Sunday, 17 May 2009

Discussing different Dexters

I've started reading a Dexter omnibus, which contains the first three books, and also just recently rewatched season one. I find it interesting the difference between the original story and a visual adaptation so will be discussing it here. The rest is below the fold (which completely fails to hide anything on the rss feed).

The first thing to note is that the book is a lot shorter and far more direct that the TV series. Obviously Jeff Lindsay is not trying to span 12 episodes, it is a large credit to the ability of the producers to actually spin it out, add a lot more, and make it seem a natural part of the story.

A lot of the 'killer of the week' is gone, there is still the first kill, and the guy who stripped the copper out (Jaworski), but all the rest were invented. That includes the Cuban-smuggling couple, which seemed so integral, and the kid who was like a new Dexter.

There was no Tony Tucci, and no Neil Perry. They are combined in the form of Daryll Earl, who worked at the ice rink and "confesses" to the crime. But hang on, that’s how Deb meets Rudy, who turns out to be...

There is no Rudy. The killer, still Brian, does kidnap Deb, but only appears onscreen at the very end. And the very end, who lives and who dies, is very different, but I'm not revealing that.

Other characters, eg Angel and Vince, get fleshed out far more in the TV series, and some characters are more "based on" rather than actual. Rita has far less of a presence in the book, and no sign of Paul.

As I said, it I extremely impressive how the producers reworked the story and I gather than later seasons are even more divorced from the books. Definitely a different experience and an enjoyable one!



Foo said...

Have you seen series three yet?

With my Who books rapidly running out (only 10 BBC/Virgin left to go), I will have the first chance in my life NOT to be reading Doctor Who. I think this may mean I branch out with non-Who...I think Dexter will be on my list.

I was aware that the first series is the closest to the book, the second series has a few similarities and the final book was published after the third series had aired so I would assume that at that point they have completely gone their separate ways. As you read through book 2 & 3, let us know of any differences (but perhaps keep any huge spoilers secret).

Jamas Enright said...

The easiest place to get differences information is to check out the wiki page for the Dexter TV series, although that may reveal a little more than you want. (Certainly it could be very hard to discuss some aspects of later books without revealing big spoilers from earlier books.)

Note that there are four books now, I'm not sure on their order in regards to the tv series.

Yes, have certainly seen series three, wouldn't miss any of them.

evildicemonkey said...


So it's been over a year since your post but I've finally got around to watching the TV series (I read the books before you got to them).

I've just got to Episode 8 of series 1 (where they reveal the killer) and what a shitty, shitty American TV thing to do.

I hate that it has to be linked like that; the difference between serial killers and murderers is that murder victims generally know their killers and victims of Serial Killers (beyond the first victim) don't.

Fuck the actors who play a big role (the Ice Truck Killer) in TV series, their acting talent may be immense but that doesn't mean that all plots should suffer the "under your nose the whole time" trope.

(Plus it makes the Killer's girlfriend seem either a bit dim, not being able to spot the guy despite her job, or seriously fucked in the head, screwing the guy who is most like her brother)

As I said earlier, Gah.

Jamas Enright said...

Speaking of Dexter and brothers, the US show had an impact on someone...