McDonald and Dodds season 2 release date: Cast, plot and episodes

The detective drama will be returning to our screens with three new murder mysteries – and a whole load of guest stars.

McDonald & Dodds

ITV detectives McDonald and Dodds are back on the case, with Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins returning as the ‘odd couple’ detective duo for a second season of puzzling mysteries.


The programme has echoes of pre-watershed detective dramas like Columbo and Agatha Christie series – not surprising, given the similarities between the underdog, unassuming DS Dodds and Miss Marple.

The new three-part series will continue to explore his working relationship with boss DCI Lauren McDonald, who series writer Robert Murphy describes as “plunging into genteel Bath like a bull in a China shop” when she arrives from the mean streets of South London.

“Dodds and McDonald learn from each other. Dodds learns that trying to be assertive is not a bad thing, and maybe she has to take her foot off the gas and think, ‘Is there another way around this?’” said Watkins.

The likes of Doctor Who’s Natalie Gumede, Cold Feet’s John Thomson, Rob Brydon, Sherlock’s Rupert Graves, Saira Choudhry, and Patsy Kensit lead the McDonald & Dodds guest cast for season two, which consists of three standalone feature-length episodes.

Ambitious former Met officer DCI McDonald and her quietly brilliant partner DS Dodds will once again be hitting the streets of Bath to investigate (and hopefully solve) a bunch of puzzling murder mysteries – but will this season be McDonald’s last, following her promise to leave Bath after two years?

Here’s everything you need to know about McDonald & Dodds season two.

When is McDonald & Dodds season 2’s release date?

McDonald & Dodds returns for a new series on Sunday 28th February, 8pm on ITV

The series was in production in the West Country in October 2020.

“We’re delighted with the audience reaction to the first series of McDonald and Dodds,” said ITV’s Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair Jones.

“The two characters couldn’t be further apart, which is what makes the series so intriguing to watch. They shouldn’t have chemistry, but they do, and they work brilliantly in partnership which is testimony to Robert’s script and Tala and Jason for bringing McDonald & Dodds to life.”

McDonald & Dodds Series 2 01
McDonald & Dodds filming for season 2 (ITV)

What is McDonald & Dodds about?

As ITV puts it: “Set in picturesque Bath, the series pairs feisty DCI McDonald, who has recently transferred from London’s Met Police, with the unassuming DS Dodds, who has been happy in the background for most of his working life. To McDonald’s surprise they form an unexpectedly effective crime solving partnership.”

McDonald & Dodds season 2 cast

Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet) and Jason Watkins (The Crown) will be reprising their roles as DCI Lauren McDonald and DS Dodds, respectively.

McDonald & Dodds
McDonald & Dodds (ITV)

As for the rest of the regular cast, we’ll be seeing more of James Murray as smarmy Chief Superintendent Houseman, and Jack Riddiford as DC Darren Craig; they’ll also be joined by DC Milena Pachiorkowski, who is played by Lily Sacofsky (as seen in Bancroft, Summer of Rockets, and Sanditon).

Each feature-length episode features a new set of guest stars, and so far the line-up for season two does not disappoint.

The first episode will star Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Martin Kemp (The Krays), Patsy Kensit (Absolute Beginners) and Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa) as Gordon, Mick, Barbara and Jackie, “a group of friends who achieved notoriety in the 1980s”; they’re the chief suspects after a hot air balloon trip ends in murder.

Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey) plays Roy from the Air Incident Investigation Agency, who helps McDonald & Dodds with their investigation.

“What a cast!” Jason Watkins wrote on Twitter. “So delighted and lucky to be working with such an – and I CAN say this – #iconic cast. This episode is already shaping up to be special.”

Guest stars for episode two were announced in early November and include Doctor Who’s Natalie Gumede, My Mad Fat Diary’s Sharon Rooney and Cold Feet’s John Thomson.

Rooney plays the title role in episode two, ‘We Need To Talk About Doreen,’ starring as a young woman who’s travelled to Bath with a group for the weekend to celebrate her friend Angela’s (Joy McAvoy) birthday. However, the night ends in disaster, with one party guest murdered.

Other guest stars in the episode include Maya Coates and Kat Ronney, while Tomos Gwynfryn plays a rugby club’s new signing, Dominique Aubert, who invites Doreen and her friends to a party.

Episode three’s guest stars include Saira Choudhry, Rosie Day and Nitin Ganatra.

Day (Living the Dream) will play social media influencer Rose Boleyn, who elects to have plastic surgery. Ganatra plays anaesthetist Dr Dan McCartney, and Choudhry stars as clinic receptionist Alliyah.

Season one featured guest stars including Robert Lindsay, Susannah Fielding, Ellie Kendrick, Freddie Fox and Joanna Scanlan.

The new episodes are written by series creator and executive producer Robert Murphy, and Gangs of London’s Kam Odedra. The directors are Alex Pillai, Rebecca Rycroft and Ian Aryeh.

Will there be a season 3 of McDonald & Dodds?

ITV has confirmed that McDonald & Dodds will be returning with three new episodes for season two.

McDonald & Dodds was originally commissioned as two feature-length episodes: The Fall of the House of Crockett (episode one) and A Wilderness of Mirrors (episode two), but after proving popular with viewers, ITV has asked for even more episodes.

McDonald and Dodds

Unfortunately, it’s possible that these three episodes could be McDonald & Dodds’ last, since DCI McDonald firmly stated in the previous series that she would only stay in Bath for two years tops.

Screenwriter Robert Murphy noted that, after series one: “If there are any [episodes] after that, we’ll have to finish within two years – because that’s when McDonald is going, don’t you think? She’s a woman of her word.”

DS Dodds is also rapidly nearing retirement, with his boss Houseman (James Murray) keen to organise a goodbye party as soon as possible.

But the show’s co-stars have a solution to this two-year time limit.

“I think she’s going to fall in love with Bath and I think she’ll stay around for at least seven years,” Gouveia joked, while Watkins added: “Dodds will find his own birth certificate and realise he’s actually only 42. I mean, I think there’s so much potential in the format, in the relationships.”

More recently February 2021, Watkins said that he would “love” to do third season – and perhaps we might finally learn Dodds’ surname…

““We never get to know the real first name of Dodds. I have an idea what it is but I can’t share that. I really hope the audience enjoy these two films. We would love to do more.”


The first series of McDonald & Dodds is available to stream on BritBox. If you’re looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.