The X-Files is one of the most iconic genre shows of the last few decades.
The show began airing way back in 1993, but in 2016 the show was rebooted with a 10th season ... which received mixed reviews and was criticized for its representation of various minority groups. When Season 11 was announced (airing in 2018), fans were excited but slightly skeptical.
Then, when news broke that Season 11 would have an all-male writers' room, many fans were disappointed to see that the creative team (most notably Chris Carter) weren't taking issues of representation seriously.
Star and perfect human Gillian Anderson then pointed out that the show was also doing a terrible job when it came to hiring female directors. In 207 episodes of the show, there have only been two. And one was Anderson herself.
Women love genre TV, and there's no reason our favorite shows shouldn't be written and directed by women.
So fellow Fangrrls writer Carly Lane and I asked the Internet what women they'd love to see write and direct an episode of The X-Files, hoping the creatives behind the show will take note and start calling some of the names on the lists. Here are nine (10, really) uber-qualified women who have proved their directing chops on genre shows. You can also find the list of writers here.
Leder was the first female graduate of the AFI Conservatory and has made huge strides in the action genre over the course of her long career. She's got genre cred too, having directed the 1998 sci-fi film Deep Impact. Most recently, you've probably seen Mimi's work on the critically acclaimed HBO show The Leftovers. She directed a total of 10 episodes over three seasons in addition to producing. She'd be a great addition to The X-Files team, since the end of Season 10 seemed to indicate a global alien-related event.
Talalay is one of the most prolific female directors currently working in genre TV. Since 2014, she's directed episodes of almost exclusively genre shows, like South of Hell, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and The Flash. Oh, and she has three episodes of Doctor Who airing in 2017. Having directed a total of seven episodes of Doctor Who, Rachel could bring a much-needed fresh perspective to The X-Files.
Rodriguez recently directed one of the best episodes of Marvel's Jessica Jones -- proving she has the chops to take on not only genre shows but difficult subject matter. Much of Rosemary's experience is directing procedural dramas, but that would be an asset to a show that oftentimes just solves a case in an episode. Plus, she's got experience directing The Walking Dead and government scientist TV show Manhattan. Most recently, she just wrapped up an episode of Amazon's The Tick. With her mix of procedural and genre experience, she's the perfect fit for The X-Files.
Dawson might be best known for her acting credits (she played Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager), but she's also made a name for herself in the directing realm, having recently directed episodes of genre shows like Colony, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Heroes -- to name just a few. She also went back to her Trekkie roots to direct 10 episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. Basically, she's one of the most qualified directors for the job ... period.
Lesli Linka Glatter
It'd probably be easier for me to list shows Glatter hasn't directed. With a directing career that spans over 30 years and including many of the shows on around the same time as The X-Files (like Twin Peaks), it's hard to believe Glatter didn't direct an episode. Ranging from Heroes to True Blood to The Walking Dead, there's no shortage of genre work on her resume. Plus, just in terms of experience, she's got to be one of the most qualified directors on the planet.
In addition to directing hundreds of music videos, Sigismondi has directed episodes of two of the most critically acclaimed shows of 2017: The Handmaid's Tale and American Gods. She's been directing since before The X-Files originally began airing and has been working steadily since. Sigismondi is the perfect director to bring life to a new chapter of The X-Files.
Shelton has directed episodes of all of your favorite shows. From comedy to drama, she's done it ... which makes her a good fit for directing a zany episode of The X-Files. Since 2015, she's directed episodes of genre favorites like The Originals, The Flash and Supergirl. We need Millicent on an episode of The X-Files, like, yesterday.
Another talented actress/director combo, Tapping spent 10 seasons on Stargate SG-1 (as Major Samantha Carter) but has since launched a career in directing mostly genre shows like Supernatural, Van Helsing, Dark Matter and The Magicians, to name a few. With a strong resume in genre TV, Tapping would be a great match for The X-Files.
Michelle MacLaren and Gillian Anderson
As the only two women to have actually ever directed an episode of The X-Files, it seems fitting to have them each direct again. Gillian's episode, "All Things" (which she also wrote), is a great example of the types of stories we see when women are well-represented behind-the-camera. MacLaren is a fan favorite and since directing The X-Files has directed episodes of The Leftovers, Game of Thrones and Westworld, to name a few, so there's no reason not to have her back again!
Other Suggestions/Honorable Mentions: Reed Morano (The Handmaid's Tale), Lexi Alexander (Arrow, Supergirl), April Mullen (Killjoys, Wynonna Earp), Jennifer Phang (The Exorcist), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Cloak & Dagger), Nina Lopez-Corrado (The Flash, Supernatural, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
This list is just a fraction of the qualified women who would do a fantastic job if simply given the option. There's still time for The X-Files to demonstrate they're not completely tone-deaf by looking for a better representation when it comes to those working on the show. There are plenty of options if you look outside of the usual suspects. These lists have at the very least proven that.