Michael C. Hall leaves Miami behind in Dexter: New Blood.

Seacia Pavao/Showtime

Clyde Phillips

Michel Spingler/AP Photo
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October 11, 2021
In The Mix

There Will Be Blood

Fresh faces and places can’t contain the killer instinct of the new Dexter.

Whitney Friedlander

Things seemed pretty definitive when Showtime's Dexter ended in 2013. Most every character was dead.

And Michael C. Hall's titular lead — a serial killer who only kills people he feels deserve it — had left Miami for a colder climate up north, where he could take out his aggressions on trees instead of people.

However, fans' thirst for Dexter never really let up and, after some false starts, Dexter: New Blood — billed as a special event series — premieres on Showtime November 7.

Set 10 years after the first series' finale, it finds Hall now playing one Jim Lindsay (né Dexter Morgan) and enjoying his life in isolated Iron Lake, New York. His days are spent behind the counter of a gun shop, where he may be known to spin around in a swivel chair with a familiar devious smirk. At night, he line-dances with the best of them at the local tavern with his girlfriend, Angela Bishop (Julia Jones), who just happens to be the town's chief of police.

But that urge to kill has never left, and he falls off the wagon just in time for a mysterious new "Big Bad" villain to enter his orbit.

"The main goal is to make it a new show," says showrunner and executive producer Clyde Phillips, a veteran of the original, which was Emmy-nominated four times as outstanding drama series (2008–11). (Phillips earned three nominations himself for Dexter, in 2008, '09 and '10.) "However, we cannot refute the fact that this was a very successful show for eight years with a built-in viewership."

As those viewers migrate to the new show, they'll enjoy spotting Easter eggs, Phillips says. "They're there for us to have fun and to put our tongue a little bit in our cheek. I mean, it's a show about a serial killer. We want to acknowledge what he does, but also go back to some of the touchstones that made the [original] so much fun to watch." Still, he adds, New Blood can stand fully on its own.

The series also acknowledges how the audience for such programs has evolved. Jamie Chung joins the cast as Molly Park, a true-crime podcaster, to reflect, Phillips says, our interest "not just on serial killers, but on storytelling."

New Blood seeks to attract younger viewers, both by bringing back a now-teen version of Dexter's son, Harrison (played by Jack Alcott), and by giving Angela a teen daughter, Audrey, played by Johnny Sequoyah. Phillips says he chose to take on important real-world topics like climate change and opioids because "I have a loudspeaker," and he wants to use it.

So does this mean Harrison is the new part of New Blood?

"Obviously, blood has a lot to do with the show. It is, after all, Dexter," Phillips says. "But Harrison is not necessarily the new blood. It is the fact that almost a decade has passed since the finale, and we want to acknowledge that."

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 11, 2021

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