Only days after the surprising news that Michael C. Hall, showrunner Clyde Phillips, and Showtime were teaming up to bring Dexter back as a 10-episode limited series revival, the internet began tripping over itself with the hope that the series will find a way to fix the mess that was the 2013 series finale. Now we're learning a little more about the series- at least what it's intent is and isn't – from Phillips as part of The Hollywood Reporter's October 16th episode of its TV's Top 5 podcast.
With the series return recognizing that close to ten years have passed since viewers last visited Dexter Morgan's universe, Phillips wants to make it clear that this isn't just "the next season" but an opportunity to ends things a second time. "We want this to not be 'Dexter' Season 9. Ten years, or however many years, have passed by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage," he explained. "So far as the ending of the show, this will have no resemblance to how the original finale was. It's a great opportunity to write a second finale."
While this will give the writers an opportunity to "reconsider" aspects of the finale season and the season finale, it's having a new story to tell that was the reason for the revival. "This is an opportunity to make that right," Phillips explained. "But that's not why we're doing it." But for fans looking for anything to dramatically changed or retconned back to a stronger sense of canon, Phillips wants to make something clear: "We're not undoing anything. We're not going to betray the audience and say, 'Whoops, that was all a dream.' What happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years."
While Gary Levine, Co-President of Entertainment at Showtime, has said for quite some time that the network would consider revisiting the series if a creative take was found that was "worthy" of the original series, the ten-episode order that the tentatively-scheduled Fall 2021 series has received is about as good a way of confirming it as possible. To no one surprise, no details on characters or stories were made available but viewers of the series know that Dexter Morgan was left was a mess of a situation.
Having stolen his dead sister Deb's (Jennifer Carpenter) body to offer her up to the sea and hand over his son Harrison to the serial killer love of his life to raise overseas, Dexter was left string at us as lived under a new name at an Oregon logging camp. As you can see, there are a number of knots to be undone but if they can pull it off? It will go a long way to doing right by a fanbase that many feel was done wrong.
— Dexter on Showtime (@SHO_Dexter) October 14, 2020
"Dexter is such a special series, both for its millions of fans and for Showtime, as this breakthrough show helped put our network on the map many years ago," said Levine. "We would only revisit this unique character if we could find a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series. Well, I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found it, and we can't wait to shoot it and show it to the world." Dexter is produced by Showtime and executive produced by Phillips, Hall, John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Bill Carraro, and Scott Reynolds.