McDonald and Dodds (ITV 2020)

4 Kernels

McDonald and Dodds is a new series now up on Britbox. There are only two episodes in the first series, but it’s been renewed for more.  It’s filmed in Bath in the United Kingdom, so you get to enjoy all that Jane Austen-type architecture throughout various scenes. However, it’s not the location that makes me like this series. It’s the characters. And believe me, they have character, which is the spice this show has that Wild Bill was lacking.

The first episode, entitled The Fall of the House of Crockett, was a delight. Meet DCI Lauren McDonald, a go-getter from London who has arrived in Bath for her new position.  She’s ready to take charge and solve crimes.  Instantly, she’s running about barking orders at the crime scene and getting her crew to realize she’s spot on the job.  When she meets the detective assigned to her by the name of DS Dodds, she’s aghast to find a man who, by all means, should be retired. He’s old and has sat at a desk for the past ten years. Outwardly, he appears like a doofus, who keeps losing his glasses. The audience soon finds out that he’s got a keen eye, although he can barely articulate a clear thought.  He sees things where others cannot. His type of investigation is old school, while McDonald’s thinks she knows it all in the modern age.

DCI McDonald is overseen and threatened with loss of job by a Chief Superintendent who is overbearing. He’s the typical pushy CS, get things done quickly, so I look good.  John Houseman plays that role.  Frankly, they could have eliminated that character and I wouldn’t have cared.  I guess though he’s needed to put the pressure on McDonald so she nearly cracks by the end of episode one.

The episode was engaging, fast-moving, and the murder interesting enough to keep you guessing.  Robert Lindsay played Max Crockett, and I was so surprised to see him.  It took me a while to recognize him under the aging face and spotty gray beard and hair.  He’s been a long-time favorite for me from the old show My Family, a British sitcom that I loved to pieces and own all the episodes on DVD.  He played the part of the suspect as quirky and well-acted as you would expect.

Well, the first episode has surely entertained, and I will be happy to see more.

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