Citytv’s adaptation of Austrian hit Inspector Rex is set to debut this Monday, March 25! Hudson & Rex is about detective Charlie Hudson, played John Reardon (Continuum), who partners up with Rex, a K9 German shepherd, to investigate crimes in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The series also stars Killjoys’ Mayko Nguyen and Orphan Black’s Kevin Hanchard, while Diesel vom Burgimwald is K9 Rex.
We got the chance to speak with series star John Reardon about meeting and developing trust with his unique co-star, filming on the East coast and which show he’d love to do a crossover with!
This show is based on an international format, but when I first saw the commercial for Hudson & Rex, it reminded me of the Canadian classic Katts & Dog! Did you ever watch that show?
Yeah! I actually grew up watching Katts & Dog. I remember watching that as a kid, I think it was every Friday night. The whole family would watch it together. It was a great show!
Have you gotten this comparison before? Or is it us, hardcore Canadian TV fans, that still remember?
[Laughs] I have heard it from a few other people, actually. Some of my friends have mentioned it to me since I started shooting. He was a K9 officer, wasn’t he? It was a good show.
Did you know much about K9s before this show?
I did. The way Hudson & Rex is a little bit different is that my character, Charlie Hudson, isn’t a K9 officer, he’s a detective. Normally, detectives don’t work with K9s – so this adds an extra element to the show because Charlie isn’t trained to handle K9s yet. You’ll see that this will lead to some problems down the line and learn to work with each other.
Without giving much away, viewers will actually learn about how Rex came into Charlie’s life, right?
Yes, we do!
Diesel is the main dog that you work with, but I understand he’s part of a team of three that you work with?
They’re actually all related. Diesel is almost three. The two younger dogs, Iko and Is-He are his nephews. They all get along very well and have different personalities. Diesel is the king! [Laughs] He sort of regal and composed. Then, there’s Iko who does a lot of the stunts. He’s very excitable and always wants to have fun. Is-He, who does some of the stunts as well, would probably like you to death! He’s just so sweet and has a very lovely disposition. They are great dogs!
Seems like a good fit! Were you a dog person before this or a cat person?
I’m definitely a dog person. I like cats as well, but I’ve been with dogs my whole life. I definitely like being around dogs.
Who was cast first? Yourself or Diesel?
Diesel was actually cast first.
Usually, with co-stars, there’s a chemistry test. What was the experience like getting to know Diesel?
I actually didn’t have a chance to meet with Diesel until I got to St. John’s and we were in pre-production already. We had about a week before we went to camera. We had to really develop a relationship in a short amount of time and spent that full week together. I would work with him, and Sherri Davis – his trainer and owner. She would coach me on how to get him to listen to me. I would also take him out by myself, so he would start gaining trust. After this, he knew that when he was with me, he’d be safe. He really bonded with me when I introduced him to my son. My son was probably just about a year old when we started filming, and when they met, they became buddies. Diesel and I grew a little closer after that, I think.
That’s very sweet! What’s it like filming in St. John’s?
I love it! I’m from Halifax originally. I lived there until my early 20s and it’s still home for me. Even though I live in California now, I still feel that Nova Scotia is my home. Being in St. John’s feels very similar. Halifax and St. John’s are pretty similar cities.
What would be a fun crossover with another cop show or procedural?
Let’s see… I think Sherlock! The BBC version. That would be very interesting! Sherlock and Rex could solve an intercontinental case of some sort! [Laughs]
And it would also span centuries…
Although Hudson & Rex is a procedural, it definitely has a vibe of comfort to it. Is that what you are hoping a show like this can provide for TV audiences in the current world we live in?
That’s definitely a component of it, for sure. We really want to appeal to a wide audience. I feel that the success of the original show, Inspector Rex (which was an Austrian series) and aired in Europe for about 15 years. I feel like there is a real audience worldwide because of having Rex in it. We really do want it to appeal to the largest audience that it can, especially with the parents who are able to watch it with their kids.
Hudson & Rex airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv and will also be available on demand, Citytv.com and the Citytv app.