Does revival series 'Dexter: New Blood' make the cut?

Dexter: New Blood (Showtime/Sky)
Dexter: New Blood (Showtime/Sky)

Most TV revivals or reunions have a whiff of cash in or nostalgia, but for Dexter: New Blood, fans will be hoping it rights some wrongs.

After eight seasons, which had admittedly dipped in quality, the show — about a forensics technician with a sideline in murder — sadly bowed out with one of the least popular finales of the box set era.

So when show creator and original showrunner Clyde Phillips — who left after the fourth season — announced he was bringing the serial killer back for a new outing, eight years after the anti-climactic finale, hardcore fans have been celebrating and hoping for amends to be made.

But with expectations high amid eight years of pent up disappointment, it's always going to be tough for any version of this show to meet them.

(L-R): Clancy Brown as Kurt Caldwell, Johnny Sequoyah as Audrey Bishop, Jack Alcott as Harriosn Morgan, Alano Miller as Logan, Julia Jones as Angela Bishop, Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan and Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in DEXTER.  Photo credit: Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME.
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan (second from right) leads the cast of Dexter: New Blood (Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME/Sky)

The original series ended in a bloody mess. His character, who as a boy was found next to his mother’s butchered body leaving him broken inside, had been raised by the policeman who found him.

Having noticed the young Dexter’s murderous tendencies, the adoptive father then trained him to only target murderers and monsters who had slipped through the justice system.

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After eight years of methodical carnage, Dexter was all set for a getaway to Argentina with his primary school age son Harrison, but it all went awry when another killer who had been raised in a similar ethical murder background went kill crazy and took out, amongst others, Dexter’s beloved sister Deb.

Traumatised by this loss, Dexter faked his death, left his kid to be raised by a killer girlfriend, and the final, very controversial, scene saw him left working as a lumberjack in a wooded region.

Michael C. Hall returns to play the titular serial killer in 'Dexter: New Blood'. (Seacia Pavao/Showtime/Sky UK)
Michael C. Hall returns to play the titular serial killer in 'Dexter: New Blood'. (Seacia Pavao/Showtime/Sky UK)

Eight years on, New Blood finds Dexter living in a small woodland town in upstate New York, having managed to quell his urge to kill and is now trying to stay out of the world’s attention.

But events are afoot to rock his quiet life.

Sadly, one of the best revelations and moments of the pilot episode is given away in the trailer which gives away a giant character moment. If you haven’t seen the trailer, this episode will be a much more enjoyable experience.

Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, “Cold Snap”.  Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME.
Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD, 'Cold Snap'. (Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME/Sky)

The ‘twist’ apart, it’s great to see Hall’s charismatically geeky character back on screen. It’s hard to adjust from the sun-kissed south Florida setting, itself a character in the original show, to the icy and genteel north we find Dexter in now.

Gone, obviously, are the fun and quirky cops we’re used to seeing him working alongside and now replaced by a colourful small town ensemble with stories of their own.

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As small town shop clerk Jim Lindsay — presumably a lovely naming nod to the original novel creator Jeff Lindsay — Dexter has an apple pie lifestyle in his chilly idyll.

Michael C. Hall as Dexter in DEXTER: NEW BLOOD.  Photo credit: Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME.
Michael C. Hall as Dexter in Dexter: New Blood (Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME/Sky)

But we’re not here for townie banter: this show is about blood and murder, and we don’t have to wait too long for potential victims to line up and our man's famous kill room to get dusted off.

It's great fun for fans, and with subtle enough exposition for new arrivals, there’s lots of potential here with plenty of story angles and interesting characters opening up.

Hopefully the writers have a bloody great ending in mind.

Dexter: New Blood starts at 10:05pm on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW, with an Entertainment Membership, from 8 November.

WATCH: Michael C. Hall explains why he returned to the kill room for Dexter: New Blood.