Eight years after Dexter ended with a polarizing series finale, Showtime will spill New Blood this November with a special event series continuing the story.
The premium cable network announced Dexter’s 10-episode revival in October 2020, with Michael C. Hall returning to play vigilante serial killer Dexter Morgan. When we last saw Dexter, he was living a lonely lumberjack life after giving up his cover job as blood splatter analyst for the Miami police.
And in Dexter: New Blood, the character has a new name, a new job, and a new home, but old habits die hard. “We’re moving forward to an ending that will be, as Chekhov said, surprising but inevitable,” showrunner Clyde Phillips, a former Dexter executive producer, told TV Insider last November. “Dexter always has what we call ‘the Dark Passenger’ living inside him. He is more grounded than he’s ever been, but that Dark Passenger is a voice he cannot deny. This is Dexter. People are going to die.”
Dexter: New Blood picks up 10 years after the original finale and trades sunny Miami for snowy Iron Lake
“Set 10 years after Dexter went missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura, the series finds him living under an assumed name in the [fictional] small town of Iron Lake, New York,” Showtime explains in a press release. “Dexter may be embracing his new life, but in the wake of unexpected events in this close-knit community, his Dark Passenger beckons.”
A behind-the-scenes video shows Dexter working in a fish and game store in town—and going by the name Jim Lindsay. (Not so coincidentally, the original series was based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter, a book by Jeff Lindsay.)
In the video, Hall said that he’s excited to answer lingering questions from the finale. “Which are essentially, ‘What the hell happened to this guy?’” he added.
As Jeff Lindsay, Dexter is “as close as he’s ever been to entertaining that he can have a real life,” the actor said. “But as you can imagine, something’s probably gotta give.”
Two stars whose characters died in the original show are returning
Joining Hall in New Blood are fellow Dexter alums Jennifer Carpenter and John Lithgow. Carpenter played Debra Morgan, Dexter’s adoptive sister, who died in the series finale but shows up in New Blood nevertheless. “I don’t think of her as a ghost [per se, but] more of a link or an echo or an inconvenient truth for Dexter,” Carpenter told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “[She] comes back to sort of haunt and punish and caretake and provoke and love [him].”
Lithgow, who played Season 4 big bad Arthur Mitchell, aka the Trinity Killer, previously revealed that he’ll appear in New Blood via flashback.
A bevy of actors are joining the Dexter franchise
The Dexter: New Blood cast also includes Julia Jones (Westworld), Johnny Sequoyah (Believe), Alano Miller (Underground), Jack Alcott (The Good Lord Bird), David Magidoff (The Morning Show), and Clancy Brown (Billions).
Per Deadline, Jones plays Angela Bishop, a Native American police chief (the trailer also reveals her to be Dexter’s love interest); Sequoyah plays Audrey, her strong-willed daughter. Miller plays Logan, an assistant high school wrestling coach and an Iron Lake police sergeant. Alcott plays Randall, a character with whom Dexter has a “meaningful encounter.” And Magidoff plays Teddy, a relatively new cop in town, as the site reported.
Brown, meanwhile, continues his fine tradition of playing villains, portraying New Blood antagonist Kurt Caldwell. “Caldwell was born and raised in the town of Iron Lake,” Showtime’s official description explains. “In fact, some consider him the unofficial mayor of their small town. He’s realized the American dream by going from driving big rigs, just like his father did, to now owning several trucks and the local truck stop. Powerful, generous, loved by everyone—he’s a true man of the people. If he’s got your back, consider yourself blessed. But should you cross Kurt, or hurt anyone that he cares for…God help you.”
The revival will be a “proper finale for a brilliant series”
“Dexter is a jewel in the crown of Showtime, and we didn’t do it justice in the end, and that has always been a burr under my saddle,” Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine said at the TCA press tour. “We’ve always wanted to see if there was a way to do it right, and it took a long time to figure out what that was and a long time for [star Hall] to be willing to revisit the role.”
Dexter: New Blood, Levine added, is “revisiting Dexter and giving a proper finale for a brilliant series.”
At a [email protected] panel in July, Phillips also hyped up the second shot at a satisfying finale. “The ending of this one will be stunning, shocking, surprising, unexpected,” he said. “Without jinxing anything, I will say that the ending of this new season will blow up the internet.”
Dexter: New Blood, Series Premiere, Sunday, November 7, 9/8c, Showtime