Before David Duchovny played Fox Mulder on The X-Files, he played a very different kind of agent of the federal government on Twin Peaks, as cross-dressing DEA Agent Denise Bryson. Denise was brought on board the series when FBI Agent Dale Cooper was framed for drug trafficking and needed the assistance of an old colleague to help bail him out. When Cooper knew him, he was Dennis Bryson, but working undercover as a transgender made him discover his true self, and Denise was born.
Now it seems that Duchovny is possibly returning as Denise for David Lynch and Mark Frost’s new iteration of Twin Peaks, coming to Showtime in 2016. In a recent interview, Duchovny talked about a possible return to the Pacific Northwest, and touched on a return to the X-Files as well. When asked if either was likely, he said, “I would bet on it if I were you. I think Twin Peaks is happening for sure. I hope my character comes back, I think she does. And then X-Files—Fox made some kind of shadowy announcement last week. Certainly, something’s happening. Something’s brewing. It’s like the Eagles’ greatest hits tour… by me.”
Duchovny’s performance of Denise was a very early positive portrayal of a trans person on television. She was capable and badass, and after Cooper got over the initial shock of seeing his old buddy as a woman, he treated her just like any fellow agent. The character of Denise Bryson came on board the show after the initial “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” mystery was solved, and is the only bright spot in a rather dismal stretch of episodes. Hopefully he gets that call from David Lynch and gets a chance to rock those pantyhose one more time.