Dexter Morgan (né Moser) is a fictional character in a series of novels by Jeff Lindsay, including Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005), Dexter in the Dark (2007) Dexter by Design (2009) and Dexter is Delicious (2010). In 2006, the first novel was adapted into the Showtime television program Dexter and its companion web series Dexter: Early Cuts.
Dexter is the protagonist of both the book and the show, but being a serial killer makes him a literary anti-hero. In both works, he follows an elaborate code of ethics and procedures taught to him in childhood by his father (which he refers to as "The Code") that hinges on two major points: Dexter can only kill other murderers and he should execute his crimes so as to never get caught. The program's first season was largely based on the first novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, however the following seasons veered away from the book. Most notably, Dexter's personality has humanized somewhat over the course of the television show, whereas he remains more statically psychopathic in the novels.
In the television program, Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall. He has received rave reviews for his portrayal, both critically and popularly, and he won a Golden Globe award in 2009 for Best Actor in a Television Series or Drama for his portrayal of Dexter Morgan in the fourth season.
Dexter is a textbook psychopath and power/control motivated serial killer, although he at first sight appears to be a mission-oriented killer. As regards his motivations, one could be forgiven for thinking him to be mission-orientated. However, his need to kill arose from a time when he was truly powerless: watching his mother die. He kills to feel powerful. The best evidence for Dexter as a power/control motivated killer can be seen in the books from his obsessive compulsive tendencies, and in the show the season one episode 'Shrink Wrap', in which Dexter is psychoanalysed and his control and power issues become clear.
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Official Site: Showtime
Links: Wikipedia IMDB: Dexter Official Site