‘Dexter’ Writer Details Original Idea for Character’s Return

Showtime put the spotlight back on Dexter Morgan in 2021 with a revival series focusing on him almost a decade after fleeing Florida to go into hiding. Dexter: New Blood found him living a normal life as sales clerk Jim Lindsay in a small town in Upstate New York. But writer Scott Buck initially had a different idea for the character.

Michael C. Hall as Dexter in Dexter: New Blood. Dexter stands on the front porch of his cabin.
Michael C. Hall as Dexter in ‘Dexter: New Blood’ | Seacia Pavao/Showtime

Showtime had reportedly long wanted to bring back Dexter

Dexter enjoyed an eight-season run on Showtime before concluding in 2013. In the Dexter series finale, an emotional Dexter, guilt-ridden over the death of his sister Debra, drove his boat into the ocean as a hurricane approached the city, seemingly in an attempt to end his life. But the final moments found him alive and living in Oregon as a lumberjack.

The finale was widely criticized by fans and critics, many of whom had expected to see Dexter pay for all the murders he’d committed over the years. But it is said that Showtime limited writers in the way that they could conclude his story with the intention to bring him back one day.

RELATED: How the ‘Dexter: New Blood’ Finale Mirrors the Alternate Ending for the Original Series

Buck revealed his original idea for Dexter’s return

Buck said Showtime eventually allegedly had the idea to bring Dexter back as a doctor.

“I was intrigued by that, but it seemed a little farfetched that, in just a few short years, he could jump through all the hoops and become a doctor,” Buck told Bloody Disgusting. “There was also something interesting about him faking his credentials, but there’s also something a little unsatisfying about that.”

He came up with the option to have Dexter return as a paramedic and pitched the idea to Showtime later.

“In a lot of ways, it seemed to make sense, because he’s still working on some level with human bodies as a scientist,” he shared. “And it was never that he wanted to help people, that he wanted to atone, but rather … if killing was his heroin, then holding lives in the balance [as a paramedic] would sort of be his methadone. And it’s not that we would draw a whole lot of work-related stories. It was just the background to sort of place him in.”

He imagined Dexter would still be living in the Pacific Northwest when a “big bad” began terrorizing the area, causing Dexter’s dark passenger to emerge.

The show would have featured a “very small ensemble” cast with few original actors outside of Michael C. Hall, who played Dexter Morgan. But Dexter would have used his technology skills to keep tabs on Harrison Morgan and Hannah McKay, checking in on them through “cameras and street footage and banking accounts.”

The idea was eventually scrapped

As interesting as it might sound, the plan was ultimately scrapped after Hall allegedly failed to get back to Buck.

“He got the script, and I never heard back from him,” Buck recalled. “Not that he owed it to me in any way, but it all came down through the channels that he just wasn’t interested in doing it. This was like five years ago. I think, at that point, he was still pretty exhausted of Dexter. And that was the end of it. As far as I know, there were never any other potential spinoffs until [showrunner] Clyde [Phillips] did New Blood.”

Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out to representatives for Hall for comment on Buck’s remarks but did not immediately hear back.

Dexter: New Blood would premiere in November of 2021 to instant success, rising to become Showtime’s most-watched series in history. It ran for 10 episodes before concluding in January.

Although Buck’s idea for Dexter never saw the light of day, he’s happy that a show finally came together.

“It would have been something fun to do, but that’s the way it all worked out,” he added. “I’m sure everyone is very happy with Dexter: New Blood. I’m glad that it finally came out, because it had been very long in the works that Dexter needed to be finished in some way.”

RELATED: ‘Dexter New Blood’: What Michael C. Hall Really Thinks of the Finale