Meet the cast of McDonald and Dodds

The detective drama stars Jason Watkins, Tala Gouveia, and some big-name guest actors

McDonald and Dodds

McDonald & Dodds pairs up Tala Gouveia with Jason Watkins as detectives “thrown together with seemingly with nothing in common” who “forge a rumbustious, entertaining and ultimately – give or take a few setbacks – effective partnership.”


Set in Bath, each two-hour episode takes us into a new murder mystery with its own set of guest stars. Here’s who’s taking part in the first episode…

Jason Watkins plays DS Dodds

Jason Watkins plays DS Dodds in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DS Dodds? Described as “shy” and “unassuming”, DS Dodds has “happily languished on the shelf for most of his working life.” He’s been working quietly and diligently at his desk in Bath for years without anyone taking much notice, but now his boss is hoping to push him into early retirement – so he’s been paired with DCI Lauren McDonald and forced out into frontline action, which is quite a shock to the system. However, instead of giving up and taking his pension, Dodds proves himself a talented detective with “a hidden talent for deciphering puzzles.”

What else has Jason Watkins been in? Jason Watkins has had a prolific acting career across screen and stage, winning a BAFTA and bagging an Olivier nomination. He recently starred as Prime Minister Harold Wilson in season three of The Crown, and he’s played Roger in Hold the Sunset, Gavin in Trollied, Tim Ifield in Line of Duty, and Emlyn Hooson in A Very English Scandal. Other major roles have included William Herrick in Being Human, Simon Harwood in W1A, and the lead role in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies; and the actor has also been in Taboo, Our Zoo, and Doctor Who.

Tala Gouveia plays DCI Lauren McDonald

Tala Gouveia plays DCI Lauren McDonald in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DCI Lauren McDonald? A “wildly ambitious” Detective Chief Inspector who’s transferred from the “mean streets of South London” to the quiet streets of Bath. She is young, talented, often underestimated, and is described as ” a tough, driven, battering ram of a cop who cracks cases through sheer force of will.” McDonald isn’t initially pleased to be paired with Dodds, but the two soon form an unlikely partnership.

What else has Tala Gouveia been in? She’s been in Tracey Ullman’s Show, Cold Feet, Go Jetters, Arrivals, EastEnders, Plebs and Scream Street – but this could be a breakout role for Tala Gouveia.

James Murray plays Chief Supt John Houseman

James Murray plays Superintendent John Houseman in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Chief Superintendent John Houseman? The big boss. He wants Dodds to take early retirement, and he’s brought McDonald in from London – but he’s not exactly a supportive manager, and he doesn’t want this newcomer to make any waves or upset anyone influential in Bath. James Murray describes his character as “a pompous idiot” who is “ruthless, slippery and very determined in knowing what he wants to get.”

What else has James Murray been in? The English actor (who’s actually married to Bancroft star Sarah Parish) has previously starred as Daniel Coltrane in Cucumber, and Wesley in Age Before Beauty. You may also recognise him from Cutting It, Primeval, Suspects, Defiance, or Him.

Pearl Chanda plays DC Laura Simpson

Pearl Chanda plays DC Laura Simpson in McDonald & Dodds

Who is DC Laura Simpson? A police officer working in Bath.

What else has Pearl Chanda been in? She was Debbie-Louise in Motherland, and Maud in the TV series Arthur & George. Other credits include Holby City, Endeavour (as the delightfully-named Bettina Pettybon) and Mr Turner – and later this year she’ll be in BBC Two drama series January 22nd.

Jack Riddiford plays DC Darren Craig

Jack Riddiford plays DC Darren Craig in McDonald and Dodds

Who is DC Darren Craig? A police officer working in Bath.

What else has Jack Riddiford been in? He’s made a handful of on-screen appearances, playing Jago Martin in an episode of Poldark and appearing in Doc Martin, Murder on the Orient Express, Guns Akimbo, Dunkirk, and Journey’s End.

Episode two – A Wilderness of Mirrors

Joanna Scanlan plays Kelly Mulcreevy 

Joanna Scanlan plays Kelly Mulcreevy in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Kelly Mulcreevy? A “diversion therapist” at a private hospital called The Mara Retreat.

What else has Joanna Scanlan been in? So many things! She’s recently been in No Offence (as DI Vivienne Deering), The Accident (Angela Griffiths), Dracula (the Mother Superior), Requiem (Janice Gray), The Woman in White (Mrs Vesey) and Hold the Sunset (Sandra). Joanna Scanlan is also known for playing Terri Coverley in The Thick of It, Sister Den Flixter in Getting On, and Nana V in Puppy Love. Her big-screen credits include Notes on a Scandal, Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Hugh Dennis plays George Holden

Hugh Dennis plays George Holden in McDonald and Dodds

Who is George Holden? The CEO of the Mara.

What else has Hugh Dennis been in? He’s best-known as a comedian and a comedy actor, serving as a panellist on Mock the Week and taking part in everything from Taskmaster to The Apprentice’s spin-off You’re Fired. Acting roles have included the Bank Manager in Fleabag, dad Pete in Outnumbered (which earned him a BAFTA nomination), Toby in Not Going Out, and Dr Piers Crispin in My Hero.

Caroline Catz plays Alison Speirs

Caroline Catz plays Alison Speirs in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Alison Speirs? One of the members of Kelly’s diversion therapy group – and a patient at the Mara, where she’s in ‘treatment’ for her sex addiction. She also works as a florist and has her own shop in town.

What else has Caroline Catz been in? The actress stars as Louisa in Doc Martin, and also played DI Helen Morton in DCI Banks. Her other shows have included Murder in Suburbia, I Want My Wife Back, and The Bill.

Michele Dotrice plays Mary Costair 

Michele Dotrice plays Mary Costair in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Mary Costair? Another therapy group member. After losing her husband and seeing her kid and grandkids move abroad, Mary has come to regard her fellow patients as her own family. She has a gambling addiction.

What else has Michele Dotrice been in? Most famously, she starred as Frank’s wife Betty Spencer in BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Michele Dotrice’s long acting career stretches back to the 1960s, and so far we’ve seen her in everything from Vanity Fair (as Mrs Sedley) to A Very English Scandal (as Edna Friendship) to The Old Curiosity Shop (as Nell Trent). In recent years she’s played Miss Trifle in Grandpa’s Great Escape, Mario in Inside No. 9, and Pam in Death in Paradise.

Freddie Fox plays Miles Stevens 

Freddie Fox plays Miles Stevens in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Miles Stevens? An alcoholic who’s in treatment at the Mara. During the day, Miles is a busker in the centre of Bath.

What else has Freddie Fox been in? He recently starred as killer Jeremy Bamber in White House Farm, and showed off his comedy skills in Year of the Rabbit as posh detective Wilbur Strauss. Other screen credits have included The Three Musketeers, Victor Frankenstein, Cucumber, Banana, Parade’s End, and The Riot Club. Also, in case you were wondering; yes, Freddie Fox does come from the Fox acting dynasty. His sister is Silent Witness star Emilia Fox, Laurence Fox is his cousin, and his dad is Edward Fox.

Suzanne Packer plays Jane Crawford

Suzanne Packer plays Jane Crawford in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Jane Crawford? A patient at the Mara, who decides to discharge herself and escape to a hotel before fleeing the country. However, she doesn’t exactly get that far…

What else has Suzanne Packer been in? Casualty fans will recognise her as Tess Bateman. Since she left the soap, Suzanne Packer has played Carole in the TV series Stella, Eve Cicero in Doctor Who episode The Tsuranga Conundrum, Capstick in The ABC Murders, Delyth Lloyd in Keeping Faith, and Layla in Bang.

Kiran Sonia Sawar plays Maheeda Abaasi 

Kiran Sonia Sawar plays Maheeda Abaasi in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Maheeda Abaasi? Another member of the therapy group, though – unlike the others – she isn’t an addict, and she isn’t a private patient.

What else has Kiran Sonia Sawar been in? She starred as Shereen in the dark comedy Pure, Alice in Silent Witness, Ani in Next of Kin, Naz in The Capture, and Sita in Deep State. Other major roles include Salma in the TV movie Murdered by My Father, and Shazia in Black Mirror episode Crocodile.

Charlotte Ritchie plays Irene Ross 

Charlotte Ritchie plays Irene Ross in McDonald and Dodds

Who is Irene Ross? To avoid any spoilers, we’ll just say – TBC!


What else has Charlotte Ritchie been in? The actress is perhaps best-known for starring as Nurse Barbara in Call the Midwife, and for playing Oregon in Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat. Her other credits include Raised by Wolves, Siblings, and Lin in the Doctor Who episode Resolution; she’s also recently starred in Dead Pixels and Ghosts, and guest-starred in Death in Paradise and Stath Lets Flats.