The story of Hudson, as told by Chompstick.
Hudson 1 - September 23, 2013, Pilot Episode
Hudson the Original - October 2013
An early, unused pilot script written by Jon Bokenkamp on December 28, 2012 was discovered by a Blacklist Support Group addict, and written into it was a different dog.
The first Hudson (real name Wheat Biscuit Bartholomew III, which is why he was given a new moniker) is a cute, darling Golden Retriever, faithful, and well trained. He is a gorgeous specimen from the noblest of breeds (my two goldens made me write that). Hudson promptly showed up for his first day of filming and was aghast to discover deplorable working conditions that were not befitting any working dog with a SAG card and a rawhide Boone to chew on. Oops, I mean bone.
Hudson found, to his horror, that he would have to live in a dark, cramped closet for most of the season. He wouldn't be allowed out to relieve his bladder, very possibly resulting in canine bladder-itis (it's a real canine addiction - look it up). The cranky people he lived with would barely feed him, and don’t even get him started on the dearth of hugs and snuggles, walks and squeaky toys. Hudson wisely stood up for himself on all four paws and refused to take the roll (acting role, that is; he'll always take a buttered roll). This brave, currently out-of-work actor (although I may have seen him bussing tables at L'Ambroisie) became known as Hudson the Original. His pay at the French restaurant is minimal, but the doggie bag perks are top notch. Last Wednesday - some delicious smelling beef stroganoff. And a good thing his meals are provided for because his greedy owners/showbusiness pimps rejected him and left him homeless.
After the pilot, no one even remembered what Hudson 2 looked like because he disappeared from the screen for so long. One thing was for sure, though -- he was NOT a golden retriever and some of us, meaning me, were incensed. With the exception of once being mentioned as visiting a friend's house, Hudson 2 was oddly absent for most of the season. Who was feeding Hudson? Who was walking Hudson? Who was brushing his teeth? Who was going to let Hudson come out of the closet? Wait, what??! No, he's not gay, he's literally in the closet. WHAT!?
Straight from executive producer JonBok's mouth: "When Apple Man and his team broke into Liz and Tom's house, they actually shot and tranquilized the dog and stuck him in a closet, and we thought that was a little mean to the dog, so we took that part out." Well, they may not have shot him but apparently he was stuffed into the closet indefinitely.
Hudson 2, Still Missing - April 2014
The debate continued within the Blacklist Support Group. Not only were people arguing about the possibility of Hudson 2's death, but of more immediate concern, where, by dog, was the dog? Member Marie voiced her concern that Hud was long gone: "Maybe Tom had the dog with him in the car chase scene and the window was down and the dog fell/jumped out." Lest we (you) forget, that would be Tom's hot car chase scene in the Mustang.
Back to the long story that I'll now make longer...
Lo and behold, Hudson was alive and, well, I'm not sure he was well. What in the name of Benji happened to this dog? Clearly this was a new mutt, and I was beginning to feel this had become an Easter Egg, an intentional inside joke on behalf of the writers. A small group, including me and Charmed, was the first to discuss the Hudson mutations on another website before the creation of BSG, so I take great pleasure in the possibility that we sparked the ongoing Hudson joke. [As an interesting aside, we Hudson fans were actually chastised by other commenters on that site for being too silly!!! Can you imagine?? Remember our motto here: Be Kind, Be Respectful. And a pinch of silliness never hurts! So despite being among the first commenters on that site, this occurrence was one of the things that sparked the idea for our exodus and the creation of BSG! So thank you, ye of little humor.]
BSG commenter Theory du jour made an interesting observation: "I am befuddled by the sudden re-appearance of The Keen Family Dog. Not even close to the breed of yore. A real head scratcher, that one. Maybe whoever was dog watching had a transmuting machine. In walked Fido, out walked Fifi."
Rori contemplated, "Hudson being replaced: In the old days of soap operas, if there was a change in actor portraying a character, just before he/she came on screen, this very poised, male voice would say, 'The part of -------- is now being played by -------- .' They could have done this: 'The part of Hudson is now being portrayed by Fido' with the special screen at the end of the episode, 'In loving memory of Champ.' See - that would've preempted a lot of confusion."
Our clever fan CES2 reminded us of one of the Blacklist tenets: "I honestly do not understand all these questions about who Hudson really is. We were told from the beginning that no one, I repeat no one, is really who they appear to be. Why should Hudson be any different? Golden, Labrador, Terrier?"
The explanation from TPTB for Hudson's transformation was that the dog actor died. Jon Bokenkamp said in an interview: "I was sort of hoping no one would notice the change. Yes, Hudson was replaced. Contract negotiations went sideways. I had the same reaction as you when I saw the dailies. I was like: What the hell happened to Hudson? The new Hudson is half the size of the original. The truth is the original Hudson went to doggie heaven and we needed a replacement. Wish I had a better answer."
I wish he had a more believable answer!
I'm not buying it. In the same paragraph, Bokenkamp said that the dog actor playing Hudson was replaced because of contract issues, and then said Hudson died! Which is it? Hudson the Original - contract dispute; Hudson 2 - dead?
Regardless of what happened, I think JonBok is trying to extricate himself from a doozy of a mistake. The casting agent couldn't find a similar replacement for a medium sized, non-descript dog? There are over 83 million dogs in the U.S.!
And regarding the dog dying - don't be pulling the fur over our eyes! I'm thinking a dog actor would likely be under the age of 4 or 5, depending on the breed, and screened to ensure excellent health. Not exactly a strong candidate for sudden death from illness or old age.
Dembe must have rescued Hudson 3 (hopefully without suffering a hernia). Good man, that Dembe. Rather uncommunicative, though. Soon afterward I received a letter from Sam. Apparently Dembe and Red were using Hud 3 as a diversionary device. "Chubster was right there in the park with Liz and Red in Berlin," said Sam, "and you missed it?? Didn't you wonder why Dembe was throwing peanuts? I have been up day and night working my fingers to the bone altering and tailoring Hudson's old "Squirrel with the camera/nut" disguise.
"You remember, that one Hudson wore when he took the pictures of Red leaving the hospital after he killed Sam (not me, the other one)? The photos Tom left in the envelope. Anyway, I had to order more fur and they shorted me by a yard! Well, that created a bit of a challenge because I didn't have quite enough for his tummy area and I worried about his ability to breathe. It was a very tight fit. Chubster loves acting and will do anything to further his career; he even started tilting his little head like Red. He's a real trooper and willing to do whatever it takes. The only thing he refuses to do is closet sitting."
"Good thing I'm here to tell you. You still have some time to pull it together for the finale. I might suggest the Evelyn Wood Speed Sewing School. Did wonders for me when I had to sew Oktoberfest lederhosen for that Elias fella in 1991. You try finding a lederhosen shop in DC. Old Bathilda got me squared away just fine at the sewing school. Damn lederhosen still reeks of the Cubans she puffed on all day, though."
May 18, 2014 - 11:47pm
News Chopper 7 has aerial footage of an old reFURbished Winnebago filled with beagles chasing a yellow cab down the George Washington Parkway, There's an exhausted looking British bloke with a monocle driving the cab. And the lastest report says there is an odd little woman, a young Golden Retiever, and some type of wiry coat, medium sized dog with erect ears also in the RV. Strangely specific news.
The chase lasted over 3 hours, leading far from the city limits. An accident did occur involving both the taxi and Winnebago plummeting down a steep embankement to the rocks below. The situation looked grave, but one of the survivors recalled a strange occurrence. Apparently as the vehicles were falling, everything started to slow down and they came to rest gently upon the rocks below. All, we repeat, all are fine, nothing more than a few bumps and minor bruises. The taxi driver was last seen running from the area.
We know the canines were taken to Red's newly borrowed mansion where they lapped up bowls of homemade beef stew and hobbled down the hallways. Red was exceptionally skilled at making stew. He must have learned from a master. Sadly, Hudson 3 made the decision to leave The Blacklist and pursue another career, Red is backing his new manufacturing business of knock-off bags.
Sam implored us to examine the facts:
- Stew was a Certified Criminal Transport Dog.
- Berlin was a certifiable criminal being transported.
- Stew ate hands.
- Berlin had a bloody stump and new prosthetic that would make Captain Hook jealous.
- Transport criminals lie.
- Rori saw all this coming in some soap opera.
Wait! That's it! Stew was not what he seemed. Now I knew why he looked familiar. He was a slimmed down Chubster, barely recognizable. He was Hudson 3 in disguise! And then I knew Mr. Kaplan had prepared Hud as an undercover spy for Red. Hudson 3 was alive, and while Liz might be (is) a neglectful pet owner, at least she didn't whack the woofer. Still, delusional Sam demanded I put on my big girl panties and accept that Hudson 3 was dead, and was not Red's spy dog. Putting my undergarments aside (well, not literally), I told her to bark off and take her cockamamie story with her. We have not seen her since.
Now I'm positive we were being played by Jon and John. Hudson 4, Lord Hudsimore? You've got to be pulling my leg. Yes, another ImposterHudson appeared in the Season 2 opener, hanging with Liz in the Motel No-Tell. Clearly we're on a Fantastic Voyage with an incredible shrinking machine because this little shrinky dink could be the same dog from As Good As It Gets. Any reasonably intelligent person knows you can't keep a pet dog in a motel room!! Liz was gone all day and half the night while he got no food, no exercise (sound familiar?) and no escape from the cheap 70's Formica furniture, a stained shag carpet, and stale motel air. And then he had to endure a striptease act. Speaking of undergarments, I hope he ran away with her bra and hid it. It would serve her right!
Hudson Can't Count That High - January 28, 2016, The Vehm, Episode 3.12
Well, well. It's been more than a year, and the infamous Blacklist barker finally resurfaced as Hudson #43. What? Really? Scratch that, it's Hudson 5, but it sure feels like more. Who can keep track? It would be asking too much, we already know, to expect, just once, the same acting dog be hired.
But ... could it be? Could Hud 4 and Hud 5 be the same dog??? Possibly. They are awfully similar, but I just can't put my finger on it ... there's something not quite the same about the two. Hmm.
Hudson is in Tom's possession this time, embraced warmly in his arms, clutched tightly to the soft t-shirt stretched across his hard, toned, well-developed ... oh, sorry. I'm just a touch jealous. Just give me a moment ... it's getting warm ...
On that note I leave you, as together we wait for another appearance of our favorite prime-time pooch. To be continued, I hope.
* This tail has been compiled from the original comments below of numerous Blacklist Support Group addicts on the Hudson, Where Are You? page. I have also contributed never before told details.