If you're anything like me you're currently dusting off your old shoulder padded jackets, brushing up on conspiracy theories and counting down the days to January 24th — the day when Gillian Anderson will return to our screens as Dana Scully in The X-Files.
Ever since the mini-series was announced in March this year, I've been glued to Netflix, re-watching old episodes of the show which ran from 1993 to 2002 and swooning over Scully, the badass, red-headed, '90s babe. It's impossible to imagine her as the Pamela Anderson style Baywatch bomb shell she was originally intended to be.
Rather than opting for a hyper sexualized sidekick to conspiracy-obsessed brooder Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, the producers opted for Anderson after witnessing the chemistry between the two actors, although they worried that a lack of a traditional 'sex icon' could have hindered the show's success.
But it was a gamble which paid off, as not only did The X-Files become a cult classic, but Skully's character, a highly educated, rational, brave and non-plussed medical doctor, ended up being a huge inspiration for countless women and sparked a main-stream interest in STEM careers.
STEM stands for 'Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,' and clearly isn't the most glamorous of careers, so having Gillian Anderson's Scully as an industry pin-up was a huge booster. It's now known as The Scully Effect.
At Comic-Con a few years back, Anderson was approached and asked if she was aware of the impact her role in The X-Files has had on the industry, she responded:
“It was a surprise to me, when I was told that. We got a lot of letters all the time, and I was told quite frequently by girls who were going into the medical world or the science world or the FBI world or other worlds that I reigned, that they were pursuing those pursuits because of the character of Scully. And I said, ‘Yay!’”
Yay, indeed! Flattery aside, it must be an incredible feeling to know you're providing a reference and entry point to careers that would otherwise seem inaccessible.
'The X-Files' mini-series will premiere on Sunday January 24th. Check out the trailer below: