Jason Watkins: 'My wife says Dodds is like me!'

Jason Watkins as DS Dodds.
Jason Watkins as DS Dodds. (Image credit: ITV)

Jason Watkins recently returned for McDonald & Dodds season 2, with another compelling case for TV’s most unlikely crime-fighting duo as they probed the death of a man following a hot air balloon "accident".

In the second episode, DCI McDonald (Tala Gouveia) and DS Dodds (Jason Watkins) have another investigation to sink their teeth into when a young partygoer is found dead after drinking a lethal cocktail. 

Guest stars on board for this second episode include Cold Feet's John Thomson, Coronation Street’s Natalie Gumede and My Mad Fat Diary’s Sharon Rooney, all playing some very suspicious characters — but do they have motive for murder?

We caught up with Jason Watkins — aka detective Dodds — to find out more…

Jason Watkins on being Dodds.

Jason Watkins: "My wife says he’s just like me! There is a bit more of Jason in Dodds than I would probably admit. 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!" 

Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia as McDonald and Dodds.

Jason as dedicated Dodds alongside Tala Gouveia's straight-shooting McDonald. (Image credit: ITV)

Jason Watkins on McDonald & Dodds’ relationship.

JW: "They’re still both in a learning process, that’s the great thing. They’re so different and yet they have this great bond and affection for each other, they’re like magnets in a way. But they’re going forward together facing whatever challenge is coming their way. 

"They look out for each other, which is something I notice more, as we go through these three episodes (episode three to be shown later this year), and they have a keen eye on each others’ welfare, which I think is really touching. Tala and I love working together and we particularity enjoy those scenes where it’s just us trying to be funny yet real."

Jason on Dodds’ appetite for chips and butter.

JW: "When you start eating the chips and butter you think: 'Why do people do this?' And then you taste it and you go: 'I see, that’s really nice, I get it now'. Then by the time you finish shooting the scene, it’s all sitting in your stomach, so it’s actually pretty gross! McDonald tries to make him think more healthily about his eating habits in episode two but it doesn’t quite work out."

McDonald and Dodds Episode 2

This week's second episode focuses on a group of friends, whose partying ends in tragedy. (Image credit: ITV)

Jason Watkins on his screen partner Tala Gouveia.

JW: "We’ve got the same sense of humour. We are very different but we’re similar in the way we work and, instinctively, from the first time we met in the casting process, it just sort of happened. I think we make sure we look after that as we go through, that we’re allowed the space to make sure those moments arrive. I just bore Tala with my cycling. It’s just endless! But she’s very gracious."

Jason on guest stars.

JW: "We get to welcome lots of amazing and brilliantly talented guest actors on this show. Not only were we spoilt with big names on episode one with Rob Brydon, Martin Kemp and Patsy Kensit, and that continues in episode two. For the guests that come in, myself and Tala want them feel as though they can do their best work and enjoy it. You could get anybody in this show. Someone like Sir Ian McKellen would be great!"

John Thomson stars in McDonald and Dodds.

Cold Feet's John Thomson guests as rugby club chairman Jimmy Daly. (Image credit: ITV)

Jason on being a TV detective.

JW: "I absolutely love it. I’m quite forensic as an actor, probably frustratingly so. So, in a way, as you’re working on that, you’re working out the mystery of how you want to do it in a mystery show, which I really like."

Jason Watkins on why viewers love McDonald & Dodds.

JW: "I think the show has been successful because it knows what it is — it’s a series of audacious whodunnits shot in a beautiful place with a really engaging central relationship and a great sense of humour. Our show is also the perfect bit of escapism for viewers during these difficult times. It’s what we need."

Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia as McDonald and Dodds

(Image credit: ITV)

McDonald & Dodds continues on Sunday March 7 at 8pm on ITV.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!