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Is Showtime's new Dexter season the revival nobody asked for?

One of television's best known serial killers is on his way back, with a new 10-episode season. But after eight seasons and a widely panned finale back in 2013, do audiences even want a Dexter revival?

Dexter, one of television's best known serial killers, is on his way back.

Showtime has announced it has given the go-ahead to a limited series, 10-episode revival.

Star Michael C Hall will once again play blood spatter specialist Dexter Morgan who, throughout the series, works with the Miami police department and moonlights as a vigilante killer.

Gary Levine, the president of entertainment at Showtime, said in a statement that the network "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 [the executive producer] and Michael C Hall have found it," he said.

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What about *that* finale?

[Warning: Spoilers ahead]

Dexter ran for eight seasons until 2013, earning multiple awards including Golden Globe and Emmy wins for Michael C Hall.

But the series finale was widely panned by both critics and fans at the time; the Sydney Morning Herald wrote that it was "full of holes" and "enraged viewers", Vulture labelled it a "terrible end" and Rolling Stone listed it as one of the "worst series finales" alongside Lost, How I Met Your Mother, Roseanne and Friends.

In the finale, Dexter pulls the plug on his sister Debra's life support machine, dumps her body at sea and then sails into a hurricane, apparently meeting his death. But the show finished with a brief glimpse of Dexter working as a lumberjack and living alone.

Are there any clues about what will happen in the new episodes?

Showtime hasn't given us any hints about the plot of the revival, nor whether any of the show's other main characters will return, however, back in 2013, showrunner Scott Buck told Entertainment Weekly viewers were unlikely to see the current cast in any spin-off.

Defending the finale, Buck said it was the most justified ending.

"His punishment is banishment. He sends himself into exile," he said.

"In season one, you saw this guy who was so compartmentalised. The last couple [of] seasons have been about breaking down those walls by having his son and his relationship with Hannah and having Deb discover who he is. Still he was able to justify what he did.

Buck also defended the decision that Dexter's Miami Metro police colleagues do not discover his secret.

"We toyed with that idea, but it felt off-point. The story was ultimately about Dexter's personal journey," he said.

Showtime is hoping to start production on the revival season later this year, with a tentative broadcast date from September, 2021.

Do audiences even want more Dexter?

Rolling Stone's chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall tweeted that this was "the revival nobody asked for".

"The Dexter producers have said that the one thing Showtime demanded re: the finale was to not kill him off," Sepinwall tweeted. "So a sequel was inevitable at some point. If only the finale hadn't instead killed off all viewer interest in the show."

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We put the question out to subscribers of the ABC's TV topic on Messenger, asking whether fans would bother watching one more season.

The answer was a resounding yes, with responders overwhelmingly excited for the Dexter story to continue.

Celia A said:

Would I be keen?! Yes ma'am!!!! The tease of a 10-part revival has brought purpose to my day!!! Boom! The end of season 8 was begging for a revival at some point. Sign me up, take my money, tell what new subscription I need to fork out for!?

Peta T said:

Hell Yes! Dexter was so different when it started. He was an antihero that we could admire and loathe, often in the same episode. The writing was skilful and I would love to see a limited series that served as a postscript to his story. Bring it on!

Josef G said:

Yes of course. Michael C Hall is so talented and went through cancer treatment during his time playing Dexter. I feel like he has some unfinished business and would love to see what Dexter has been up to all this time.

Jade B said:

This new series has the potential to right everything that was wrong with the finale. My god was it bad. Yes! Please! Fix it!

Keith M said:

Looking back, like all long series of similar nature (sigh: Wentworth!), the writers seemed to get further and further from the possibilities of reality. But at the end of the day, it was an enthralling, enticing and exciting series and I am looking forward to it coming back.

Tamzyn B had some idea of where she'd like to see the revival go:

Yes, yes, yes. Dexter went the route of good season bad season... So lets hope we are back to good final final season!!! [It would] be great to know where is is at with grown kids and life.

Steph T was scarred by the Breaking Bad sequel:

I'm open to them to having a go and giving Dexter a better ending. Look, I'll end up watching it regardless, but after Breaking Bad El Camino my expectations are modest.

Lachlan G said he liked the Dexter finale and wasn't sure about the revival:

The ending was very fitting really, given the context of the show. Like so many of these antihero centred, 'premium' shows of the time, some of the audience identified with Dexter and the cruel violence he continually exposed his family and friends to. While it might have been amusing for Dexter's old ways to survive, it would have been totally inappropriate for him to get a happy ending. Showing more might put the significance of that choice at risk.

Mat J wasn't convinced:

I just started re-watching all episodes on Stan recently and god it is so cringe worthy! Horrible acting, horrible plot, slightly sexist. I used to love this show when I was younger, now I completely ruined my experience. I think I will finish all seasons just out of curiosity. But Dexter is dead to me

Rohan H was more forgiving:

The finale was truly awful however the previous episodes were mostly stunning! I'm keen to give them a chance at redemption.

ABC/Reuters

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