The truth is out there. At least, that’s how I feel about the reboot of the X-Files which I am hoping will live up to the original. The iconic show will begin again on January 24th, 2016 (Den of Geek is continuing to update news). Surprisingly, the directors are recruiting the main actors from the original show.
I grew up watching occasional X-Files with my parents. While I was too young to comprehend the ideas, college brought me back to rediscovering the X-Files. One very incredible female character brought my passion for the X-Files to the forefront, a character that I hope will remain her inspiring self in the reboot.
I was (and still am) on a kick of watching 90s shows because the women were more realistic and diverse. After my Charmed kick, I moved on to the X-Files; witches to aliens, a totally natural progression, right? Gillian Anderson’s character, Dana Scully, engaged me from the start. Scully was not the average female character, even for the 90s. For one, her job came first and she thus ensured her personal beliefs and emotions did not interfere, unlike her male counterpart Fox Mulder. We hear from her later that she purposefully kept people at an emotional distance. However, that is not to say she did not have her moments as a human being. Mulder’s abduction, for example, brought not only Scully’s beliefs crashing down, but the emotional barrier she had erected. Still, in no way was Scully shown as weak because of being a woman.
Another unique feat by the X-Files was that Scully was the scientist. If it could not be proven by science, she would not believe it. Such instances as her writing a report, detailing her and Mulder’s outings, demonstrated that Scully never jumped to conclusions. Her ability to remove herself from the situation and frequently ask questions actually ensured the path to the truth Mulder wanted. One thing that always puzzled me, however, was that she was religious. I believe this was due mostly to her being raised as Catholic. Yet, there were moments when Scully had to face some crucial questions regarding her blind faith. Nonetheless, I felt this reinforced her scientific role in that even her religion could not escape her skepticism.
Finally, the ultimate poignant take-away: Scully’s abilities were completely separate from her gender. As a trained FBI agent, she was prepared both mentally and physically for danger. At no particular point did she have to rely on her male colleagues to save her. Indeed, it fell on her petite shoulders to save Mulder most of the time, not only from alien dangers, but from his constant pursuit of the truth that began to unravel an ugly facade concerning the government. Throughout the seasons we were privy to flash backs of Scully’s childhood. We learn she was a tomboy, rough-housing with her brothers and even receiving a B.B. gun for her birthday; these flashbacks reinforce the fact that Scully’s abilities were in no way limited by a stereotypical understanding of gender.
While skeptical of reboots, I highly anticipate the new X-Files. Dana Scully was one of my favorite TV female characters of all time. While I am more emotional than Scully, and healthily embrace that part of me, there are times I wish I could take a page from Scully’s book. Scully encompassed all that I wanted (and still want) to be: a strong woman of science unyielding in the face of corruption.
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