"A big part of our motivation is to definitively answer the question of what happened to this guy," the actor says.

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Things might have been different if viewers absolutely loved the 2013 series finale of Dexter. But many, many people didn't, which is why Michael C. Hall was on board for reviving his iconic character for a 10-part event series this November.

"I think the way the series proper ended has a great deal to do with why we are revisiting this show. A lot of what was mystifying to people is… what creates the appetite that we hope to satisfy now," Hall told reporters Tuesday during a panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. "The show did not end in a way that was definitive for people and didn't give anyone closure. We didn't hear from Dexter. It left audiences… in a sense of suspended animation. A big part of our motivation is to definitively answer the question of what happened to this guy."

But this is not the ninth season of Dexter, insists showrunner Clyde Phillips.

DEXTER
Michael C. Hall on 'Dexter'
| Credit: Everett Collection

"This is a whole new embodiment of the show," said Phillips, who ran the writers' room on the original series for the first four seasons. "This is a whole new imagining of the show."

The action takes place over several weeks in December in the fictitious town of Iron Lake, N.Y., where Dexter Morgan (Hall) has cobbled together a new life for himself since dumping his dead sister, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter), into the ocean; fleeing his job at the Miami Metro Police Department; and abandoning his 5-year-old son, Harrison, in that polarizing finale. He's clerking in a small store and dating the chief of police (Julia Jones, from the Twilight films) until something happens that brings out his dark passenger — Dexter code for the side of his personality that commits murder. Unlike the original series where Dexter's dead dad was that voice in his head, his dearly departed sister will assume the role of her brother's subconscious in the new iteration.

"She represents a corner of Dexter's mind," Phillips said. "Like, 'If you do this, here are the consequences.'"

Also back from the show's original run is John Lithgow, who played the notorious Trinity Killer in season 4. He'll be joined by at least one more surprise visitor from Dexter's days in Miami. We'll also meet Harrison as a grown-up (played by The Good Lord Bird's Jack Alcott), as well as an Iron Lake muckety-muck named Kurt Caldwell (The Shawshank Redemption's Clancy Brown) and a crime podcast host played by Jamie Chung (The Gifted).

"The theme is fathers and sons," Phillips said. "His son always thought he was dead, so there's great resentment. Dexter has a lot of work to do to win his son back and prove he's a good father."

So does that mean a spin-off of this revival may be in order? "We're not going there," said Phillips. "We want to get ourselves through episode 10 and see what we are. That's really a network decision, anyway."

Dexter: New Blood premieres Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Related content:

Dexter: New Blood (TV series)

Eight years after the much-maligned 'Dexter' finale, Michael C. Hall's serial killer reemerges for a new event series on Showtime.

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