If you've been keeping an eye on TV Twitter within the last few days, you've probably seen some discussions revolving around the new season of The X-Files.
The much-beloved series, which originally aired back in 1993, was given a second chance at life when it was revived for a 10th season in 2016. Consisting of six episodes, the revival was admittedly equal parts hit and miss, but good ratings and popularity among fans led to the series being picked up for an 11th season, set to air in 2018.
When Season 11 was confirmed, there was still a bit of mystery surrounding who would be among the returning players - especially behind the scenes. Recently, it was reported that the writing staff would consist of several X-Files veterans as well as some new hires. Not necessarily a bad thing, but scratch the surface and one fact emerges: All of the writers currently reported to be attached to Season 11 of The X-Files are men.
Women have been a constant since The X-Files first aired; they've been in front of the camera and behind it, as actresses and science advisors and a significant percentage of the fandom. But over the course of the original series (202 episodes), only six women have written episodes. The number of female directors is even smaller, at two -- a fact that Dana Scully herself, Gillian Anderson, pointed out on Twitter recently.
Given that the new season hasn't started filming yet, there's still time for a significant female presence to develop -- but in the meantime, fellow Fangrrls writer Heather Mason and I decided to put together a list of women we'd like to nominate for the writing staff. (Granted, many of these ladies have already ascended the ranks to hold down some pretty impressive jobs in the industry - whether it's as story editors or executive producers - so consider this our narrative "dream team," in a sense.)
Andras is no stranger to the supernatural; she worked as executive producer on Lost Girl before developing the series Wynonna Earp, where she currently pulls double duty as showrunner and writer. She's also known for her notoriously funny writing and A+ humor, and we can already picture what it would be like to watch Mulder and Scully deadpan her jokes at one another.
Newton worked on The X-Files in its third season and wrote two of its best-known episodes, "Revelations" and "Quagmire." She's since worked on a ton of procedural shows as both a writer and a consulting producer, including Cold Case, In Plain Sight and The Blacklist.
Scrivner-Love is certainly familiar with writing about conspiracies and paranoia -- she was co-executive producer and writer on Person of Interest, but she also knows a thing or two about working on a show with a killer pairing: She was a writer on the short-lived procedural series Life.
Morgan is a self-professed X-Files fan, but she's also a fantastic writer. Her work has appeared on the AMC series TURN: Washington's Spies, and she's also been killing it as a writer on Into the Badlands, which airs on the same network.
Mostyn-Brown's no stranger to writing for previously established characters with a lot of canonical backstory; right now, she's working on the DC Comics prequel series Gotham as executive story editor.
Walley-Beckett is perhaps best known for her work on the acclaimed television series Breaking Bad, where she collaborated as co-executive producer with X-Files writing alumnus Vince Gilligan. She's also produced series such as Pan Am, Flesh and Bone and Anne With an E, proving that she certainly has an eye for shows with distinguished female characters.
"Writer/producer/geek hyphenate," Berg's resume is equal parts extensive and impressive. She's written for shows like Eureka, Leverage, The 4400 and Person of Interest, all of which have unquestionably taken some of their inspiration from The X-Files over the years.
The X-Files wouldn't be the first popular series Espenson has picked up her pen for. She's written for almost every big-name show over the years, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Gilmore Girls to Battlestar Galactica and Game of Thrones. Her most recent stints were on shows like Once Upon a Time and Warehouse 13, the latter of which she also co-created.
This one is almost a no-brainer. In addition to playing Agent Dana Scully, Anderson was one of the few women to both write and direct an episode of the original series. Her Scully-focused episode, "all things," has been generally regarded as one of the show's more unusual episodes but was praised by the audience for shining a spotlight on the fan-favorite character.
Other Suggestions/Honorable Mentions: Delilah S. Dawson (Star Wars), Britta Lundin (Riverdale), Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel), Jennifer Lynch (Boxing Helena), Kim Shumway (The 100), Gennifer Hutchison (The X-Files, Breaking Bad), Ali Adler (Supergirl, Chuck), Julie Benson (The 100), Shawna Benson (The 100)
This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it goes to show that there's a wide variety of possibilities out there, and many more besides. The industry is definitely not lacking in qualified female talent; however, it still appears to be struggling to catch up in terms of the actual hiring process. There are plenty of women who could write, direct and produce episodes for The X-Files. It all depends on where you look.