Jason Watkins on playing DS Dodds: “There’s more of me in him than I would like to admit”

Surely he wouldn't wear that anorak though?

McDonald and Dodds

McDonald & Dodds fans have fallen in love with quiet but brilliant detective Dodds, played by Jason Watkins. He’s socially awkward and ill-equipped to deal with office politics, but his crime-solving abilities are second to none.


The series returns at the end of this month, and Watkins has been reflecting on how he created the character, whose first name still hasn’t been revealed.

Reluctantly, he admits that he shares some similarities with the bumbling cop.

“There is a bit more of Jason in Dodds than I would probably admit!” he says. “That’s one of the reasons I like playing him really. I mean how much of an alpha male am I? You could say I hide behind characters in my work, just as Dodds hides behind his work. Also, like Dodds, I don’t like confrontation, so we share that characteristic. I only get confrontational under extreme stress – like homeschooling perhaps!”

But Watkins is relieved to point out that there are lots of differences too. “Looking at him, he is older than me, both in spirit and age. He dresses older than he is, all that kind of sports casual stuff. It’s very beige! That is certainly not me. He could be my dad’s younger brother. At one point, we tried to make his wardrobe more colourful, but on reflection that seemed wrong – his clothes really do state who he is.

“Once I put the anorak on, the tank top and the glasses on top of my head, I really do feel in character. We have a nice crochet tie this series too – beige of course – and I rather love that.”

Watkins will return alongside co-star Tala Gouveia for three more episodes. The series begins with “The Man Who Wasn’t There”, a mystery featuring an impressive guest cast including Rob Brydon, Martin Kemp and Patsy Kensit.


McDonald and Dodds returns to ITV on Sunday 28th February at 8pm. To find out what’s on TV tonight, check out our TV Guide.