Why They Put the I to the FBI Legacy of Bones and the X Files
My love for tv crime dramas with paranormal twists started at the tender age of 10 when I saw my first episode of the X Files. Considering the fact that the episode was about a Flukeman who was half human and half-worm I´d say my love for the X Files had as much to do with creepy monsters as with the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Eight years later another crime drama with similar concept came into my life. This time it was about a female doctor who had difficulties to bond with people and extremely handsome FBI agent who had a silent way to fight against the FBI protocol. Usually this rebellion was manifested by this agent wearing colored socks and a belt that said ”cocky”.
Now am I just someone who has natural affection for FBI agents who behave like married couples without not being married. Is it the monsters? Witches in closets? Mummies on electric fences? Weird scientific experiences? Alien babies? Or maybe it is my never-ending crush on Alex Krycek.
On the first glance The X Files is dark, film-noir, very secretive and in many ways sexy without trying. Bones is clever, action-filled, it has lots of humor, lots of drama and variety of interesting characters which all could pull spin off of their own. X Files and Bones are like close twins but the other one only likes to come out at nights. Not to mention both shows are some of the most successful crime dramas in tv history. Time to share some light to the secret formula.
"I have never met anyone so passionate and dedicated to a belief as you. It´s so intense that sometimes it´s blinding!" - Scully
Guy or a girl thing?
The X Files was created in 1992 by Chris Carter. When Carter was creating characters of Scully and Mulder he wanted to switch the traditional gender roles upside down. Character of Mulder became the believer. An attribute that in most western cultures is considered to be a female quality. Character of Dana Scully MD became the skeptic who´s work was to debunk agent Mulder´s theories which were too off-limits with the government policies. In the earlier seasons of the X-FILES Mulder was not sure whether to trust Scully and who´s side she was on. Scully however proved to be worth of his trust and two bonded in such level that it left it´s marks to several generations of fans of the shows all over the world.
For so much of my life my intelligence was all I had. I may not have had a family but I understood things that nobody else could. My brain, the way I think. Is who I am. Who I was – Brennan
Bones was created by Hart Hanson. Hanson had very similar idea for his characters and he also swapped the gender roles. Hanson´s characters were like night and day. Temperance ”Bones” Brennan a brilliant scientist and an anthropologist. Seeley Booth FBI agent with Catholic upbringing and amazing talent to read people. In the beginning of Bones Booth and Brennan are like oil and water looking for a common ground but season by season their relationship deepened from partnership to friendship and eventually to love. Many of the creators of Bones, Hart Hanson included, were also big fans of the X Files.
I don´t know any real life FBI agents so I can not confirm my theory that agents:
1. Automatically give each others nicknames
2. Always call each others by their last names. Even when they are having babies and living together.
Fox Mulder has the most realistic reason to ask everyone (including his parents) to call him Mulder (let´s face it David Duchovny will always be a fox). During the 11 seasons of the X Files Mulder calls Scully Dana once and this happens during supervised circumstances. When Mulder calls Scully by her last name for them it is one more way of saying that she is his equal in every way, his partner and his touchstone. She would not have it any other way. For the rest of the world Dana Scully is either Agent Scully or Dana Scully, Medical Doctor. But for Mulder she is Scully. His partner and love of his life.
"Don´t call me Bones"
If you have watched the first season of Bones at least five times in your life (welcome to the club) you will notice that quite soon after Seeley Booth is partned with Dr. Brennan our heroine is extremely annoyed by the fact that Booth gives her a destinctive nickname Bones. By the time we get into the second season she has become less annoyed and he does not mind her calling him Booth.
Did you know that it was very close that Gillian Anderson didn´t get the role of Scully? Originally producers of the show wanted a curvy tall blonde to play agent Scully but creators of the show insisted that Anderson should get the part. Considering the fact that at the time such sexualized shows like Baywatch were popular the producers were´t confident at all that the show would succeed. How wrong they were! Both Scully and Mulder became pop culture icons. Scully wore power suits, cheap high heels and she was way shorter than her partner (Gillian Anderson is 5,3 in shoes) and her red-hair became as important element of the show as Mark Snow´s whistling theme music.
Scully was highly educated, medical doctor with undergraduate degree in physics. Personal traits of Scully were equally as impressive. She was smart, intelligent, beautiful, loyal and above all courage. X Files never brought as one-dimentional characters. Dana Scully was always a badass but she never was a bitch. Popularity of the character started so called Scully effect. Dana Scully has inspired thousands and thousands of women to pursue careers in science and medicine.
”It was a surprise to me. We got a lot of letters all the time, and I was told quite frequently by girls who were going into medical world or the science world or the FBI world or other worlds that I reigend, that they were pursuing those pursuits because of the character of Scully. And I sayed ”yay!” - Gillian Anderson
Bones and new generation of scientist
What it comes to Bones for some of the viewers long-run series was way more than entertainment. It showed future possibilities in the world of science, anthropology and other STEM careers. Emily Deschanel who played the part of Temperance Brennan in Bones stated that she loved being continuence to the Scully effect. Bones had rich cavalcade of female characters and each one of them has been part of the Scully effect. Angela Montenegro (Michaela Conlin) artist and Camille Saroyan (Tamara Taylor). Show portrayed three diverse female scientists. Something that had not been shown in tv-before. All of them were smart, beautiful and independent.
”There is nothing that makes me more proud of doing the show than meeting or hearing about young girls..who wanted to go into science because of my character or other characters on the show. That makes it all worth it to me” - Emily Deschanel
I met T.J.Thynes last year at Welsh Comic Con. I had prepared a speech in my head but when I met him I went all jell-o and forgot everything I was going to say. He was very sweet and complimented my Snow White outfit. But that´s the way they are. Every single person who has met any actors from Bones say that they are the sweetest people. Bones was a very well-written show with huge variety of interesting character. Jack Hodgins (T.J.Thynes) was one of the most memorable ones. In the beginning Hodgins was a crazy scientist with anger problems. His character changed and developed a lot during the series. He became more caring and considered. Relationship with Angela was not always easy but a definite fan-favorite and who could forget all those king-of-the -lab moments and Doc-Brown-type of enthusiasm!
Angela Montenegro was somewhat a free-spirited artist and best friend of Bones was just what we needed to understand the character of Temperance who was more reserved.
What about Sweets? My favorite baby-duck psychologist who knew that Booth and Bones belonged together way before they realized that themselves (he even wrote a book about it). I still can not watch end of the season 9 without crying. Bones was filled with wonderful characters from federal prosecutor Caroline to all apprentice squints.
Mulder was always the outcast of the FBI. He was forced to work in the basement and was called as Spooky Mulder by his peers. During his search for the truth Mulder became friends with the Lone Gunmen. Richard ”Ringo” Langly, Melvin Frohike and John Fitzgerald Byers. Lone Gunmen were government watchdogs, computer hackers and above all conspiracy theorists. Often X FILES was a dark show that handled difficult sometimes painful themes and the lone Gunmen brought needed humor to the show. Killing them in the season 9 caused outrage among the fans. But was it the end? Ringo made a comeback in the season 11 episode ”this”. During the whole series Mulder and Scully are both driven by their personal agendas. Mulder´s agenda was to find out the truth and for that he needed help from his friends who also provided deeper insight to his character.
Cases with paranormal twists
X Files took us into dark paths from government conspiracies to alien abduction s and chilling monster of the week episodes. I used to love all the MOTW episodes. They were my highlights of the month. Some of the monsters became almost as popular as the leading characters.. Do you remember Flukeman? Creature that was a product of radioactive waste from Chernobyl or Eugene Tooms? Man who ate liver and hibernated in a nest. He had ability to stretch his limbs so that he could crawl inside apartments through window cracks. After seeing Mama Peacock I was very glad that nothing could fit under my bed.
Let´s just wait until he puts down that big chainsaw until we accuse her of murder -Booth
Brennan and Booth catch serial killers
What I always loved about Bones was all the clever ways squints managed to solve murder cases. This is probably the biggest difference between Bones and the X Files. When the X Files was a show where many of the questions were left open and unanswered, in Bones finding the answers is the key. There were some terrifying serial killers in Bones. Everything about the Grave Digger was just creepy. In one of the most memorable episodes Heather Taffet almost got Brennan and Hodgins buried alive. Howard Epps was scary to extremes and so was the headless witch in the woods! Thank goodness we have Booth and Bones solving cases and making the world better and safer place to live.
It seems to me that the best relationships, the ones that last, are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know. One day you look at the person and you see something more you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with -Scully
Maybe we believe to the same thing
Now days term shipping is widely used to describe a TV-couple that we wish to end up together and live happily ever after. Term shipping was created by the X Files fandom already in 1993 to describe viewers who wanted to see a romantic relationship between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. They were refereed as ”shippers” or as ”relation-shippers”. Therefore X Files is the mother ship of all shipping. SMR (Scully Mulder Romance) is one of the main reasons for the long lasting popularity of the show. All shippers have their own opinions on these things but I personally believe that it was Scully who first fell in love with Mulder. At the same time she knew that he was a man in a mission and therefore a difficult man to love. That is why it took (literally) ages for them to get together.
I can be a duck
Romance between Booth and Brennan and chemistry between Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz was one of the reasons for the huge popularity of Bones. During the first 6 seasons these two were dating everyone else except each others. Why? Because they were afraid that it was going to ruin their friendship and their partnership (I bet Scully and Mulder had similar problems). It was not until Bones realized that Booth was falling in love to somebody else she confronted her true feelings. Which was followed by a baby, beautiful weddings and another baby.
Will we get another show that is even remotely as good as the X Files or as clever as Bones? Who knows. Bones ended in 2017. Last episode of the season 11 of the X Files is in fact approaching while I am writing this. Shows are shown as reruns, they can be found from streaming services and if I remember right when the X Files was aired it was showed over in 150 countries. These two shows have had huge impact on my life and lives of millions of others.