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Facts From a TV Junkie: 'Dexter'

Hello all! Chances are if you're reading this it means you, much like myself, are addicted to TV. You just can't ever get enough of that small screen action! Well, I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain and would like to help you in your noble quest for TV knowledge, which is why I've taken it upon myself to create this fun, weekly feature. Every week, I will dig up new and interesting facts about a show and share them with you right here. So sit back, relax, and let the trivia madness commence!

This week, I feel it's only fitting to pay tribute to 'Dexter' — the show that made us all fall in love with a psychopath serial killer (and therefore seriously question our sanity). For eight whole seasons we've watched Dexter Morgan take the law into his own hands and seek justice on fellow killers in the name of "The Code." And even though we've watched Dexter squash his last mosquito, there's still a few things to learn about our favorite Dark Passenger in the wake of this week's series finale. Such as…

***Warning: several of these facts contain 'Dexter' spoilers throughout the series. If you are not caught up on the show, and do not wish to know key plot points, do NOT read any further.***

Did You Know:

1. The first season of Dexter is based on a book.

Dexter Morgan reading the newspaper.

Believe it or not, the creation of a lovable, serial killing psychopath with a moral code wasn't just plucked out of thin air. In fact, the show's first season is based off the book, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by author Jeff Lindsay, which was published back in 2004. The book is part of a novel series based on the life of Dexter Morgan, which screenwriter James Manos, Jr. eventually adapted to the small screen. However, subsequent seasons have strayed vastly from the book series and followed original plot lines.

2. Author Jeff Lindsay was initially against casting Michael C. Hall as Dexter.

Michael C. Hall, Jeff Lindsay, and Jennifer Carpenter

The author had previously seen Hall star in the popular hit show 'Six Feet Under' as the short, gay brother David Fisher and didn't think he would have what it takes to be a convincing killer. (Thankfully, the producers thought otherwise). After seeing Hall speak just one line of the script, Lindsay immediately changed his tune and described Hall as being "absolutely perfect" to portray the role. This is a true testament to Hall's exceptional talent and versatile acting range.

3. John Lithgow made an appearance on Dexter before the Trinity Killer.

John Lithgow

In Season 1, Dexter and Rita watch the film 'Terms of Endearment' together, which just so happens to feature actor John Lithgow. You may remember him as Season 4's Arthur Mitchell — aka the Trinity Killer — aka the scariest 'Dexter' villain of all time.

4. There's a significant meaning behind Dexter's name.

Dexter poster.

What's in a name? The author of the 'Dexter' book series has stated that he chose to name the main character "Dexter" because it comes from the Latin word meaning, "right hand," which is normally thought of as a position of honor and trust. In other words, it's the complete opposite of his Dark Passenger and represents the way Dexter tries to portray his "fake" self to the world.

5. Dexter and Deb were married in real life.

Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter.

Though they play brother and sister on the show, Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter actually used to be married in real life back in December 2008. They divorced two years later citing irreconcilable differences, but continue to have a great relationship both on and off screen.

6. 'Dexter' was originally supposed to be a movie.


Can you imagine only getting two hours of Dexter Morgan instead of the 8 glorious seasons we've been lucky enough to have? The film was supposed to be based off of Lindsay's book, however, producers figured the public would automatically assume it was just another slasher movie, so the idea was turned down. Luckily for us, Showtime later picked it up as a TV series.

7. Michael C. Hall didn't reveal he had cancer until the end of Season 4.

Michael C. Hall on the red carpet

Actor Michael C. Hall was originally diagnosed with cancer during the filming of Season 4, but refused to tell any of his co-workers until the end of production. Executive producer, Sara Colleton, said during an interview that Hall did this for two reasons — the first being that he didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him, and the second being because he was afraid it would stop the show's production. Pretty impressive considering this was probably one of the most physically and emotionally draining seasons of the entire series (RIP Rita!). Way to go, Hall!

8. Dexter has killed at least 133 people.

Dexter kill room.

According to Dexter Wiki, our beloved serial killer has quite a body count stacked against him. He's killed at least 133 people to date, not including any unaccounted kills made before he began collecting blood slides. This also isn't counting any accidental kills made while trying to keep his secret (i.e. Sergeant Doakes).

9. The 'Dexter' theme song was originally supposed to be for a horror movie.

Dexter intro.

Though it's hard to picture this song anywhere outside the show's radar, composer Daniel Licht initially wrote the popular 'Dexter' piece as part of the score for the horror movie 'Necronomicon: Book of Dead.' Pretty fitting, right?

10. The woman who played Rita originally auditioned for the role of Debra.

Julie Benz as Rita Bennett

We all know Julie Benz as the sweet, naive (and tragically deceased) Rita Bennett. But it turns out, Rita wasn't Benz's first choice on the show. She originally auditioned for the role of Debra Morgan, which was given to Jennifer Carpenter. Kinda hard to imagine any f-bombs coming from such an innocent face, isn't it?

11. During Season 8, Angel Batista wasn't always played by actor David Zayas.

David Zayas and David Zayas Jr.

HUH?!?! Many of you probably don't know this, but Zayas' son, David Zayas Jr. (right), looks remarkably similar to his father. So much so that he's actually stood in for his father's role as Lieutenant Batista in some shots from Season 8. Pretty wild, right? Major bragging points to whoever can pick out those particular scenes, because I'm at a loss.

12. It takes 12 hours to set up a typical Dexter kill room.

Dexter kill room set.

Does anyone else think this sounds like an insanely long time? If it took this long for Dexter on the show, he'd never be able to get any killing done. The most intense kill room to put together was for Season 4, Episode 1, 'Living the Dream,' which takes place in a boxing ring. The entire place had to be draped in plastic.

13. Main characters never knew they were getting killed off until the end of the season.

Rita, LaGuerta, and Doakes

As unfair as it sounds, the actors who played Sergeant Doakes, Rita, and Captain LaGuerta all didn't realize they were getting the axe until the very end of each of their respective seasons, fearing that any prior knowledge would've seriously impacted their performances. In fact, producers were so worried about Rita's death getting prematurly leaked in Season 4 that they even passed around fake alternate endings to help throw people off the scent. Paranoid much?

14. President Fitzgerald Grant was one of Dexter's victims.

Michael C. Hall and Tony Goldwyn on Dexter

Okay, so he wasn't actually President Grant on the show ('Scandal' itself hadn't even been invented yet). But actor Tony Goldwyn did guest-star on the first season of 'Dexter' as Dr. Emmett Meridian, a psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer who liked to make his female patients commit suicide. (Now that's the type of thing that won't get you elected President, am I right?) He met Dexter's table by episode's end.

15. There's a reason Dexter began wrapping his victims in less plastic.

Dexter victims

Diehard 'Dexter' fans may have noticed that his victims have been covered in significantly less plastic wrap than they used to be at the start of Season 1. This is because the crew found that by wrapping the actors so tightly, they were actually being suffocated by the vast quantities of plastic on their bodies, making it hard for their skin to breathe. The procedure became too dangerous for the actors to do, so producers had Dexter switch over to just wrapping his victims at four main sections: the feet, the hips, the torso, and the head.

I hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Facts From a TV Junkie. Check back next week for another fix!

'Breaking Bad' < Previous | Next > Stay tuned!

- Dexter
- Michael C. Hall
- Jennifer Carpenter

Written by: Kelly_Schremph
Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:48 am

Images courtesy of Showtime


Message Posted On Sep 25th, 2013, 7:30 pm
I loved Dexter especially the theme tune. It has to be played on a real home cinema to really feel the bass notes. Big thanks to the producers for not changing the opening. (They did at least once when Dexter was a new dad).

Level 1 (43%)
Points: 1.5
Mood: happy
Since: 03/Jan/13
Message Posted On Sep 24th, 2013, 7:58 am

for the past eight seasons, as far as im concererned and maybe many others, but dexter was the best show on tv!!! thanks to everyone from the series, for putting the best show on tv! AND most of all thank you micheal c hall for playing the role so well!!! im gonna miss ya dext!!


Message Posted On Sep 24th, 2013, 7:56 am
I was hoping they would catch him not for him to sail off and to become a truck driver. Pretty lame way of ending 1 of the best shows ever

Message Posted On Sep 24th, 2013, 1:46 am
Farewell Dexter Morgan !

Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 9:30 pm
Apart from having its ups and downs, Dexter was a great series and I'll surely miss it!!

Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 6:28 pm
Great read! End of an era... Dexter, you will be missed. [SPOILER!] Didn't really care for how it ended, still don't understand why hy chose to be miserable instead of happy, but I guess you can never satisfy everybody. [/SPOILER!]

Level 2 (2%)
Since: 27/Feb/10
Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 12:31 pm

we will miss you Dex


Level 1 (4%)
Since: 12/Sep/10
Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 7:12 am

Insightful as always, thanks!


Level 5 (52%)
Points: 964.7
Mood: relaxed
Since: 08/Jun/10
Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 4:54 am

Great article, loved to read it. :)

(Global Editor)

Level 39 (91%)
Points: 17879.2
Since: 07/Jul/10
Message Posted On Sep 23rd, 2013, 3:01 am

I continue to enjoy these. Great job.

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