After a break of only a few months, Hudson & Rex returns for its second season on Citytv. We couldn’t be happier. The crime drama, based out of St. John’s and starring John Reardon, Mayko Nguyen, Kevin Hanchard, Justin Kelly and German Shepherd Diesel vom Burgimwald is a must-see for anyone that enjoys their mysteries lighter in tone and with a great ensemble cast.
In Tuesday’s debut—at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv—Charlie (Reardon) and Rex (Diesel vom Burgimwald) discover a wanted criminal has been living in St. John’s under a false identity for 20 years and end up in the crosshairs when the man’s past catches up with him. Along for the ride are the capable Doctor Sarah Truong (Nguyen), Superintendent Joe Donovan (Hanchard) and Tech Analyst Jesse Mills (Kelly). And, with David Hewlett, Shiva Negar, Janet Kidder and Noam Jenkins in guest roles, it makes for a fast-paced and highly enjoyable first instalment.
We spoke to showrunner Derek Schreyer—who took over for Season 1 showrunner Ken Cuperus—about what’s to come, including a visit to France.
How’s filming been going?
Derek Schreyer: It’s been going great. It’s been really fun. For Season 2, we really pushed to get some scripts done in time for the summer, which relies on some of the amazing, amazing summer scenarios of St. John’s. So that’s been really a lot of fun.
I sort of jumped on board this as a showrunner about two-thirds of the way through Season 1. I’d never been there before, so it was like I just got thrown into the fire. It was two months of absolute pain because we were way behind and I had to do a lot of stuff. But I knew it’s the first year of the show, and every time there’s the first year of a show, there’s a lot of cooks and a lot of people really care about it, and want to make sure that it’s right. And this show’s been developed for 10 years. I mean, there’s a lot of different voices and whatnot.
I just started to really connect with the environment. I just loved St. John’s, and I love the area, and I love Diesel and the crew.
You were filming in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. What can you say about that storyline?
DS: My first episode, the one I co-wrote with my friend Alex Pugsley, is going to be set there. It’s kind of a Bon Cop, Bad Cop thing where the climax takes place in Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
One of the things about Hudson & Rex that I like is that everybody’s on an even keel, human and canine, and I love this team that you guys have established with this group of police officers that are solving these crimes.
DS: Yeah, I think it’s definitely interesting because this is obviously based on Inspector Rex. That had a certain model, and that was basically a man and his dog, which meant that there was always one of those two POVs. We’ve gone more with an ensemble feel with the dog at the mix. I just love being on a show where the No. 1 on the call sheet is a dog. It really lessens egos. They all really love just to interact with a dog. It really changes the chemistry of the set, I think.
One thing I wanted to do before we started season two is just to bring in Sherri [Davis, Diesel vom Burgimwald’s trainer] just to have her talk about the kind of things that Diesel can do. She’ll mention that she has a dog that can play as a wolf. And all of a sudden, there comes an episode right there. It could be an episode where we’re in the forest with a wolf, and plots appear, and then maybe Rex can do this, he can balance on a rope as he crosses. All of a sudden, plots ignite from that.
You already mentioned Saint Pierre and Miquelon; what are some themes and a couple of storylines that you follow in Season 2?
DS: We’ve got one that’s delved into the Insta celebrity culture. It’s kind of a comedy from Bridesmaids meets the Instagram culture. We have one called ‘The Woods Have Eyes,’ where this woman goes missing after she sees something, and the mother comes in and believes that she … we actually track her to the forest somewhere, and Rex and the team ended up discovering a sort of a shady, almost a Stranger Things-type organization, and try to figure out what they’re doing. That’s kind of neat.
Then we have one set which is super fun, it’s called ‘Game of Bones.’ It’s going to be set in the world of LARPing. It’s a completely eccentric cast of characters of LARPers who portray these characters on this battlefield. There’s a character that dies and has sort of a death rune carved in his body, and that’s symbolic of something in the sort of medieval Viking lore, and we have to explore that. So that’s kind of a really fun world.
We have one called ‘Rex in the City,’ which explores the dating culture. It’s a real bunch of mixed, fun stuff. Some of it’s a little heavier handed, and some of it’s lighter. But I think we’ve sort of figured out our tone, so we’re a fairly grounded show. We have a little bit of heart, a little bit of humour, and hopefully some really cool stories.
Hudson & Rex airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv.
Images courtesy of Rogers Media.