The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 09, 2021 1:00 am

'Home Before Dark' back with urgent case

George Dickie | Zap2it

As kid journalist extraordinaire Hilde Lisko and her family try to move on from the Richie Fife story, her attentions turn to another more urgent case as “Home Before Dark” returns for its second season.

Premiering Friday on Apple TV+, the new season opens with Hilde (Brooklynn Prince) rocked awake by the sound of an explosion on a nearby farm, which managed to elude the notice of her parents Matthew and Bridget (Jim Sturgess, Abby Miller), sister Izzy (Kylie Rogers), the police and the other residents of Erie Harbor.

But the exploded utility transformer is only one symptom of a much bigger problem. There are dead fish and wildlife all around, helicopters are buzzing the farmer's cattle and even the farmer himself is being harassed. Hilde links it to a major corporation's efforts to persuade the farm's owner to sell them his land, and sensing a major story in the making, Hilde takes up the investigation – with the support of fellow journalist dad Matthew.

“She starts to sort of look into the water supply she believes is being contaminated,” Sturgess says. “A series of events kind of leads her to understand that this corporate world is affecting the small town in which they live and that this money-grabbing corporate industry is not taking care of the people that it's supposed to be. So it's a kind of David and Goliath story that (Hilde) takes on Corporate America in that way.”

The new season was filmed over the course of more than a year in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the actors found themselves holed up after production suspended and Canada closed its borders because of the pandemic. During that time, Sturgess became a father for the first time to a son, and he says his on-screen role as dad-of-three Matthew Lisko served as excellent training for his off-screen duties.

“Anyone who has more than one kid I have complete and utter respect for,” the British actor says with a laugh, “because I obviously just had my first. ... But it really helped being a part of the show and being around all the kids. I love hanging out with younger people. They're always a lot of fun. So it sort of worked nicely that I was sort of shooting the show, in which I'm playing a dad, and becoming a dad for the very first time. I mean, it all kind of fed into itself in a really positive way.”

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