As most people know by now, Showtime’s series DEXTER is both a critical and a ratings hit, with a four consecutive Outstanding Drama Emmy nominations to its credit. Star Michael C. Hall has won a Golden Globe and been nominated for four consecutive Best Actor Emmys for his portrayal of Dexter Morgan, a seemingly mild-mannered Miami police blood splatter analyst by day and a serial killer who takes out other murders by night.
Over the years, we’ve seen Dexter get married, father a son, have his wife murdered by another serial killer (John Lithgow, who won a Supporting Actor Emmy for his performance), finally confide in a kindred spirit (Julia Stiles’ Lumen, another Emmy-nominated turn) and evade capture. The one living adult Dexter truly loves and trusts is Jennifer Carpenter’s character Deborah, Dexter’s sister by virtue of the fact that her parents adopted Dexter when he was a toddler.
Deborah is now Dexter’s boss, as she’s been promoted to lieutenant in charge of the Miami Metropolitan Police Homicide Division. With prompting from her therapist, Deborah has realized she’s romantically in love with Dexter. However, when Deborah goes to discuss this issue with her adoptive brother, she walks in on Dexter as he takes the life of serial murderer Travis Marshall, aka the Doomsday Killer. And then Season Six ends and here we sit pining for DEXTER Season Seven to hurry up and return on September 30.
Here to help us weather this wait is DEXTER writer/executive producer Manny Coto, a veteran of 24, STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE and STANGE WORLD.
ASSIGNMENT X: You’ve been on DEXTER for …
MANNY COTO: Three years. I’m one of the [writing] executive producers.
AX: Who is the current show runner? There have been several …
COTO: Scott Buck took over from Chip Johannessen. Chip was the show runner for Season Five, and Scott was the show runner for Season Six and Seven.
AX: Over your three years so far on DEXTER, do you feel the show is changed tonally from season to season, or do you feel that there’s a through-line?
COTO: I think it has changed tonally and I think that’s been the natural evolution of the show. I mean, [in] DEXTER, you’re watching the growth of a character. Season One, he starts off almost as a child in his view of the world, and he’s slowly progressing into adulthood. Marriage, fatherhood and this season, toward a later part of his life, questioning faith. I think when you’re doing that, when you’re watching someone grow up, as the tone of your own life changes, so will the tone of his life in the show.
AX: Watching Season Six, it looked as though there might have been an idea at the beginning that the story would build toward a major 24-like terrorist plot that Dex would jump in and thwart and it got sort of scaled down as the season proceeded. Is that at all what happened?
COTO: No, no. It never got scaled down – it was always what it was. In fact, it was something we came up with toward the end. It was never really planned to be the big end at the end of the season.
AX: The big event at the end of the season was always planned as Dexter saving his son Harrison?
COTO: Saving Harrison and Deborah finding out [that Dexter is a killer]. That’s where the season trajectory was always headed.
AX: How long has it been planned that Deborah would find out about Dexter being a killer?
COTO: I think all through this year. I think we knew early on that we wanted to end this year with Deborah discovering that Dexter was a killer, because it was something we felt in the natural evolution of the show it had to come sooner or later, but also set up for a great next season.
AX: Given the Season Six finale, you could easily spend twelve hours just dealing with Deborah and Dexter having a conversation at this point …
COTO: Well, that’s the fun of next season. It’s Deborah and Dexter’s reaction, Deborah dealing with his reaction. She’s running Miami Metro, and she’s discovered her brother is a serial killer, or at least a killer – at least that much she knows. So that’s going to inform a huge amount of the season.
AX: Is there going to be a major villain with an arc next season?
COTO: In some form or another. I don’t know what form it will take. It may be somebody who comes in later on, maybe somebody goes in for multiple seasons, or it may be something completely different. It’s hard to tell. It will be something more than just Deborah and Dexter.
AX: And we can we expect Josh Cooke’s character Louis, the computer geek who is obsessed with Dexter and bought the Ice Truck Killer arm, to turn up and figure into the storyline next season?
COTO: No, we’re going to drop him – just kidding. Yes, what will be interesting is, he will work his way into the situation we set up with Deborah and Dexter.
AX: And if it’s not too much of a spoiler, can you say whether Season Seven will start like Season Five did, picking up immediately after the last season ended, or is it going to jump forward in time?
COTO: We’ve discussed multiple ways of doing it. We could flash forward and come back, or we could start right after.
AX: Where did you get those wonderful apocalyptic murals that were ostensibly painted by Colin Hanks’ Doomsday Killer character?
COTO: Our spectacular art department. In fact, I got them to give me one of them. It’s sitting in my closet – I’m going to put it on my wall. They’re beautiful. We have a fantastic art department. They not only made the murals but the church that Olmos and Hanks were in the whole time. It was built on a soundstage, and it’s one of the most beautiful sets I’ve ever seen.
AX: You’ve renewed for two more seasons, for a total of eight. Is it going to be two seasons and out, or might there be more after Season Eight?
COTO: We’re going forward as if there could be more. It’s renewed for two seasons, but you never know. So we’re going forward with where the characters seem to take us and whether that becomes an end game in the future, we don’t know.
AX: But you’ll know by the time you’re creating eighth season?
COTO: Well, I’m assuming if it is the end of the series, we’ll know. But my point is, it could be these next two years, or it could go forward. No one has announced that this is it.
AX: Are you working on any other projects that we should know about?
COTO: I’m always in development with something, but nothing really that I can talk about right now.
AX: Are you involved in the 24 feature film?
COTO: No. Not at all.
AX: Anything else you’d like to say about DEXTER?
COTO: All I can say is that next year is going to be a really interesting game changer for the series and we’re looking forward to it. We’re really excited about sitting down and working out this new scenario.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with Manny Coto on DEXTER Season 7 news and more