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Dexter: New Blood release date - Cast, who's returning and all the latest news

Everything you need to know as Dexter makes his comeback.

Dexter (Michael C Hall)
Showtime
Published: Monday, 8th November 2021 at 5:45 pm

A whopping eight years after its infamous finale, hit serial killer drama Dexter has returned to our screens for a revival series entitled New Blood.

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Starring Michael C Hall as ruthless murderer Dexter Morgan, the new series picks up 10 years after that disappointing finale, with Dexter now living under a new identity in the fictional town of Iron Lake in New York after disappearing in the eye of Hurricane Laura.

It's well established that the original ending of Dexter was not the most popular conclusion to a television series ever – and the showrunner for the upcoming revival has admitted that the series "lost its way".

Ahead of the revival series’ debut, showrunner Clyde Phillips told Variety: "It was only seeing as far into the future as the headlights on a car and had broken the covenant with the audience about everything that Dexter does has to be code-worthy."

But can the new series recorrect those faults? With the first episode of New Blood having already aired in the US, and the UK debut coming soon on Sky Atlantic, here’s everything you need to know about the revival series…

Dexter: New Blood release date

Vigilante killer Dexter returned to US screens on Sunday 7th November 2021. 

The release date was announced at Comic-Con along with a sneak peek trailer and season nine's title of Dexter: New Blood.

However, fans in the UK will have to wait an extra day to watch the first episode.

Will Dexter: New Blood be available in the UK?

Dexter will air in the UK from Monday 8th November 2021, with episodes available 10pm every Monday on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.

If you want to revisit Dexter, or even watch it for the first time, Dexter seasons 1-8 are screening on Netflix.

Dexter: New Blood cast

Crucially, Michael C Hall has reprised his role as Dexter Morgan, the part he played over eight seasons and 96 episodes between 2006-2013 for US network Showtime.

He responded "never say never" to a question in 2018 about whether or not he'd ever play the serial killer again, but maintained he would only do it if it was fresh, interesting and "worth doing".

The returning star recently explained what prompted him to come back to the role after all these years.

"I didn’t want it to be some sort of nostalgia piece where we did a recontextualised version of the same sort of story arcs," he explained to The Guardian, while in another interview with ET he added that it was "a trip" to return to the character.

"It was really wild," he explained. "I didn’t know really what to expect but I found that once I showed up and started shooting that he was still very, very much alive."

Veteran actor Clancy Brown has been cast as a brand new villain in the series, Kurt Caldwell, who is described as the unofficial mayor of the small town of Iron Lake. Brown's previous credits include roles in The Shawshank Redemption and Billions.

In addition, Julia Jones, who appeared in the fourth episode of The Mandalorian season one, portrays Angela Bishop, the first Native American Chief of Police in the upstate New York town. Her rebellious daughter Audrey is played by Believe's Johnny Sequoyah.

Alano Miller has also joined the Dexter: New Blood cast as an Iron Lake Police Department sergeant who also doubles up as the assistant wrestling coach for the local high school, and Jack Alcott as the mysterious Randall – all we know about him at this stage is that he has a "meaningful encounter" with Dexter.

In addition, The Morning Show star David Magidoff plays Teddy, a good-natured cop who has been working in Iron Lake for just two weeks and is a little scared of his boss.

Meanwhile, Spotlight star Michael Cyril Creighton has been given a recurring role in the series, appearing in seven episodes as Fred Jr, an affable shop owner who is a well-known face around Iron Lake.

Lovecraft Country's Jamie Chung and Manchester on the Sea's Oscar Wahlberg also have recurring roles in the new series.

Ching has been cast as Molly, who is described as a famous true-crime podcaster from LA, while Wahlberg stars as Zach, who is the captain of the Iron Lake High School wrestling team and has a reputation as something of a bully.

Clancy Brown in Dexter: New Blood
Clancy Brown in Dexter: New Blood Showtime

However, there are some returning faces from the first eight seasons - including none other than John Lithgow, who played iconic season four villain the Trinity Killer.

Given that the Trinity Killer was rather brutally murdered by Dexter in the season four finale, Lithgow later confirmed that his appearance would indeed be through a flashback - and a rather brief one at that, as the actor revealed that he was only on set for "one afternoon".

However, Lithgow told Variety that it was "just wonderful to rejoin that gang" and hinted that we could see more familiar faces as “there are all sorts of wonderful surprises and callbacks from the first few seasons.”

He wasn't wrong, as Dexter's foster sister Debra Morgan, played by long-term cast member Jennifer Carpenter, is also back from the dead.

One of Trinity Killer's most famous victims won't be reappearing, however, with actress Julie Benz ruling out a return as Dexter's wife Rita Morgan even as a ghost.

“I think Dexter has moved way past Rita,” Benz told TVLine. “It doesn’t make sense for her to be on his mind as a ghost because she was only his cover. He didn’t internalize her, so there are no plans for Rita to show up.

"I would obviously do it in a heartbeat if they asked. But I’ve always said Rita shouldn’t make an appearance in his head because she didn’t know the real him. She didn’t know the Dark Passenger.”

And Joey Quinn (Desmond Harrington) also won't be back, with his absence having been confirmed by Clyde Phillips in an interview with ScreenRant.

The involvement of showrunner Clyde Phillips was clearly crucial for Hall's return. He was executive producer on the first four seasons of the show, during which time it was nominated for three Emmy nominations and four Writers Guild Award nominations for best drama series.

Hall himself had five straight lead actor Emmy Award nominations and won a Golden Globe for the role in 2010.

Showtime Entertainment president Gary Levine said: "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: New Blood trailer

After several chilling teasers, Showtime finally released a full-length trailer at San Diego Comic-Con 2021. The sneak peek starts with Dexter in therapy of all places, seemingly attempting to resist his homicidal tendencies. But by the end of the trailer it becomes clear the serial killer is slipping back into his old ways...

The first season nine footage from Showtime was an ominous teaser clip, in which the titular serial killer talks over an icy shot of an axe stuck in a tree stump as a fire burns in the distance. "There really is nothing like getting back to nature," he says. "My nature."

A few days later, Showtime released a longer teaser, showing the same snowy scene before zooming out and revealing Dexter's worried-looking reflection in the window, as one of his victims writhes around in a body bag behind him. As Nina Simone's Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood plays in the background, Dexter turns to camera and smiles. Creepy stuff!

A third teaser highlighted the new small town setting of the series, where Dexter is on good terms with the locals who are oblivious to his serial killer past. But they might not be for much longer, as Dexter perhaps stares a bit too long at a knife in a shop window...

Dexter season nine takes place in the fictional snowy town of Iron Lake in upstate New York, but writer Warren Hsu Leonard posted on Twitter that he "basically pictured him running around in my hometown of Penobscot, ME.”

Shortly before the new series aired, a teaser image was released showing cast members old and new against a snowy backdrop.

dexter-new-blood

Dexter: New Blood reviews

Unfortunately for fans, not all critical reactions to the series have been kind to the reboot – with Rolling Stone claiming that "neither [Hall] nor New Blood come to feel sharp enough to justify his return as anything but a nostalgia play for a property whose finale likely preempted a lot of nostalgia".

But it's not all bad news – Entertainment Weekly wrote that "it’s kind of fun seeing Dexter again" and said that while the show isn't perfect it is neither "dead on arrival" while IGN added that "New Blood’s mix of old and new holds a ton of promise".

Dexter: New Blood spoilers

We last saw Dexter leaving Miami behind after faking his suicide, heading to the forests of Oregon to become, of all things, a lumberjack.

The 2021 miniseries picks up a decade after the original show's finale, with Dexter living a quiet life in the fictional town of Iron Lake, New York, in the premiere as he tries to suppress his bloodthirsty urges.

However, with the plot details for the rest of the series still under wraps, viewers will have to tune in to discover whether redemption is actually on the cards for Dexter.

Returning cast member John Lithgow described the revival as a "reimagination" that is largely separate from the original eight-season show.

“They don’t take it into a different era, but it’s in a different part of the world, a different part of the country, and a whole new cast of characters,” he told Variety.

Unsurprisingly it seems that Dex has taken on a new name, but it is perhaps surprising to see that he now works at a local fish and game store. Meet new protagonist and definitely not an ex-serial killer Jim Lindsay - which is likely a reference to Darkly Dreaming Dexter author Jeff Lindsay:

Many fans felt let down by the original season eight ending and Phillips, who left the show after season four, said he would have ended the series with Dexter's execution, being watched by all his previous victims (hinting at what may in fact lie ahead of Dexter at the end of this revival season?).

But that would have been the final show and at least the widely derided but open-ended conclusion paved the way for Dexter's return.

Dexter (Michael C Hall) in the series finale
Dexter (Michael C Hall) in the series finale Showtime

Speaking to The Daily Beast, Hall recently said, "Let’s be real: people found the way that show left things pretty unsatisfying. And there’s always been a hope that a story would emerge that would be worth telling.

"I include myself in the group of people that wondered, ‘What the hell happened to that guy?’ so I’m excited to step back into it. I’ve never had that experience of playing a character this many years on."

Phillips told The Hollywood Reporter: "We basically do get to start from scratch. … Ten years, or however many years, have passed by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage. 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."

That didn't mean the show was going to "undo" what happened in season eight; just make it right with Dexter fans – and there is the possibility that it may restore its standing with the fans who were dismayed when he walked off into the bush in season eight.

Who is directing Dexter: New Blood?

In November, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Marcos Siega would direct six of the 10 episodes. He directed nine episodes of the original show, two of which Phillips wrote and has since collaborated with the showrunner on other projects. He has also directed episodes of True Blood, Veronica Mars, Blindspot and The Hollowing as well as the pilot for The CW series Batwoman.

Siega's latest job has been directing Kaley Cuoco's thriller series The Flight Attendant.

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