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Everything We Know About the Dexter Prequel, Dexter: Original Sin

Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself has joined the cast

Amber Dowling
Michael C. Hall, Dexter: New Blood

Michael C. Hall, Dexter: New Blood

Seacia Pavao/SHOWTIME

Not every big TV show needs the get the prequel treatment, but Dexter is certainly one that makes a lot of sense — the titular serial killer had been doing his thing for 15 years when the series began in 2006. While we learned a lot about Dexter Morgan's history already through flashbacks, there's still plenty of ground to cover. And it looks like Dexter: Original Sin is going to cover a lot of it.

We don't know why the title is so similar to the Pretty Little Liars sequel, and we wish the show could be named something cooler, like Dexter: First Blood or Dexter: Dark Passenger. Fortunately, the title doesn't matter as much as the actual content of the series. The Paramount+/Showtime series follows Dexter Morgan as he begins a forensics internship at the Miami Metro Police Department. There, he'll meet familiar characters played by a new cast. Read on to learn more about what we hope will be a bloody good series, including who is playing young Dexter, when it will be released, and what it's about.

More on Dexter:

Dexter: Original Sin Latest News

Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, will appear on Dexter: Original Sin in a "special guest star" slot, per Variety — she'll be playing Tanya Martin, who will be Dexter's boss during his internship in the Miami police's forensics department. A special guest star is a very ambiguous role, one that could mean that Gellar's character won't be around for too long since the people who do are usually listed as main or recurring cast. But with Gellar kinda being a TV legend, a puffed-up title like that could mean anything — and with a prequel to a show like Dexter, they might just be messing with us.

What is Dexter: Original Sin about?

As the title implies, Dexter: Original Sin is all about Dexter learning to control his killer urges in a more, erm, positive way. In the original show, we learned Dex made his first human kill in 1991 when he was 20 years old. At the time, a nurse was slowly poisoning his adoptive father, Harry, and she became his first target. Although the first-season flashback episode introduced the canon, we never saw the kill. 

They'll likely recreate that scene in the new show. The story picks up in 1991, 15 years before we first met Dexter in Dexter, when Harry was still alive. Harry works at Miami Metro and will help Dexter manage his Dark Passenger (which eventually leads Dex to becoming the Bay Harbor Butcher). That means we should also see the creation of the Kill Room and the origins of The Code and, of course, learn more about Dexter's blood sample slide ritual.

There's ample opportunity to go into Harry's psyche here, too. We know he eventually takes his own life after witnessing Dex do his murdery stuff, so his arc could be an interesting one. After all, we've only ever known him through flashbacks and via Dexter's memory. The new show is also an opportunity to see how Dexter became so liked by his co-workers and to explore their early relationships. Maybe we'll also learn why he always brought in those donuts.

Who stars in Dexter: Original Sin?

Shadow and Bone star Patrick Gibson takes over the role of Dexter from Michael C. Hall. Christian Slater plays the younger version of Harry (James Remar in the original), a Miami homicide detective, and Molly Brown rounds out the family as a younger — but hopefully just as foul-mouthed — version of Dexter's sister Deb (originated by Jennifer Carpenter).

At Miami Metro, Christina Milian is the new Maria LaGuerta. In the prequel, she's establishing herself as the department's first female homicide detective. James Martinez is Angel Batista, and Alex Shimizu plays a younger version of Vince Masuka. It's still TBD if Masuka will crack the same problematic jokes, but we can't wait to hear Shimizu's take on his signature laugh.

On June 20, it was announced that Grey's Anatomy vet Patrick Dempsey joined the cast as Captain Aaron Spencer, the captain of the Miami Metro Homicide Department where Harry also works. 

So far, Dexter: Original Sin won't include the James Doakes character. We know Doakes worked elsewhere before joining Miami Metro, so he could appear in a future season to partner professionally and physically with LaGuerta. Meanwhile, the first season will introduce two new characters that Dexter will deal with at work. Bobby Watt, played by Reno Wilson, is Harry's friend, confidant, and partner at Miami Metro. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar will be Dexter's boss, Tanya Martin, during his forensics internship.

Dexter: Original Sin cast:

When does Dexter: Original Sin premiere?

Showtime and Paramount+ haven't revealed when the new series debuts, but filming kicked off June 5 in Miami. The first season will consist of 10 episodes. We think the show would make a killer October watch if filming finishes in time. Furthermore, if the Powers That Be can get Original Sin together for an October 1 launch, that would mark 18 years to the day of Dexter's original premiere.

Who created Dexter: Original Sin?

Fans of the original series will be relieved to know Clyde Phillips is once again in charge of the prequel. Phillips brought Dexter to life when the show premiered in 2006 and oversaw the writer's room for four seasons until that shocking Season 4 finale involving The Trinity Killer (John Lithgow). 

But then Phillips left, and most fans agreed the show fell apart. There were multiple love interests, a weird twist involving Deb and Dex that most of us would like to forget, and time jumps that skipped over essential plot points. Then there was the finale, which threw away all character development, was rushed, and concluded with an open ending that felt like a cheat.

In 2022, Phillips returned for New Blood, and although the series felt like a return to the original character, it couldn't ignore the plot points from Seasons 5 through 8. It was also polarizing because it introduced an adult version of Dexter's son, Harrison (Jack Alcott), who had his own Dark Passenger. He wasn't an instant hit with fans the way Dexter was, but thankfully, the series doled out a much more solid finale. 

When Phillips helms the prequel, we can only hope he'll focus on the characteristics that made us root for a serial killer in the first place. If anyone can stay true to the characters and their journeys to becoming the ones we met in that pilot 18 years ago, it's him.

Is Michael C. Hall involved in Dexter: Original Sin?

While we're still hoping for Hall to reprise his original role in some form (even if it's just to do the signature inner monologues), he is not confirmed to appear onscreen. He is, however, an executive producer on the project. 

"Hey, Michael C. Hall here, just wanted to wish the cast and crew and writers and fellow producers and everybody on the team, well on the beginning of the principal photography. I cannot wait to take the walk with all the fans down Dexter's memory lane..." Hall shared on Instagram earlier this month. 

Is there a trailer for Dexter: Original Sin?

There's no trailer yet, but if you want to get into a killer mood while waiting for the new series, check out the show's official Instagram page or TikTok. There, social media managers share clips from the original series highlighting some of the best and most memorable moments, as well as new art from the upcoming show. 

Where can I rewatch Dexter?

The entire original series and the 10-episode sequel are now streaming on Paramount+.