The Raping of Dana Scully
and Other Fandom Revolts From Star Wars to Dr. Who to Captain Marvel
By Bobbie L. Washington
There are few shows that come along and create a wave of fandom that becomes part of the social fabric in a modern day society. Back in the ’90s, there was this little startup network called Fox that was trying all sorts of things to garner eyeballs to the fledgling network at the time. It had one sure-fire hit, Married With Children, but that wasn’t enough to keep buttering the bread for a network striving to become at that time, part of the big three before cable. One day, a man named Chris Carter, came to Fox with a program called The X-Files. He proposed this show about two FBI agents, a man, and a woman, who would be charged with investigating the unexplained, the unusual, the unique, the, it doesn’t fit into a category of one plus one equal two cases. The show introduces us to two of the most iconic characters that have ever hit the small screen in such a long time. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder came to us as polar opposites that didn’t fit on paper but did fit in actuality from that bold start.
We had come to know them, their angst, their struggles, their lore, their identity, their fears, their love to name a few. We created a unique coupling term for their tense gaze upon one another called shippers., short for a relationship because of the many moments of the show where you saw this unfolding of feelings they had for each other. This became a slow buildup to an inevitable union that went on for nine years including one movie where they came oh so close. And when the show came to what was thought as the series end, Scully had Mulder’s baby, William, and all was right with the world. But then it came back for another season. They should have ended it sooner because it wasn’t the same when an absent Mulder in the first half of the season and Scully giving up their son to adoption. Maybe that was a sign of things to come because the fan base didn’t like it one bit. It would become a recurring topic as the show was rebooted in 2016 to an eager fan base and to put some closure to the one thing that was left unanswered, the whereabouts of William.
We wanted to know if the longing Scully had for her child would be quenched? That unwavering motherly bond has never stopped for Scully. It was that living ghost that burned ever so brightly as she silently mourned that absence. We would get that answer in this telling reboot but the price for that telling would come with a devastating impact. Mulder had always questioned Scully’s pregnancy as she had been rendered barren by a medical procedure when she was abducted. Even though he may have believed in a miracle, in the back of his mind there was another answer. He soon grew to the idea that the baby Scully was carrying was his and so did the fan base fully at 100%. But this turned out not to be the case.
Cigarette Smoking Man, or CSM to his friends, was back as a case of gonorrhea. Chris Carter brings this guy back and you know it’s not a good thing, As he takes a puff on that Marley cigarette, he proudly tells Walter Skinner that it was he who impregnated Dana Scully after slipping her a roofie. This was a sucker punch to the fan base on so many levels. Dana’s pregnancy was based on rape. You can’t sugarcoat that or make it comfortable with words no matter how you try. She was raped. Do we need to know the mechanism of how CSM did it? No! He just did it for his twisted nefarious end that justifies the means logic.
This revelation changed the entire mythos to the X-Files dynamic. Why was this scenario added to what could have been another approach to William’s birth and parentage? Why would Chris Carter deny Mulder the chance at being a father? Mulder too bore the pain of missing what he thought was his son. This revelation was cruel. Chris Carter had done a total disservice to everyone. It was as if the reboot was for nothing. We had tuned in specifically for this reunion only to get kicked in the gut by Chris Carter. Why would he go through the trouble of doing a reboot only to smack the fans in the face with a rape? Had he not been listening to the fan base, the fan base that kept Mulder and Scully alive all of these years after the initial run? It seems as if a lot of the fan based driven film and TV shows are not getting the love from the showrunners these days.
Dr. Who, the time jumping Brit from the BBC is a woman now. There was a big fanfare surrounding her debut and the initial numbers, ratings-wise, reflected an interest of that first offering. As the days went on, there were the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes that showed the critics was giving the show a 94% favorable ratings after that first initial showing mainly because they focused on her being a woman and not the content. The audience however ignored the woman factor and instead focused on the content and they did not please. Currently, on Rotten Tomatoes the audience ratings have it at 24%.
They were not pleased with the story content, the political correctness, the social justice warrior aspects, the poor acting just to name a few. And to the show itself, they don’t want to acknowledge the audience reviews and instead want to lay the problem on white males but if you dig deep, it’s more than just white males, it’s women, it’s minorities, it’s everyone in the mix. There are so many YouTube videos bemoaning the quality of Jody Whitaker and her acting and the content of the show that the showrunners can’t just keep ignoring the problem. These are the hardcore fans of the show that they will not acknowledge.
And then there is the Star Wars franchise. You wouldn’t know that Star Wars has a problem with its fan base because Disney doesn’t want that information to be let out. But there apparently is a problem with the Star Wars franchise that’s been going on for quite some time culmination in the disastrous box office returns for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
When you dwell deep into the Star Wars Wars lore, you’ll find that the fan base is having a problem with how Star Wars has evolved into characters becoming Mary Sues and a myriad of things not becoming of Star Wars. And here is the thing, these fan bases are the thing that makes these movies great and the powers that be aren’t listening to them. Instead, Disney and people associated with Star Wars are attacking the fan base, the main people that put money in your coffers and pay admission to your theme parks. Is that a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is giving us Captain Marvel coming up. If you saw the first two trailers, it doesn’t move you one bit to see it. Captain Marvel is supposed to be crucial in the upcoming Avengers 4: Endgame movie so to make her character plausible so they have spent over $200 million to make a movie about a third tier superhero that has no star appeal to the fan base. The star of Captain Marvel, Brie Larson, is not winning over any fans based on the trailers presented so far.
And she has also made comments that target the tried and tired refrain of attacking fat white men as the problem with whatever it is that she’s railing against. White men are catching hell just for being white men even when they haven’t done anything wrong. I guess they understand what it is to be a black man these days?
From what I’ve been gathering form both male and female critics surrounding Captain Marvel, the consensus is not good or bode well for Captain Marvel. I’m seeing it making Solo money at the box office. I don’t see how they could spend that kind of money on a third tier superhero just to justify her showing up in Avenger 4, that’s an expensive tab that may not get the results they may be looking for.
It seems that there is this trend to defy the fan base. The fans are the one that makes your movie and TV show a success. The fans are the one that helps bring back a canceled show (Hello Timeless, goodbye Timeless). The fans are the one that shows up every year to Comic-Con where you hawk your shows. If your fan base thinks that Michael Burnham from Star Trek Discovery is a Mary Sue, maybe you should take it under advisement? More and more, the fan base to many stalwart franchises is starting or have started revolting against these shows because they have strayed too far for the core ideal of what the show represents. In the last few years, things have changed and the landscape has changed as well. Social media has become this unruly behemoth gnashing at everything in its path and people are capitulating to the beast by becoming impotent close. Film critics to established media outlets like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB are consider paid shills for goody bags to the fan base and independent critics don’t believe the hype surrounding some of the tentpole films and have pledged to dig deeper into the numbers.
Independent film critics like Grace Randolph from Beyond The Trailer and MechaRandom42, both YouTube darlings, have been outspoken when it comes to what is really going on with film production houses, the numbers behind the project and what’s going on with the top execs and just plain insightful as a whole as they get inside scoop from some credible sources.
While Grace takes more of a diplomatic approach to her review process and inside knowledge, MEchaRandom42
will cut you long and deep and will not apologize while you bleed out. You just can’t turn away.
So where does that leave the hardcore fans? Where does that leave the studios? Do they the studios double down and look at the almighty dollar as their true believer while ignoring the thing that brought them here? Do the hard cores accept the inevitable in that the studios control the horizontal and they control the vertical? Disney did decide to pull back the Star Wars franchise after the dismal Solo movie since it stalled out from making a billion dollars. Quite frankly I was never fond of the idea that Disney now controlled the Star Wars franchise as well as having Marvel in their grasp. George Lucas saw that the devil’s horns were in the shape of mouse ears that lulled him into a false sense of security. Take heart fandom from all corners of the globe, your voices will be heard. The rebel alliance isn’t done yet.