Vivian Lin and Steve Byers Preview Hudson & Rex “Flare of the Dog”

Vivian Lin and Steve Byers Preview Hudson & Rex “Flare of the Dog”

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

This week’s Hudson & Rex flips the script a bit as the titular team are sidelined when Hudson breaks his leg during an investigation into an arsonist. While he’s hospitalized and doing what he can to piece together clues from his hospital bed, the team does the field work and Sarah is paired up with Asher (guest star Steve Byers), one of the fireman working the case.

The episode was co-written by showrunner Derek Schreyer & Killjoys alumnus Vivian Lin. I caught up with Lin and Byers for quick e-mail Q&As to get the download on what to expect from the episode.

Vivian Lin Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

Lin was on staff at Killjoys for its final two seasons, and co-wrote Season 5’s “Three Killjoys and a Lady” with Derek Robertson. When it wrapped in the fall of 2018, she segued over to the second season of CTV Drama’s Carter, which is now running on WGNAmerica in the United States. She says it was a wonderful place to land after saying goodbye to Killjoys.

“It’s such a delightful show from the hilarious brains of Garry Campbell and Andy Berman. I started right after Killjoys, which was good timing because I was not emotionally prepared to see Killjoys end,” she shares. “I LOVE a good procedural and it’s been fun to work on two of them that have put a twist on the format. It keeps the storytelling fresh and gives it new angles to explore.”

Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

Switching gears again to go from Carter to Hudson & Rex meant keeping with a procedural, but also writing for a furry lead character. Lin loved the experience, and retraining her Killjoys brain.

“We were allowed waaay more swears and filth on Killjoys…so there was definitely a lot of retraining for me and Julian Doucet (another Killjoys alum who was also on the show),” she explains.

“When we started, they brought in a former homicide detective to walk us through the steps of a real investigation and that was really informative. For the Rex side of it, we watched a lot dog videos on YouTube — it was for work!”

“We work closely with Sherri Davis, Diesel’s trainer, to see what he can do. It’s very creative and collaborative. She’s always teaching Diesel some new impressive trick that we never dreamed a dog could do and we’ll build around it. Other times, we’ll ask if Diesel can do something odd, like sneeze on command, and somehow she manages to train him to do it. She might be a wizard.”

Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

Lin wrote last month’s “Rex Machina” solo and co-wrote “Flare of the Dog” with showrunner Derek Schreyer.

She loved the variety. “They are different processes but I really enjoy both. With a solo episode, while you are always trying to make the showrunner’s show. Within that framework, I try to highlight the things about the show that I personally love. In the case of “Rex Machina,” I wanted to see Rex interact and compete with a robot dog,” she points out.

“In a co-write, you’re trying to match the other writer’s voice to make one cohesive script. It’s a great way to push your writing in new way and you discover so many new methods and tools. I really love Derek’s writing, it’s so kinetic and stakes-y; I definitely picked up a lot of tricks.”

With “Flare of the Dog,” Lin was excited to tell a story that takes the leads a bit out of commission. “How fortunate are we to have such an amazing cast! Johnny [Reardon] is so charismatic he can hold an entire episode from a bed! We knew we wanted an episode where Hudson was physically compromised but even that couldn’t stop him,” she says.

Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

“We thought it would be fun for the SJPD team (Sarah, Jesse, Donovan, Rex) to take on some of the investigation and try to pick up the pieces (with varying degrees of success).”

“It’s easy to pull off an episode like this when you have Mayko [Nguyen], Justin [Kelly], Kevin [Hanchard], and Diesel playing those characters and who have such great chemistry together.”

Part of that formula remix has Sarah working alongside Asher. Byers was happy to pop in for a guest slot, which took him on location to St. John’s, Newfoundland, for the first time. While there, he explored the city, sharing snaps on Instagram. He was also thrilled to reunite with Nguyen, who he worked with on the first season of Slasher and Far Cry 5 and Far Cry: New Dawn.

Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

“I love her. It was one of the main reasons I took the job,” he shares. “She is so cool and she was such a good sport considering being pregnant and the late nights and dogs and most of all, putting up with me again.”

He also had high praise for the production team. “[It was] amazing. These guys run a tight ship and they are so on it,” he explains. “I was so well taken care of. It was such a pleasure to work with this cast and crew. Also …. they throw one hell of a Christmas party.”

Before he shot this episode, Byers wrapped production on Against the Wild III, a wilderness-set feature film that also co-starred a very big dog. He appreciated the complexity of shooting a series with one as a main character.

Hudson & Rex Flare of the Dog

“I have a new found deep respect for all of the people that work on this show. Imagine trying to do your job while someone yells commands at your shows star (not Johnny, who is lovely, but Diesel a.k.a. Rex) while you try and perform,” he says.  “It’s next level. Big respect for the whole cast and crew.”

Hudson & Rex airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET on Citytv and you can catch the first two seasons anytime streaming on Citytv Now. Here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s episode.


Photos Courtesy of Vivian Lin and Citytv; Video Courtesy of Citytv.

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