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Producers faced the challenge of breathing life into the second season and the departure of Liv Tyler. PHOTOGRAPHY: 9-1-1 Lone Star Season 2
Producers were tasked with breathing life back into the series for a second season after the departure of Liv Tyler. Photo: 9-1-1 Lone Star, Season 2

'9-1-1 Lone Star' with Gina Torres faces new pandemic challenges

The famous Afro-Latina actress stars in a second season that reflects the current world health crisis.

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On Jan. 25, the second episode of the second season of 9-1-1 Lone Star premiered to great anticipation following a first season that pitted the main characters against a volcano eruption.

It started with a bang, as one of secondary characters died, a hero of the team named Tim Rosewater, and little by little the theme of a pandemic revealed itself with Gina Torres at the helm of the resistance.

Producers were faced with the challenge of breathing life into the second season of the original 9-1-1 series after the departure of Liv Tyler, who had to travel for each shooting in the previous seasons.

Among the showrunners is Tim Minear, who also worked with Torres on the series Firefly (2002). She is a well-known New York actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent with an important career in series such as Angel, Alias, The Vampire Diaries, and Xena: Warrior Princess.

In the last decade, she has also accepted other types of roles and stood out for eight years in the legal drama Suits and its spin-off Suits: Jessica Pearson.

In 9-1-1 Lone Star, she plays paramedic Tommy Vega, who stepped aside in her professional career to care for her twin daughters while her husband supported the family with a restaurant. With the arrival of the coronavirus crisis, Vega must take another step forward to support her family.

Torres was asked about her experience filming the show by Variety spoke about the show's focus on frontline workers amid the pandemic.  

"I think we would have done the audience a disservice because as first responders as frontline workers, you can’t ignore what’s happening around us. And we’re not an alternate universe, we’re a real-time universe. So we acknowledge it and there are a lot of masks on the set in front of and behind the camera," she said.

In another interview with NBC, Torres explained how thanks to Minear, they were able to tackle much of the character design and changes from the first to second season through Zoom. They were also able to flesh out an appropriate tone given the theme. 

"I'm very conscientious of making sure that what we're putting forward — what I'm putting forward — is accurate and gives them the respect and the attention that they deserve for everything that they're doing day to day to day," said Torres

We'll see how well that works as the show's second season progresses.

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