Bath’s the star again as TV detectives McDonald & Dodds return to the small screen

February 18, 2021

Fresh from its starring role in hit TV period drama Bridgerton, Bath will provide the backdrop for the return of contemporary detective series McDonald & Dodds later this month.

The first three episodes of McDonald & Dodds, which starred Tala Gouveia and Jason Waktins, picturedas mismatched detectives, were a big hit with viewers when screened a year ago. 

That success prompted production company Mammoth Screen to return to Bath last September to shoot a second series.

Working in-line with Covid-19 restrictions, it spent four months filming at various locations in the city including Royal Victoria Park, the Guildhall and the new Indigo Hotel on South Parade.

Filming was co-ordinated by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Film Office, which promotes the district as a film and TV location and helps productions access public areas with the minimum of disruption to residents and businesses

Despite Covid-19, the office has had a busy time, with 107 days of filming taking place around Bath since last April bringing around £1.2m into the local economy.

That compares with around £2m spent on accommodation, food, local crew and purchases from other local businesses in the city in a typical year. 

Council cabinet member for community services Paul Crossley said: “It’s fantastic to see a contemporary drama on primetime television which is set in Bath. 

“It really is great news as it helps to promote Bath and North East Somerset to a wider audience and encourages screen tourism. 

“If restrictions allow, we expect to benefit from an influx of visitors this summer wanting to location-spot following the huge success of programmes such as McDonald & Dodds and the highly acclaimed Netflix series Bridgerton.”

The new series of McDonald & Dodds again consists of three, two-hour long episodes, the first two airing on ITV at 8 pm from February 28.

The series again pairs feisty DCI McDonald, (Tala Gouveia, Cold Feet) who had recently transferred from the Met Police at the beginning of the first episode, with the unassuming DS Dodds (Bafta-award winning actor Jason Watkins, The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies, Des).

To McDonald’s surprise they formed an unexpectedly effective crime-solving partnership.

They are joined in the first episode by a star-studded guest cast that includes Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey), pictured above, Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Martin Kemp (The Krays), Patsy Kensit (Absolute Beginners) and Cathy Tyson (Mona Lisa), pictured below

Shelley Conn (Liar), Natalie Gumede (Strike), Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary) and John Thomson (Cold Feet) join the second film and Saira Choudhry (No Offence), Rosie Day (Outlander), Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders), Nicholas Goh (Skyfall), Siobhan Hewlett (Sherlock), Sarah Parish (Bancroft) and Rhashan Stone (Finding Alice) guest star in the third film.

Returning cast includes James Murray as Chief Superintendent Houseman, Jack Riddiford as DC Darren Craig with Lily Sacofsky joining as DC Milena Pachiorkowski.

Bridgerton, described as a Regency-era Gossip Girl, was filmed at a number of locations in Bath last year, including No 1 Royal Crescent, which featured as the exterior of the home of the Featheringtons, one of the key families in the drama. Multiple other interior and exterior locations were used across the city centre from Abbey Green and Bath Street to the Holburne Museum and the Banqueting Room at the Guildhall.

The series, which started on Christmas Day, is Netflix’s most successful, with the network saying it has been watched by 82m households around the world, including in ther US and Brazil. A second series in planned for later this year.

Location filming for the new series of McDonald & Dodds also took place in Bristol, coordinated by Bristol Film Office. The city’s vast A Bond Tobacco Warehouse on Cumberland Road was transformed into a wartime bunker, while filming also took place on Berkeley Square and in the Lord Mayor's Reception Room at City Hall.

All photos courtesy of ITV

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