A new addition coming soon is ITV’s McDonald and Dodds, a two-part series of feature length crime mysteries starring Jason Watkins (The Crown; The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies) and Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet), and the stars of the show feel it’s set apart from others in its genre due to the relationship at its centre.
Episode one begins with DCI McDonald (Gouveia) arriving in Bath from London, after getting a promotion and being tasked with leading a team. On her first day, there’s been a murder, so she’s put to work straight away.
Under her guidance is DS Dodds (Watkins), a middle aged man who feels he’s perhaps not lived his life to the fullest but hasn’t done a lot to change that.
“He's not been brave enough to embrace his life,” Jason told Goodhousekeeping.com/uk and other press ahead of the series airing.
“He’s very clever and sharp and can see a hole in an argument straight away, but maybe isn't equipped to have the emotional intelligence to do anything about it, which is where McDonald comes in,” he added.
“What I love about her is that she's unafraid to take her space in a room, which I think you don't get that much often in female characters but also just women in general,” Tala said of her character.
“[Women] I think sometimes find it harder than men to find their space. That’s the big difference between these characters – he’s trying to find ways to take up less space in a room.”
The show’s working title was Invisible – a nod to the two lead characters as well as the themes covered.
“She’s come to a new place and disappeared from London. I think there’s also bits about invisibility in society and how visible [she is] as a woman of colour. There are suspects and perhaps victims in this who are homeless or have mental health issues or are drug addicts and these are people in society that can often be invisible. I think it’s a bit about that as well,” Tala said.
Jason and Tala describe their characters as “complete opposites” but ultimately – it’s their differences that help them to thrive.
“He finds his feet [through] the unlikely friendship that develops between them, the confidence that he gets from it, and they both start giving each other confidence and helping each other,” Jason said.
For Jason, having a young black woman running the investigations and leading his character, an older white man, was what made the show so inviting to be a part of.
“Fundamentally, it's a detective show but the thing that attracted me was the fact that there was a relationship between a white middle aged man and a young black female officer,” he said.
"And that she’s the boss. That just makes all the difference,” Tala added.
McDonald and Dodds will air Sunday 1 March at 8pm on ITV.
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