Portrait of a Character – Mary Reed

Portrait of a Character – Mary Reed


The character, of course, is canon, and is Malcolm‘s mother.

Portrait of a Character – Mary Reed

Jane Carr as Mary Reed

I give her the maiden name of Dunphy, which comes from a gravestone I saw in Newton, Massachusetts, where a Wilbur Reed (mentioned in Concord) is buried, for real, near a stone that just says Dunphy.


As in canon, Mary is portrayed by actress Jane Carr.


Reserved and sometimes a little cowed by Stuart, Mary quietly holds her own, but only when she needs to. I wanted to make her a little more than the knitting grandmother I made her in Fortune, so I added a war effort-style job in Gainful and The Tribe, and the need for her to begin caring for Stuart (and sometimes telling him the occasional little white lie) in Saturn Rise. When Malcolm is in serious legal trouble in Shell Shock, she asks if they should call the family lawyer, and tells him to be strong.

Her personality comes out best in Gainful/The Tribe and Saturn Rise. She gets more lines and a bit of assertiveness about her desire to work outside the home and, later, her desire to accept at least Lili‘s other children and have them call her Nan. It’s a bit unclear as to whether she accepts Melissa‘s sons as her grandsons. That’s an area I might explore in the future.


Stuart Reed

Mary’s only known relationship is with Malcolm’s father, Stuart. They have two children; I write their daughter, Madeleine, as being younger than Malcolm although that’s not confirmed in canon.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Mary Reed

Mirror Mary

Mary has to exist in the Mirror Universe, because Malcolm’s counterpart, Ian, does.

I like the idea of her being much more of a career woman, and not the homebody that she seems to be in canon. She’s not necessarily an overly sexed-up Mirror Universe woman, but I do see her as at least attempting to be much more independent.


“Long ago, when humans were barely even human, the birth of a child was an occasion. The men would leave on a hunt, or some such. … Perhaps there were a few exceptions. And the women, they all gathered ‘round. It was the entire tribe. They came together, in order to celebrate such a grand occasion and welcome the new tribe member.”


This character was barely a part of canon, although that dovetails rather neatly with Malcolm’s canon situation. He quite simply kept out of his own family’s way, and they didn’t pursue him, either. For Malcolm, it was likely a rather lonely existence. I’ve tried to keep Mary like that. A decent mother, but a better grandmother, and kind of not too sure of what to do with Malcolm half the time.

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Posted by jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.