The Fictional Spectrum: Dr. Temperance Brennan


I’m a member of quite a few Facebook groups for autistic people.  When I announced that I was thinking of writing a series of posts about fictional autistic characters, I asked around for ideas.  One character that was constantly suggested was Dr. Temperance Brennan, played by Emily Deschanel on the Fox TV series Bones. Since I’d never watched the show, I decided to try it out and found it intriguing. I’m only on season 2, and I’m still enjoying it.

Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist in Washington DC. She and an FBI agent named Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) solve murders together.  Helping them are her students, or as Booth nicknames them in the pilot, “squints”.

“When the cops get stuck, we bring in people like you. You know, squints…to squint at things.”–Booth.

Dr. Brennan is based loosely on author Kathy Reichs, who created her in a series of novels. Reichs based the character on her own experiences as a forensic anthropologist.  (However, the book version is somewhat older than her TV counterpart.)

Dr. Brennan is a very engrossed scientist. She sticks with every case to the end. She is especially intense if the case involves children. This ties into her past as a foster child.  It was  a traumatic experience for her, and several episodes touch upon her past.

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Couch Potato: The Flash

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When Marvel came out with all their movies, I went to them, but I was secretly wondering how DC would react. Although I love the X-men and Spider-man, Batman was my first superhero and I’ve always leaned more to them than Marvel. I liked the Henry Cavill version of Superman in Man of Steel and Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern wasn’t that bad, I thought.  Then Marvel went on TV with Agents of Shield, and I wondered if DC would do a live-action TV show as well. They answered by giving Greg Berlanti the rights to Arrow and The Flash. After watching Arrow’s first season, I knew the DC Universe was in good hands. But I’m not here to talk about Arrow, I’m talking about The Flash!

The Flash has always been one of my favorite DC superheroes.  One thing I like best is the legacy of the character.  In the Golden Age of comics, you had Jay Garrick. In the Silver Age, Barry Allen became The Flash. Then in the 80’s after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, you had Barry’s nephew Wally West, who started out as his sidekick, Kid Flash.

When Barry Allen first appeared in Arrow’s season 2 episode, “The Scientist”, I had a feeling the upcoming spin-off had promise.  The writers remembered that Barry is a forensic scientist and worked it into the plot.  A few episodes later, the show introduced us to two supporting cast members for the spin-off, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon.  When the spin-off aired, I gave it a shot. I always give every show I’m interested in a four-episode trial run. By the time I got to episode 3, I was hooked. Now that the first season has finished, I can’t wait for season 2.

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Legend of Korra Season 2

With season 2 such a surprise hit, Nickelodeon signed a deal for three more seasons of Legend of Korra. This was the beginning of the show’s struggle to be as successful as its predecessor, Avatar the Last Airbender. This was the first season to be subjected to the meddling hand of Nickelodeon, but in a minor form compared to seasons 3 and 4.

My main problem with Season 2 is its length. Nickelodeon gave Avatar the Last Airbender twenty episodes per season.  Their update of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also has twenty episodes per season.  How many does Korra have per season? Fourteen.  That is too short. Most shows get anywhere from 20-26 episodes a season. By only giving the writers only half of a standard season, the show doesn’t have enough time to build up a story and it feels rushed.


In this season, only half of the story is set in Republic City, as we move away from the elements of season 1. We meet new characters, such as Tenzin’s sister Kya and his brother Bumi, a non-bender named after Aang’s eccentric friend who once ruled the Earth Kingdom.  My favorite of these new characters is Verrick, who appears to assist Korra by creating a new medium called “movers”, which are similar to the first moving pictures of old.  These “movers” are designed to help rally political support for Korra’s father while she tries to persuade her people to follow him instead of her uncle, Unalaq.  What she does not realize is that Unalaq is actually aligned with Vaatu, the spirit of chaos and the main villain of season 2.

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