Author Jeff Lindsay Talks About His Beloved Serial Killer Dexter

By Tv Maven Archives
Cover image for  article: Author Jeff Lindsay Talks About His Beloved Serial Killer Dexter

Originally Published November 26, 2006

Jeff Lindsay is Dexter's creator. Our beloved serial killer was originated by Lindsay in 2004 in his novel "Darkly Dreaming Dexter."

When I first read the book, I was convinced I had ruined Showtime's version of it. Oh, how wrong I was. After this past episode I actually think having read the book makes my viewing experience even better.

Could the Ice Truck Killer in the show be different from the Ice Truck Killer in the book? According to Lindsay, "Absolutely! They have complete autonomy to do whatever they want with it."

For those of you who have read "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," you know that as of now, the Ice Truck Killer in the show is different from the Ice Truck Killer in the book. Yes, I said "as of now." While Showtime is able to change the plot as much as they like, I'm not so sure that's what they have in mind. (The conclusion of "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" is so genius - why would they want to change it?) It is still possible that attributes of this prosthetic doctor could be revealed, making the book and the show's Ice Truck Killers one and the same.

My reasoning? In Dexter's flashback in the therapist's office, you may have noticed, for a quick second, a baby splattered with blood. If you haven't read Lindsay's book, you probably are wondering what the meaning of that was. If you have read the book, your mind is racing with questions.

Hints: The therapist told Dexter to think back to "a time when you felt completely and totally powerless." He also mentioned Dexter being in a foster home. My thoughts? That period of time in Dexter's life is going to be brought up again.

How does Lindsay feel about the changes to his concept? "After seeing it, I approve of all of it. They're doing a great job... Most of the time I'm as surprised and delighted as any other fan of the show. They are very faithful to the spirit of the book. I worked in Hollywood for 12 years; I know what the word adaptation means."

That's right, Lindsay, Dexter's maker, finds out what's going to happen along with the rest of us. Dexter is his baby. So you'd think there has to be at least one thing in the show that he hasn't been all too pleased with. "On the episode where they find the little boy in the car... I was about to be really unhappy with that. But the twist at the end? That was wonderful," Lindsay said.

As a huge fan of Dexter, it was an absolute pleasure speaking with Jeff Lindsay. He created this character that viewers have fallen in love with.

And that's the best part about Dexter. He kills people and yet viewers feel for him. Who knew that was possible? According to Lindsay, that was the real challenge for him. Yet, his success in overcoming the challenge is what viewers are attracted to. "I think most of the audience has picked up on that. [Dexter] keeps saying 'I don't have emotions. I don't feel anything.' Then he does something and you wonder how he can miss it. He's feeling something. It's like having a pet cobra, in a way. You know he's dangerous, but there's something about him that's cuddly."

As most viewers have agreed, there's no one better to have played that pet cobra than the brilliant Michael C. Hall. Lindsay couldn't agree more. "I have a feeling that at some point in the future I'm going to be calling Michael to see what Dexter would do. He's absolutely nailed the part. I can't imagine anyone else doing it that well. He's made it his."

Lindsay also said he appreciates how hard the cast works and that it truly is an ensemble. "The first day I was on the set, most of the cast who weren't even shooting that day were there too, for support, to hang out, to watch. That's kind of unusual. I'd love to see this thing keep going. They're a great group of people," Lindsay said of the actors who are bringing his characters to the small screen.

You have to wonder what it's like for Lindsay, who lives day in and day out in the mind of a serial killer. "It gets pretty miserable sometimes. It's a dark place to hang out, but I finish up for the day and my kids are there and my wife is there and I come back to reality," Lindsay said. That leads me to two cool tidbits: Lindsay is also in a band called Wildfire, and his wife is Hilary Hemingway. Yes, Hemingway, as in the niece of the famous Ernest Hemingway.

Of course all of that doesn't change the fact that writing Dexter can affect Lindsay. "I still have bad dreams sometimes. Once you get into the world of the serial killer, it's a really creepy place. It upsets you one way or the other... It changes you."

Yet, with that said, Showtime's Dexter has been renewed for a second season and Lindsay is going to keep writing. His first two novels, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" and "Dearly Devoted Dexter" are currently available, and he is putting the finishing touches on his third book, "Dexter in the Dark." Yet it won't stop there; Lindsay has already started taking notes for a fourth Dexter book. Lindsay said, "If people like what you're doing, it's kind of your job and your duty to keep in it as long as someone wants to see it. I'll keep writing Dexter as long as people want to read it."

I leave you with these questions:


  • Do you think the prosthetics doctor and Dexter look alike? Just a thought....
  • Is the prosthetics doctor's name Rudy? I'm having a really hard time remembering. If it is, that's partly my reason for asking question #1 - Rudy and Dexter? With names like that, they must be related.
  • Is Rita going to be the "cold one" that the doctor and Dexter share?
  • How nuts is it that Tony Tucci had no idea the doctor who was creating and fitting his prosthetic leg was also the man who cut his leg off?
  • Did you enjoy the Deb singing in her room scene? As someone who found Deb annoying before, I loved it, as it made her more relatable - I mean, what girl hasn't done that millions of times?
  • Not so much a question as a thought, but whoa! Was there a lot of sex in this episode or what? Dexter is getting diiirty!
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