“It exceeded them actually,” admits showrunner Clyde Phillips when asked whether, after all these years, bringing back the elusive fan-favorite serial killer in a limited series revival met his expectations. “I was just watching my first time going through the finale. I was watching the director’s cut, it’s a script that I wrote,” he reveals. “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written; I was watching with tears streaming down my face.”
We talked with Phillips as part of Gold Derby’s special TV showrunners “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with key award contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“Dexter: New Blood” is set 10 years after the original series finale, as Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) has moved to upstate New York under a new identity. He has suppressed his serial killer urges, but we soon discover that the internal “dark passenger” that drives his blood lust for retribution lingers just below the surface. The original “Dexter” reaped 24 Emmy nominations over the course of its run, including four wins – for directing (Steve Shill), guest actor (John Lithgow), main title design and picture editing – with Hall receiving five consecutive Emmy nominations in Best Drama Actor (2008-12), and the show itself earning four bids for Best Drama Series (2008-11).
Phillips departed as showrunner of the original “Dexter” series following the celebrated fourth season in which Dexter takes down the Trinity Killer (John Lithgow). Season 4 is often regarded as “Dexter” at its peak, which the show was never really able to maintain in later seasons.
He doesn’t mince words when asked what he wanted to achieve or address this time around to make up for how the show sputtered towards its disappointing series finale. “We all wanted to not just redeem the end of season 8, but to acknowledge that time had passed. This is not ‘Dexter’ season 9,” he explains. “We wanted to regain the trust of the audience, because I think in the last four years, particularly in the last couple of years of the show, all of the code and intimacy and rigor that Dexter would put himself through slipped away, and then the audience was watching a different show than they had signed up for in the first four years.”
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