Roswell (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roswell
RoswellTVSeries.jpg
Also known as Roswell High (US/UK)
Genre Science fiction
Teen drama
Created by Jonathon Dukes
Developed by Jason Katims
Starring Shiri Appleby
Jason Behr
Katherine Heigl
Brendan Fehr
Emilie De Ravin
Majandra Delfino
Nick Wechsler
Colin Hanks
Adam Rodriguez
William Sadler
Narrated by Shiri Appleby as "Liz Parker" (All through season one and some of season two and three)
Majandra Delfino as "Maria DeLuca" (Some episodes of season two)
Opening theme "Here with Me" by Dido
Composer(s) Joseph Williams
Will Edwards
Jon Ernst
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 61 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Jason Katims
Lisa J. Olin
Kevin Kelly Brown
Jonathan Frakes
David Nutter
Producer(s) John Heath
Barry Pullman
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Jason Katims Productions
Regency Television
20th Century Fox Television
Broadcast
Original channel The WB (1999–2001)
UPN (2001–2002)
Original run October 6, 1999 (1999-10-06)  – May 14, 2002 (2002-05-14)

Roswell is an American science fiction television series developed, produced, and co-written by Jason Katims. The series debuted on October 6, 1999 on The WB and moved to UPN for the third season. The last episode aired May 14, 2002. In the United Kingdom, the show aired as both Roswell High[1] and Roswell.

The series is based on the Roswell High young adult book series, written by Melinda Metz and edited by Laura J. Burns, who became staff writers for the television series.[2]

Cast[edit]

Season 2 main cast: Shiri Appleby, Nick Wechsler (Back row, left to right); Katherine Heigl, Colin Hanks, Emilie de Ravin, Majandra Delfino (Middle row); William Sadler, Jason Behr, Brendan Fehr (Front row).

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Production[edit]

Roswell High was originally developed by 20th Century Fox Television and Regency Television for the Fox Network, though it eventually landed on The WB (retitled simply to Roswell) thanks to the latter network's offer to extend a full 22-episode upfront commitment. The pilot episode was filmed in 12 days with a budget of $2,000,000.[3] "The Morning After," the second episode of the series, was the first episode with the full title sequence utilizing the theme song, "Here With Me" by Dido.

Filming locations[edit]

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park.

Roswell was filmed in various locations around California. City Hall, Charter Oak High School, and several other businesses and residences in Covina served as locations for the fictional locations in Roswell, New Mexico, as well as Vasquez Rocks, a 905-acre (370 ha) park in Los Angeles County.[4]

Airing history and reception[edit]

The series premiered on October 6, 1999 on The WB Television Network in the United States to generally favorable reviews.[5][6] Although it quickly gained an outspoken fanbase[7]

In response to the problems the series had with ratings during its first season, The WB ordered the relationship-driven standalone episodes of the early first season to be replaced with more science fiction themes and multi-episode plot arcs. Starting with the second season, which was ordered by the network after a fierce fan-driven campaign involving bottles of Tabasco sauce—a favorite condiment of the show's alien characters—being sent to the network's offices, veteran science fiction writer Ronald D. Moore was brought in to join Katims as an executive producer and showrunner and to further develop the science fiction elements of the show.[8]

Not all fans responded favorably to the shift to more science fiction-driven storylines during the second season and the ratings continued to disappoint WB, causing the network to finally cancel the show on May 15, 2001, after the show's second season finale, a move widely anticipated due to the sagging ratings.[7][9] 20th Century Fox (the studio that produced the show) was able to persuade UPN to pick it up for a third season as a package deal when UPN outbid The WB for one of its popular flagship series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. During the 2001 - 2002 television season, Roswell, in its third season, aired directly after Buffy on Tuesday nights on UPN, though it was unable to hold on to the audience Buffy provided as a lead-in. This eventually resulted in the show's cancellation from UPN as well.[7] Roswell aired its final episode on May 14, 2002.

Ratings[edit]

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season premiere Season finale TV season Viewers
(in millions)
18-49 average Rank
1 Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. October 6, 1999 May 15, 2000 1999–2000 3.56 2.6/4 N/A
2 Monday 9:00 p.m. October 2, 2000 May 21, 2001 2000–2001 4.0 2.7/4 #122
3 Tuesdays 9:00 p.m. October 9, 2001 May 14, 2002 2001–2002 3.0 N/A #140

Plot[edit]

Season one[edit]

Liz Parker, Maria DeLuca, and Alex Whitman are high school students and best friends residing in the small town of Roswell, New Mexico, site of the famed Roswell incident. Liz Parker's parents own the Crashdown Café, which serves alien-themed dishes, and while Liz is waitressing there, a disagreement between two customers results in Liz being fatally shot, setting the scene for the entire series. Fellow student Max Evans rushes to her side and heals the wound by placing his hand over it, bringing her back to life. He left a silver hand print on her stomach. This act arouses suspicions which follow the protagonists throughout the series. Max attempts to cover the mysterious act by breaking a ketchup bottle and pouring the ketchup on Liz before fleeing the scene with Michael.

During a biology class experiment the next day, Liz obtains a sample of Max's saliva without his knowledge and examines it under a microscope. She discovers Max's cells look nothing like human cells. She confronts Max, who then admits he, his sister Isabel and their friend Michael are aliens whose spaceship crashed at Roswell in 1947. Max, Isabel, and Michael were known to keep to themselves before the incident. Max admits to Liz he saved her life because he has strong feelings for her and the struggling romance between Liz and Max begins in earnest. However, Liz was dating the sheriff's son Kyle, causing many torn feelings and creative excuses, as well as tension between Max and Kyle.

In the first episode Max Evans swears Liz to secrecy, but she tells Maria about Max's origins anyway. Tension around the secrecy issue becomes a major theme both in the development of the relationships of the protagonists, and also for the action elements of the plot. Eventually Alex is let into the secret, resolving the tension between best friends Liz, Maria, and Alex. This group of six teenagers are involved in a struggle to protect the alien trio from Sheriff Valenti, suspicious of them from the first episode and who alerts the FBI, and from FBI agents investigating the paranormal who secretly attempt to discover evidence of their real identities by fair means or foul.

In contrast to the romance tenderly portrayed between Liz and Max, Michael and Maria engage in a passionate and often explosive relationship - Maria terms Michael "the worst boyfriend ever". Later in the first season a tentative romance develops between Isabel and Alex.

Toward the end of the season another alien named Nasedo is introduced, who is a shape shifter. Nasedo has a violent, murderous past and nearly causes Max's demise at the hands of a vengeful alien hunter who lost his wife and unborn child to Nasedo. The gang initially believes Tess Harding, the new kid in town, is Nasedo as she seems to have a strange effect on Max, but it is revealed she is a fourth alien hybrid just like them. However, unlike them, she possesses knowledge of their past lives and the concept of their supposed destiny.

At the end of the season, it is revealed that Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess are clones of the Royal Four of Antar, the planet they come from. Max is the king, Isabel his sister, Michael his second in command and Tess is Max's wife. The four learn they are alien-human hybrids: their alien DNA was mixed with human DNA in order for them to assume human form and survive on earth. Their mission is to one day return to Antar and reclaim the throne from Kivar, Max's enemy. As a result of this revelation, Liz distances herself from Max, as she believes she can't get in the way of Max's destiny.

Season two[edit]

The second part of Max and Liz's love story involves Liz's insecurities about getting in the way of the destined love between Max and Tess, even though Max assures her his heart only beats for her. This causes a rift between Tess and the rest of the gang, as she always feels unwanted. Right when Liz finally starts to believe Max will deny his destiny of being with Tess, the "Future Max" appears to Liz claiming they must find a way to get Max to fall out of love with Liz in order to save the future and the lives of everyone they know. This leads to a relationship between Max and Tess. Despite this, Liz maintains hope she and Max will one day be together.

The second season introduces the Skins, another alien race from Antar who have been searching for the alien hybrids since they hatched. Their mission is to locate and turn them over to Kivar, who is now king of Antar. It is revealed Liz's new boss, Congresswoman Whitaker, is a Skin, and her brother Nicholas is the leader of the Skins. Along with renegade Skin Courtney, a Crashdown Café waitress, who believes Michael, not Max, should have been in charge of Antar, the group travels to the town where Congresswoman Whitaker is from and discovers the entire town is inhabited by Skins and that the Skins are ready for the "Harvest". Skins unlike "The Royal Four" do not contain a mix of alien and human DNA. In order to survive Earth's climate they create husks (fake bodies) which last around 50 years. Skins are so called because once their husks start to reach the end of their shelf lives, they shed their skin.

Nasedo, the shape shifter who was protecting the teen aliens as well as acting as a father to Tess, is killed by Congresswoman Whitaker at the beginning of the season. As Tess has nowhere to go, she moves in with Sheriff Valenti and his son Kyle. Shortly after, the "pod squad" destroys the Harvest. It is revealed during the "Harvest" that Isabel was named Vilandra on Antar. Vilandra was in love with Kivar, Max's enemy and rival, and betrayed her family in favor of Kivar. This haunts Isabel so much it creates a rift between her and Max when they find out another set of clones of the Royal Four were created. The clones, known as the "dupes", are exact copies of Michael, Max, Isabel and Tess, only they grew up in the sewers of New York City. Their names are Rath (Michael's clone), Zan (Max's clone), Lonnie (Isabel's clone), and Ava (Tess's clone).

Rath, Lonnie, and Ava come to Roswell after killing Zan to convince Max to return with them and represent the family at a summit meeting of the families of the five warring planets. Max and Tess go with Rath and Lonnie to New York, while Ava stays in Roswell because she is haunted by the death of her beloved Zan. Nicholas returns as a voice for Kivar, and it is revealed the owner of the UFO museum, Brody Davis, was used by an alien many times to communicate on Earth, acting as a puppet, explaining why he believes he was abducted by aliens although he has no memories of the incident. Rath and Lonnie tell Tess and Max if they give Kivar the Granilith (the rock which came with the "pod squad" when they landed on Earth), they can go home to Antar. Max remembers what Liz told him before he left — "the Granilith could be dangerous if in the wrong hands" and turns down Kivar's deal. Lonnie betrays the others when she meets with Nicholas in secret to discuss her desire to return to Antar, as she remembers more about her past life and wants it back, regardless of whether Kivar gets the Granilith. Nicholas tells her that can be arranged as long as Max is dead. The assassination attempt fails, and Rath and Lonnie "disappear". Ava, still in Roswell, goes to live a "normal" life and is also not mentioned again; however, she does reveal to Liz that since Max healed her and brought her back she has "changed" and will be different from now on.

For part of the second season, Alex is on a trip to Sweden. However, shortly after coming back and getting Isabel to see him as something more than a friend and start to love him, he dies tragically in a car accident. Liz is devastated when she discovers the police have evidence to rule Alex's death a suicide. Investigating the wreck, she finds a torn photo of Alex, causing her to suspect that he was murdered. When Liz voices the possibility that an alien killed Alex, she causes tension between the aliens and the humans in the group. Through her investigation, she discovers Alex was never in Sweden, but had actually been living at a Las Cruces college. Liz, Maria, and Michael find out Alex had been working on the translation of the Destiny book. Even though they find the translation, they are unable to discover the identity of Alex's killer.

As Max is angry towards Liz and her investigations, he grows closer to Tess and they end up sleeping together. Tess discovers that she is pregnant and informs Max that alien pregnancies last about a month. The baby can't survive on Earth, so the aliens make a collective decision to leave the planet, with the knowledge gleaned from the Destiny translation. Everyone has 24 hours to say their goodbyes. Max and Liz make a last-ditch effort to find Alex's killer. Isabel dances with Alex's spirit at his grave. Michael and Maria make love for the first time. Just before the aliens are to leave, Maria and Liz realize that Tess mindwarped Kyle, and Kyle is able to recall Alex's death. Michael decides at the last minute that he'd rather stay on Earth with Maria and exits the Granilith. Liz rushes in to tell Max that Tess was the one who killed Alex. Tess reveals that she mindwarped Alex to translate the book. Nasedo made a deal with Kivar: Tess can return home safely as long as she's carrying Max's child, but she must turn over Max, Isabel, and Michael to Kivar. Max lets Tess go and the gang watches as Tess leaves Earth via the Granilith. Maria realizes Michael stayed for her. Max tells Liz he loves her, and now he must save his son.

Season three[edit]

The third and final season opens with Max's quest to save his son. He and Liz are arrested in Utah after holding up a convenience store. They both end up getting out of jail, but their actions have serious consequences for the rest of the season. Liz's father, who disapproves of the relationship throughout the series, sends Liz to boarding school, in attempt to split the couple up. Max, during the holdup, found an alien ship being stored in the basement, but when he goes back, the ship is gone. While they are in a Utah jail, Michael searches for evidence of a diamond (the key to the space ship) that Max tossed in a field while being chased. A man approaches Michael and warns him and the others to stop their search. This man is mysteriously murdered in L.A. by a fifth alien. Knowing the alien is a shape shifter and in the film industry, Max tries out acting and auditions for a role in Star Trek: Enterprise. The fifth alien is, in fact, a very successful film producer who is also Max's protector. Max, against the fifth alien's wishes, forces him to help find the ship, which is at a military base. They attempt to fly it, but the ship is too damaged from the crash in 1947. Max leaves L.A. disappointed, and he feels as though he has let down his son.

Isabel is revealed to be haunted by Alex's ghost, but it is actually a figure of her subconscious. She begins a relationship with Jesse Ramirez, an attorney several years older than her and who works with Isabel's father. As the season unfolds, Max and Isabel's father is diving deeper into the past of his children, due to Max not giving him a satisfactory reason as to what happened in Utah, or why Max was even there in the first place. Midway through the season, Isabel gets married, much to the disappointment of her parents, Max, and Michael. While on her honeymoon with Jesse, Isabel comes in contact with Kivar. He awakens Isabel's past self, Vilandra, who betrayed Max and Michael in their previous life for her love with Kivar, which is the reason the four of them died in their first life. Kivar tries to compel Isabel (now reawakened as Vilandra) to travel through a portal back to their home world, while Max and Michael attempt to stop them. In the end, Isabel pushes Kivar into the portal.

Michael and Maria are having trouble with their relationship, especially when Maria feels the whole "alien thing" is ruining her life and decides to take a break from the gang so she can try to live out a "normal" life. Michael takes a job as a security guard during the night at a local pharmaceutical factory. But little does Michael know, the owner of the company has been going through the trash to obtain Michael's DNA. When the owners find out he is an alien, they kill one of Michael's co-workers "Munk" to see if Michael is "the healer". But of course Max is the healer, not Michael, so he is powerless to save his dying colleague. Michael and Former Sheriff Valenti find a room with all of Michael's things and realize what the company has discovered; Valenti, however, is captured. Michael enlists the help of Max and Isabel in order to rescue Valenti. During the escape attempt Valenti is shot near the heart from behind. As Max is saving Valenti's life he is taken by the millionaire's desperate wife and goons and coerced into healing the dying millionaire. Max is wary of doing so, as the millionaire has lived out his life and will die of natural causes, but he tries anyway. Max ends up transferring his youth, and the millionaire's body transforms into Max's body, killing Max. While Michael and Isabel try to come to grips with Max's death, a patrol of guards come. Michael and Isabel use their powers to destroy their vehicles, but Isabel is shot. Jesse sees the shooting and panics, insisting that they call an ambulance. Michael is forced to admit to Jesse that he and Isabel are aliens to keep Jesse from calling the authorities. Michael unknowingly inherited Max's powers after his death, and then he heals Isabel during an emotional moment. The millionaire is at his house in Max's body when he receives a memory of Liz. He can't stop thinking about her, due to having Max's soul inside him, so he decides he must kill Liz in order to get rid of Max. He travels to Vermont with his reluctant wife to find Liz. He murders his wife then sets his sights on Liz. As he is about to kill Liz, they both fall from the 'Rat' (Rathskeller) attic window of Liz's boarding school. Seeing Liz is about to die, Max takes control over the body and uses his powers to save her life while he hits the ground. The millionaire's soul dies and Max miraculously survives after Liz kisses him. The group heads back to Roswell.

Meanwhile, the FBI has been studying the group for many months and is closing in on them. Liz begins to exhibit alien powers, including premonitions, towards the end of the season, which later causes her to become a target. When Tess returns with Max's son, Zan, the gang must group together and plan to escape Roswell. Tess' unexpected arrival causes the FBI to find more evidence of the aliens, including a video revealing Isabel's powers. Everyone is angry with Tess and at first tries to kill her, but instead end up helping her. Because of Liz's forgiveness, Tess decides to sacrifice herself by turning herself in and blowing up the military base. The baby is revealed to be fully human, as only Max's and Tess' human DNA produced the baby. Max, realizing his son can have a normal life, gives him up for adoption; showing the Evans' parents driving the child away to New York.

The series closes with Liz getting a premonition of her, Max, Michael and Isabel dying in an FBI setup, so they decide to leave Roswell after their high school graduation. With the realization he will be leaving Roswell, possibly forever, Michael professes his love for Maria and she makes the decision to be with him no matter what. After Liz, Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria and Kyle escape from their high school graduation, where the FBI setup is, they hit the road in a van, where there are several emotional goodbyes, especially between Kyle and his father, Jim Valenti. Isabel decides to leave her husband behind in order to save his life. The final scenes of the show feature Max and Liz getting married and Liz's father reading her journal, chronicling the last three years. The final scene has Liz peering out of the van in her wedding dress and narrating, "I'm Liz Parker and I'm happy".

Roswell release dates
Date Country
October 4, 1999 Canada Canada
October 6, 1999 United States United States
January 10, 2001 United Kingdom United Kingdom
February 8, 2000 New Zealand New Zealand
February 17, 2000 Norway Norway
March 15, 2000 Argentina Argentina
March 15, 2000 Colombia Colombia
August 25, 2000 Sweden Sweden
September 3, 2000 Switzerland Switzerland
January 28, 2000 France France
September 13, 2001 Finland Finland
September 18, 2001 Croatia Croatia
September 20, 2000 Italy Italy
February 3, 2001 Germany Germany
February 10, 2001 Portugal Portugal
May 12, 2001 Japan Japan
June 1, 2001 Hungary Hungary
July 6, 2002 Spain Spain

DVD releases[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired Release date
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 22 1999 – 2000 February 17, 2004 April 26, 2004 April 2, 2004
2 21 2000 – 2001 October 5, 2004 August 9, 2004 February 7, 2005
3 18 2001 – 2002 August 9, 2005 October 11, 2004 March 15, 2006
1–3 61 1999 – 2002 April 29, 2008 October 31, 2005 April 19, 2006

Although the show used many popular songs throughout its original airing, due to licensing issues many songs were replaced on the home video releases, with the new songs handpicked by the show's original music supervisors. There are notable exceptions in which songs that became important or symbolic plot moments were retained, such as the use of "Fear" by Sarah McLachlan and "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band in the pilot and "I Shall Believe" by Sheryl Crow in a later episode. Similarly, Dido's "Here with Me" was also kept as the show's opening theme music throughout all three seasons on DVD.

However, the German language track is the only audio track to contain the original music. Similarly, the syndicated episodes of the show also contain all of the original music.

Novels[edit]

In addition to the original Roswell High book series that inspired the television series, a range of novels were published based on the events depicted in the show. These focused on events that largely went unexplained on screen.

Pocket Books[edit]

While Roswell was still on air, three novels were published by Pocket Books. When the show was cancelled, this series ceased publication.

  1. Loose Ends by Greg Cox (June 2001)
  2. No Good Deed by D.A. Stern (October 2001)
  3. Little Green Men by D.W. Smith and K.K. Rusch (April 2002)

Simon Spotlight Entertainment[edit]

In 2002, Simon Spotlight Entertainment picked up the Roswell range and published eight more novels. Following low sales, the series ended a year later. The first four novels act as a bridge between seasons two and three, and the last four are set after the events of the series.

  1. Shades by Mel Odom (September 2002)
  2. Skeletons In The Closet by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin (November 2002)
  3. Dreamwalk by Paul Ruditis (January 2003)
  4. Quarantine by Laura Burns (March 2003)
  5. A New Beginning by Kevin Ryan (June 2003)
  6. Nightscape by Kevin Ryan (July 2003)
  7. Pursuit by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin (September 2003)
  8. Turnabout by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin (November 2003)

Key differences[edit]

Though the television series was based on the Roswell High young adult novel series written by Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns, there are several major and minor differences between the books and TV show.

Some of the minor differences between the two have to do with character names, descriptions and ages. For example, Shiri Appleby's Liz Parker and Colin Hanks' Alex Whitman from the television series are originally the characters Liz Ortecho and Alex Manes in the books. Alex is also described in the book series as having red hair, but is clearly portrayed by darker haired Hanks on screen. Katherine Heigl's Isabel Evans is the same age as Jason Behr's Max Evans in the television series, never blatantly declared twins, they are said to be the same age as brother and sister, while they are portrayed as twins in the book. However Isabel graduated from high school earlier than her brother and the rest of their classmates, because she had obtained the necessary credits to graduate, leaving for college afterwards.

Some other major differences between characters have also greatly influenced the plotlines between the two series as well. In the books, Emilie de Ravin's character of Tess Harding and Jim Ortlieb's Nasedo do not exist at all, while they took on roles of great importance during the last half of the show's first season and onward. In the books, however, there are a greater number of major alien characters from Antar present that never make true appearances on screen. For example, the character of Nikolas Branson is the fourth pod alien in the book series instead of Tess, but he does not get portrayed in the TV series. Other alien characters from the books not seen on screen at all include Adam, a fifth pod alien; Trevor, Michael's brother; Elsevan, an evil alien character; and Ray Iburg, the manager of the UFO Museum who is also secretly an alien.

The alien characters and storylines are not the only ones that deviate greatly between the books and TV show. Though originally introduced to seem villainous on the show, Sheriff Jim Valenti and his son Kyle Valenti eventually become close allies to the core characters towards the end of the show's first season. However, they remain at odds with one another throughout the book series. Adam Rodríguez's character of Jesse Ramirez, who eventually marries Isabel on the TV show, is also a completely original character for the show and does not appear in the books at all.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Roswell High' on BBC". Retrieved on September 1, 2008.
  2. ^ Lee, Patrick. "Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz graduate from 'Roswell High' to TV". Archived from the original on 2005-02-07. Retrieved 2005-06-19. 
  3. ^ "Teen Alienation from novel to screen". HackWriters.com. Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  4. ^ Roswell Filming Locations
  5. ^ Sydney, Laurin. "Viewer alienation not a problem for teen drama 'Roswell'". CNN. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  6. ^ Millman, Joyce (1999-12-13). "From 'The Sopranos' to 'Greed,' a look back at the highs and lows of the year in television". Salon.com. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  7. ^ a b c Kate, O'Hare (2002-05-09). "'Roswell' Finale Aims for the Stars". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  8. ^ Kaplan, Anna L. (2000-10-09). "ROSWELL: Ronald D. Moore". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  9. ^ "WB Announces Schedule". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 

External links[edit]