The X-Files: It’s time to let go of Gillian Anderson and Dana Scully


The mood was a bit somber at the Television Critics Association press gathering for The X-Files. Gillian Anderson is leaving the series after more than two decades. Can’t we just wish her well?

“It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.” — Boyz II Men

How Many Times Will We Get This Question?

The Television Critics Association press tour is in full swing. According to The Oregonian/Oregon Live, “the energy level was low at a discussion of the latest X-Files episodes.” Of course, with the bombshell news of Gillian Anderson’s departure from the series after playing Agent Dana Scully for twenty-five years, it’s expected that quite a bit of the focus was going to be on her decision.

This is understandable and it is newsworthy, but does she really need to answer this question over and over again? Apparently, the answer is “yes.” Right off the bat, she was asked about her decision. She admitted that Season 10 was supposed to be her last.

However, in her words, “I did think that was going to be it. But the minute they mentioned that they might be interested in doing another, I thought, do you know what? That didn’t feel like the right way to end it.”

“It didn’t feel like I would necessarily have been happy if those six were how we said goodbye.” When Anderson heard about the writers discussing another season, she said, it “sounded more like a good ending to me.”

Feeling the need to explain her choice even further, “there’s lots of other stuff I want to do, and I don’t really want to be tied down to months and months of doing any particular one thing that I feel like I’ve done.”

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Of course, an inventive reporter decided to phrase the same question another way later on during the panel discussion. This time it was under the guise of possibly returning one day to the role that made her famous.

Exhibiting the patience of a saint, Anderson answered, “No. You know, I like to be challenged as an actor, and I like to do many, many different characters, and that’s why I got into the business. I’ve done this now for decades, and it’s time for me to hang up Scully’s hat. It just is.”

“The next couple years are quite full, and there’s lots of different things that I want to do, and I’m being asked to do, and I want to be able to explore them without being tied to a series. It’s really quite simple.”

Just when you thought you could go back to regularly scheduled programming, yet another journalist with the SAME question except framing it with a future date! So, Gillian do you think you will revisit the character of Dana Scully in a decade?

At this point, if I were Anderson, I probably would have had a meltdown like William Shatner in the legendary Saturday Night Live skit, “Get A Life.” Forever classy she gave the writer this answer.

“No. This is it for me. I’m really serious. I have so much respect for these guys, and I have respect for Scully, and I have respect for David, and it’s really sad. But I’m finished, and that’s the end of that.”

I Wish I Could Quit You

Personally, I think this was an excellent answer. Anderson certainly went above and beyond in her explanations. Everyone, including celebrities, should be allowed to explore their full potentials. Then why whenever a star announces that they are moving on in their careers is there always backlash?

Trust me, I understand how fans feel. When Twin Peaks was in danger of being cancelled in the ’90s, I was one of those people who started a petition. You know back when the internet didn’t exist?

Yes, I also started #bringbackboomstick to get Ash vs Evil Dead renewed for season 4. However, when Twin Peaks was cut loose in the ’90s from ABC, I moved on. If AVED doesn’t get a renewal, life will go on as well.

Seeing Both Sides

More from Horror on TV

Conversely, I can also empathize with the stars too. I know what it’s like to be in a job where you no longer have the enthusiasm or the passion that you once had when you first started out. You feel stagnate creatively and bottom line is, change is necessary.

If you remain in that same role, you will be cheating your fan base. They will see that you are just phoning in your performances and then that will feel like you are disrespecting their loyalty.

Yes, Gillian originated the role and it will be sad at the end of Season 11 to say goodbye to an era but it is time. She is an artist and just like everyone else, she should be able to experience and grow. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

Catch The X-Files Wednesdays on Fox at 8 p.m.

Next: The X-Files: What is the truth? Maybe no one really knows.

Do you feel it is time for Gillian Anderson to move on? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.