In 2004, a little known author by the name of Jeff Lindsay had his latest novel published. Darkly Dreaming Dexter went on to win the Dilys Award as 2005’s best mystery novel of the year. Having won and therefore now appearing along side such past winners as Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, the novel brought the attention of Hollywood producers. As the publication of a 2005 follow up book entitled Dearly Devoted Dexter hit print, Showtime’s television series based on the character went into production. With its success, Jeff Lindsay became a best selling author and Dexter, the television show, became a sensation.
The show stars Six Feet Under alum Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, a CSI bloodstain pattern analyst employed by the Miami Police Department. While working some of the most bloody crime scenes of a very violent city, the real Dexter hides behind a façade of normalcy and stability. In truth he is a psychopath that carries a darkness with him that only he can satisfy by becoming the same type of monster that his department hunts, a serial murderer. This darkness described by Dexter as his Dark Passenger is put into check by a set of rules and standards given to him by a very unlikely source.
The series has had a run of six seasons with already two more having been announced. Highly successful, its group of fantastic supporting characters along with each season’s main story arcs has brought an unlikely success that has drawn audiences of not only mystery and crime dramas but also those of horror and genre films. With highlights by guest stars Julia Stiles and John Lithgow, a story of an unlikely antihero has changed how television works. The Dark Discussions roundtable talks highlights of the series and why the show has resonated so strongly.