A dog may be a man’s best friend, but in the case of Detective Charlie Hudson, a dog named Rex is also his crime-fighting partner.
John Reardon, who plays Charlie Hudson on CityTV’s Hudson & Rex, was drawn to the fact that his co-star Rex was a dog.
“What I enjoy about playing (Hudson) is his partnership with Rex completes a circle for both of them,” said Reardon. “There’s things that Charlie needs and there’s things Rex needs and the other fills those blind spots. I thought that was something that was an interesting dynamic to play.”
As a quirky coincidence, Reardon's character's name is the same as his young son's - his little boy, Hudson, was about six months old when he first read the script, which upped the appeal of the series even more for the actor.
Like Reardon, it was the animal aspect of the show that drew Kevin Hanchard, who plays Superintendent Joe Donovan, to the series.
“I've always loved dogs and it was something I always found intriguing and wanted to be a part of,” said Hanchard.
Perhaps more importantly, Hanchard is proud of the way his character is written, cementing his involvement in the series, which is about to air its third season.
“He is a man of integrity, he’s an important figure. I like the fact that he is the head of the major crimes division in St. John’s and is a black man,” said Hanchard.
“It’s a city that, at first glance, you would not expect that from, and the show makes no apologies about it. How to navigate your way through that was something I always found interesting and I enjoy the twists and turns of what that entails."
A man and his dog
Season three premieres on Jan. 5, 2021, with 16 new episodes, and promises to leave audiences on the edge of their seats.
“There is more on the history of Charlie and Rex, both personally and as a partnership, which I think is great to have," says Reardon, who adds that over the past two years, the characters have seen their relationship develop, but this season will "go back to the origin story and some of the personal history."
That's highlighted right from the start, with the first episode of the new season titled "Origin Story." Still shots from the episode hint that viewers can expect some flashbacks to three years earlier.
Viewers can also expect to see plenty of action on their screens this year, he adds.
“There’s lots of action this year. We go to lots of different story worlds,” Reardon said. “There’s a scuba diving episode, there’s an incredible episode out in the woods just outside of St. John’s. Rex takes it up a notch with stunts that we have never done before that I think are going to wow people.”
But, not to worry - the familiar elements that drew viewers to the series remain at the core of the new episodes.
“I hope people enjoy the show if they have watched (it) before and I would like for those elements that brought them back to the show to stay intact,” said Reardon. “But I hope they also feel that we are always trying to bring something new and fresh to the show, whether it be through new stunts or new relationship stuff.”
One of the greatest parts of the show, he adds, is how universal the relationships are, especially between Hudson and Rex.
“I hope they see that relationship grow because I feel that when you have an animal, you love that relationship, (and it) grows over time, so we wanted to create that same feeling on our show,” he says.
Hanchard agrees, adding that it’s a relationship everyone can relate to.
“The show is essentially about a boy and his dog, and that’s something everyone understands,” said Hanchard. “People understand that connection they understand how unconditional that relationship is.”
Hanchard is excited about the "heart of the show" that viewers will see this season.
“The show doesn’t shy away from tackling the bigger issues that are facing us as a society, not only in 2020 but in the new millennium," he says.
"It doesn’t shy away from social justice issues and doesn’t shy away from gender, racial, environmental issues, or economic disparities, whether we dive into those issues or just touch upon them.”
Layered with the relationships between the characters, it adds a unique depth to the show.
"It’s a crime procedural but it's one-of-a-kind because it has this kind of heart, I think is something that is really welcome at this point in time,” adds Hanchard.
“I hope people get challenged by it, by the situations and the circumstances that we deal with and come up against. I hope they see the characters for what they are and the relationships for what they are.”
The third season of Hudson & Rex began Jan. 5 and airs on CityTV Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. in Newfoundland.