robert Murphy takes us on next! It’s always a pleasure to work with Jason and our wonderful casts. Bring on series three!”

Series creator Murphy, who has written all four episodes screened to date, has penned two of the four new films. Robert Drummond has written film two and Kam Odedra film three.

It is Odedra's second McDonald & Dodds episode. The first, The War of Rose, was produced as part of series 2 but has yet to be broadcast on ITV.

Martin Kemp, Patsy Kensit, Cathy Tyson and Rupert Graves in McDonald & Dodds ITV
Martin Kemp, Patsy Kensit, Cathy Tyson and Rupert Graves appeared in the episode The Man Who Wasn't There

What is McDonald & Dodds all about?

If you like Midsomer Murders or Death in Paradise, you'll love McDonald & Dodds. 

Gently comic yet with a fiendish murder mystery at the heart of every 90-minute episode, McDonald & Dodds is the comfy pair of slippers of today’s TV crime series – and we mean that as a compliment.

In the first film, The Fall of the House of Crockett, driven young detective DCI Lauren McDonald is drafted up from London to solve what appears to be an open-and-shut case. However the inquiring mind and persistence of her assigned partner DS Dodds reveals that this is no robbery gone wrong. 

Three reasons to watch - and love - McDonald & Dodds

McDonald is initially exasperated by her partner’s old-fashioned and slightly odd ways, but they prove to be more useful than first thought. Despite her initial misgivings, the two form an unlikely team as they solve murder cases in middle England.

The four films shown so far have featured a host of guest stars including Robert Lindsay, Joanna Scanlan, Patsy Kensit, Rupert Graves, Martin Kemp, John Thomson, Natalie Gumede, Cathy Tyson, Rob Brydon and Sharon Rooney.

Series 3 of McDonald & Dodds will be broadcast on ITV in 2022. The final episode of series 2 is expected to be on ITV later in 2021.

Watch all four broadcast episodes of McDonald & Dodds on BritBox.

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