DANA SCULLY, X-FILES HEROINE
Hello Familiar Friends!
Of course I am not done with honoring the heroines of science fiction and fantasy. There are so many worthy of mention. Speculative fiction is chock full of amazing female characters in TV, film, and books. So I am continuing my tributes after a long hiatus. This week we pay tribute to one of my favorites-Dana Scully of the X-Files.
Dana Scully is one of the best heroines in sci-fi TV & film history. From the beginning in 1993 with her baggy 90's suits on her tiny 5'2" frame, to her style evolution with sleeker suits and better haircuts, Scully is one of our favorite heroines. Let's face it, a real busy career woman on the FBI with a load of college degrees never fussed about fashion or spending an hour on her hair in the morning. She did not have time to shop for hours. She had a busy important life. I am glad they did not try to glamorize Scully too much. Her confidence and choices changed with time, but it was never overdone. It was the character that was important, not whether she could pull off a plunging neckline with a push-up bra or wear the tightest jeans. Scully was a force to be reckoned with, armed with smarts, integrity, and a firearm, Dana Scully became a legend in our hearts from the first episode.
Though she was originally tapped to spy on Fox Mulder to debunk his X-Files project, she never did that. She was better than that. She did not fight her orders, she just did what she thought was right. She wrote her field reports, but they were directed from her point of view as a scientist. Mulder and Scully connected in an instant. A trust formed between them, a trust that would be their foundation for the rough years ahead. She was honorable, an attribute Mulder (who trusted no one) sensed and embraced. She clicked with Mulder from their first meeting, and we clicked with her. She was a rarity in early 90's television, not only highly educated, (degree in physics and a medical degree from Stanford), but as a respected FBI agent, Dana Scully was treated as an equal, not only by Mulder, but by the FBI. This was refreshing to me when I first watched it. A new perspective that I relished with each week as they fought the conspiracy of darkness and lies.
Often, Dana would counter Mulder's obsession with her facts and science, but she did so out of concern and love that only a true friend would. She bucked the system in her own way, subtly refusing to do what the powers above her wanted-to destroy Mulder. Our girl did not play that. She never wavered in her loyalty to Mulder. She was his champion. She never deserted him. Dana's scientific mind was a needed component to offset the hunt for the aliens, mutants, and supernatural that drove Mulder. It helped us as an audience to see both points of view. She provided balance and science when needed for the cases. She also had her own experiences of the mystical via religious myths Mulder never understood anymore than she of the alien and government threat.
Yes, everyone wanted them to be together, because their chemistry was off the charts. But for me, the most important element was the trust and friendship they developed. They suffered countless threats and dangers in their pursuit of truth and justice. They shared love in the final seasons and had a child Scully gave up for his safety (weep here). Motherhood was important to Scully, but she was denied this wish due to the government experiments which nearly killed her.
Death shadowed them both. They lost family and friends, suffered abductions, and deadly diseases. They survived. Through it all, they were true to each other, no matter what. When one was threatened, the other would move heaven and earth to save the other. That is what made it worth watching season after season, and why the final season was lacking. X-Files is Scully and Mulder. No one else can take up their quest. That's how good the characters (and the actors) were. Dana Scully of the X-Files, we honor you this week.
More blogs to come. So until then, watch more X-Files.