Preview Articles about Roswell


Articles from various sources preveiwing Roswell before it aired in the US & the UK.
Here is a list of the articles and interviews below -












From the WB

Aliens have invaded our civilization - and they look just like you and me. The aliens in question are the cast of the new show Roswell starring Jason Behr (Dawson's Creek) and newcomer Shiri Appleby. Also joining the cast - Katherine Heigl, Majandra Delfino, Brendan Fehr, Colin Hanks, Nick Wechsler and William Sadler.

Roswell is set in the New Mexico town made famous by the alleged crash of an alien spacecraft in July of 1947. Several witnesses claim to have made contact with the ship's debris, stating that the material would not burn or scratch, and it would return to its normal state after being crumpled. And others recount tales of alien bodies lying dormant in the wreckage. All of this, naturally, has been refuted time and again by the US military. They still say the craft was nothing more than a weather balloon.

Producers David Nutter (The X-Files) and Jason Katims (My So-Called Life) are spinning a new angle on the story in Roswell. They reveal that not only did aliens dive bomb into the American west 50 years ago, but their descendants are living among us under the guise of human personas.

"To me, one of the exciting things about the premise of the show is that the three alien characters in the show don't know about their history," says Katims. "From a writing point of view, it's exciting because as they discover their backstory, the audience is discovering it."

Although it would be easy to define Roswell as a science fiction program, Katims and Nutter have opted to steer away from the sci-fi aspects and focus more on the quest for identity and acceptance. The stories will be told from the point of view of the human residents of Roswell, but will also call upon the unique voice of the aliens. It is they who must struggle to conceal their otherworldly identities while discovering what it means to be human.

Says Katims, "We have a way of doing it in a way that can be personal and hopefully very emotional and not just about the facts about what's happened. It's something we're going to discover with the characters and it will be a long ride and hopefully a really fulfilling journey."

Katims and Nutter have been able to set Roswell aside from thematically similar programs like The X ­Files by emphasizing the romantic facets of the story. Nevertheless, the show does have aliens, and the actors that play them have taken a strong interest in the events surrounding the alleged UFO crash.

"My father actually sent me the official government records on Roswell, and it's very interesting," says Roswell actress Katherine Heigl. It's all based on the weather balloon, but supposedly now, people that were involved in the supposed crash are able to speak freely. And they still say it was a weather balloon. I don't know. There's still that mystery there."

Roswell actor Jason Behr, who says the movie ET had a strong impact on him when he was a child, is forthright on the topic. "For me to sit here and to tell you that we are the only intelligent life form that ever existed would be very arrogant of me."

If we are living elbow-to-elbow with aliens, and if we are one day to communicate with them, we should be prepared to face a frightening possibility. They may know a lot more about being human than we do.










Loving the Aliens "It's a metaphor for alienation"

Roswell we confidently predict, will be featuring prominently in certain Reader Awards categories next year. Andy Mangels talks to the crew behind the stylish new aliens at-high-school serires.

Jonathan Frakes bounds onto stage and whips the crowd into a frenzy. The countdown begins and a large UFO slides down a wire crashing to the ground and dumping a cargo of aliens onto the Earth. At the moment they burst into flames a cheer rises to the celebratory and jubilant crowd.

Everyone's joyful except for three teenagers who stand behind a nearby fence, watching the burning aliens and wondering if this is their future fate.

The three teens are Max Evans, (Jason Behr of Dawson's Creek), his sister Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl of Bride of Chucky) and their friend Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr of Disturbing Behavior) and the scene is the denouement to the pilot episode of Roswell, a fascinating and gripping new television serires that has drama fans and science fiction fans alike cheering. The trio live in Roswell, New Mexico, site of the infamous UFO crash of 1947, but the secret that they share with only a select few friends is that they are aliens themselves! Can they live as humans, or will their secret be exposed by a snooping sheriff and assorted government agents?

The genesis of Roswell can be traced to Roswell High, a teen novel line by author Melinda Metz. The right to that series were purchased by a group of producers (including the aforementioned Jonathan Frakes). When the group brought the project to Twentieth Century Fox, the studio presented the idea to Jason Katims (the man behind the critically-acclaimed series My So-Called Life and Fox's Relativity). Katim notes that he read the first Roswell High novel, "and I thought that in it was this wonderful idea that merged these two genres of high school ensemble drama with a very compelling science fiction conceit. I decided I wanted to jump in and become involved." Katims became an executive producer and writer, adopting a position called "show runner". This means that in addition to writing many episodes -- and managing the other writers -- he is involved with every other aspect of the series, from pre-production to post-production.

Executive producer/director David Nutter came onto the project at Fox's request. "When Fox decided they were going to make this thing for real, they had contacted me and were interested in me directing it, " says Nutter. "I'd read the paperback novel and upon reading that and meeting with Jason, I thought that we definitely had a real meeting of minds in terms of how to approach the story, and how to make it so that it's not like you would imagine it to be told. What we were able to do with it is give it the reality that it needed and give it the weight that it needed, and also make it entertaining and fun and humorous and exciting.

"After multiple seasons working on The X-Files, Nutter seemed like a good choice for a science fiction series. But he doesn't see the similarity between the shows in quite the same manner, "I never really looked at The X-Files as a science fiction show," Nutter notes. "I looked at it as a wonderfully complicated and involving dramatic work, with many aspects of science fiction thrown into it. But the way the show has always been treated and has always been looked at is in a very serious way. What I thought was important and would be fun with Roswell, was to do something in that similar vein, but also dealing with young people. I had directed a movie last year, Disturbing Behavior, that ended up getting chopped up, but I wanted to do a lot of the things (there) that we're doing on Roswell. I always felt that people who really love science fiction are people who love to really dream and wear their heart on their sleeves, and they're ver interested in stories that are told well, and in an emotional way. I thought this would be a show that would really capitalise on that."










Roswell Close Encounters (for authorized eyes only)
The Wb has given us one more reason to look forward to Wednesday nights. Roswell airs at 9 p.m. following Dawson's Creek and it's packed with hot hunks, daring chicks and gripping story lines. If you've been living under a rock for the last couple months, here's the lowdown on the hottest new show that is truly out of this world.

The Story
In the infamous Roswell, New Mexico, Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) serves up grup to tourists in her dad's restaurant, Crashdown Cafe. When an argument between customers turns violent, Liz gets caught in the crossfire. It doesn't look good for Liz until classmate Max Evans (Jason Behr) saves her life with a magical touch and soulful gaze.

Turns out Max is "not of this earth" and in saving Liz, he has put himself, sister Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and bud, Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) in serious danger. Max reveals that the alien trio was aboard the UFO that crashed in Roswell over fifty years ago. After they emerged from incubation pods, they were adopted by locals and lead normal lives.

But, Max's herioics have changed all that. Now Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler) is suspicious and Max has lost Isabel and Michael's trust by spilling their secret. The rest of the cast is in shambles as well: Liz's best friend, Maria De Luca (Majandra Delfino) is freaked out by the news and the girls don't think their childhood friend, Alex Whitman (Colin Hanks) can handle it. Liz's ex-boyfriend, and son of the sheriff, Kyle Valenti (Nick Wechsler) has joined his father in his quest to bring down the Evans family, after suspecting Liz has feelings for Max.

Which leads us to one of the best reasons to tune in -- the blossoming romance between Liz and Max as a modern day Romeo and Juliet. These star-crossed lovers have one colossal problem -- they are different species.

Fun on the Set
Brendan, 21, reveals that he and Jason, 25, are always goofing off in between takes. "[the conversation] usually ends up being kind of perverted. Not in a really gross sense. But I mean.. our sense of humor is so immature, we find absolutely anything funny.."

The stars make fun of each other, but it's all in good spirits. Cast members imitate one another and play up each other's mistakes -- all in the name of friendly competition. Brendan gets teased a lot when his native Candian accent slips out.

Do You Believe?
No wonder Roswell seems so real -- the actors really prepared for their roles. Jason says he saw E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial about 12 times. Seriously, he also read a lot of books and watched documentaries about Roswell. The cast believes that aliens may exist. "I think working on the show you really have no other choice but, you know, to kind of believe that there is a possibility." Shiri, 20, asays laughing.

Real Life
So, have any of the stars of Roswell ever felt alienated in real life? Jason confesses that he was a "shrimp" growing up: "I was probably half the size of my friends and half the size of most of my girlfriends. I felt just awkward and misunderstood and lost as a lot of people do.Jason reveals that he did a lot of soul-searching in those days, much like his character, Max.

Jason also had to endure people mistaking him for a girl on the phone. Of course, that would never happen to him now.

Speaking of real life -- Colin Hanks is the son of superstar Tom Hanks of course. You saw the resemblace, right? But don't expect Colin to talk up this famous relationship. He wants to be appreciated as an actor in his own right; no special favors for this guy.

Sensitive Alien
Jason is as dreamy in real life as he is in Roswell. Check out this babe's thoughts on love: "When I'm in love, I don't like to talk about it too much. Words can't fully express the emotion." Jason also reveals that he loves to paint: "I'm an aspiring Picasso." Looks, talent, sensitivity, what more could a girl ask for?

We can't get enought of Roswell and we know you can't either. Luckily, you can get a weekly dose every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. on the WB.

Back Track
they look familiar.. here's where you've seen the stars before they beamed up to Roswell.

Shiri Appleby
Guest appearances on: 7th Heaven, Beverly Hills 90210, thirtysomething, ER, Xena: Warrior Princess and Doogie Howser, M.D. Starred in the cable TV movies: Perfect Family, Family Prayers and Sunday Dinner. on the big screen: The Thirteenth floor and I Love You To Death

Jason Behr
Guest appearances on: Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, th Heaven, Profiler, JAG and Push. On the big screen: Pleasantville and Rites of Passage

Katherine Heigl
On the big screen: That Night, My Father the Hero, Child's Play IV: The Bride of Chucky; Under Siege 2; Prince Valient, King of the Hill and Wish Upon a Star Starred in the TV movie: The Tempest

Majandra Deflino
On the big screen: Zeus & Roxanne, I know What You Screamed Last Summer, The Secret Lives of Girls, and the Learning Curve Starred in the TV series, The Tony Danza Show

Brendan Fehr
Guest appearances on TV series: Breaker High and Millennium Starred in the TV movies: Our Guys, Perfect Little Angels and Every Mother's Worst Fear On the big screen: Disturbing Behavior, Flight 180 and Christina's House

Colin Hanks
On the big screen: That Thing You Do! and I'll be You.

Nick Wechsler
Role in the TV movie: Full Circle Guest appearances on Team Knightrider, Silk Stalkings, and Lazarus Man On the big screen: The Perfect Game










Say What? Overheard : Alien Nation

Roswell was developed by the same individuals who brought My So-Called Life and The X-Files to the small screen, making it just about the best collaboration that we can think of to explore the subject of teen alienation.

"My paranormal character reminds me of my days in high school." --Jason Behr

The WB has ordered 22 episodes of the popular show--nearly double that of any other new program--making it their ace in the hold for new teen drama in 2000.

"When it came time to find a humanoid of the female variety, it turned out to be an easy casting call." --Shiri Appleby

Sexy Loveline hostess Diane Farr will join the alien high school crew in a recurring role as the sheriff's new love interest.

"Sometimes when you go through that little awkward stage where yo're kind of growing and changing you tend to get a little withdrawn. I think that's when you do a lot of soul searching." --Jason Behr

Jason Behr (Max) joined forces with B*Witched at the recent WB Radio Music Awards.

Shiri Appleby (Liz) first got her start by doing commercials for M&M's, Taco Bell and Cheerios.

"I believe that working on Roswell leaves me no other choice but to believe that there is a possibility of other beings in the universe." --Shiri Appleby

Both Jason Behr and Shiri Appleby spent some time doing episodic work--she in Zena Warrior Princess and he in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

As a child, Jason claimed that he loved sci-fi movies but Battlestar Galactica "scared the beejeebies" out of him.










TV Guide's "The Best New Shows of the Season"

It may look like just another Dawson’s Creek clone — one of the stars even spent time on that teen phenom — but Roswell couldn’t feel more different. The TV equivalent of a thrilling page-turner, Roswell keeps you wondering what will happen next to an imperiled trio of high-school outsiders: Max (Jason Behr), Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and Michael (Brendan Fehr). They’re not just alienated, they’re aliens. Of the E.T. variety. They came to Roswell when their spacecraft crashed in the New Mexico desert in 1947 (apparently they were incubating, only to emerge as 6-year-olds in the 1980s). To avoid becoming alien autopsies, they have kept their background a secret from classmates.

Roswell was originally developed for Fox, but WB landed it by contracting for 22 episodes, a rare commitment for a TV network. To support the series, WB is even planning a Web site, says executive producer David Nutter (The X-Files). "It’s just vital. When we did The X-Files, we would spend nights after an episode reading what people had to say. Our goal is to make this a show with intelligence and life-and-death stakes for the characters." They have succeeded so far. As the kids seek elusive answers to their origins while a nosy sheriff (William Sadler) watches their every move, it’s hard not to get a little bit hooked.

Roswell is not filmed in New Mexico; it’s produced in Los Angeles. "It’s the Roswell of our imaginations," says executive producer Jason Katims (My So-Called Life), who developed the show from the teen-friendly Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz. The love story between Max (Behr, who appeared on six episodes of Dawson’s last season) and Liz (Shiri Appleby), a waitress he miraculously saves from dying in the October 6 premiere, is a new-millennium twist on Romeo and Juliet. "They not only come from different sides of the track," says Katims, "they’re different life-forms." Star Trek fans will love a cameo in the first show: Jonathan Frakes of The Next Generation, also an executive producer of Roswell, plays himself at a UFO festival. But as to details of upcoming episodes, cast and producers are tight-lipped: "It’s hard to talk about," says Behr. "If you give away too much, you’ll ruin the ride."— J.W.

MATT SAYS:
Perhaps the unlikeliest choice of our fall favorites, Roswell makes the cut because it adds a tasty new ingredient to the high-school genre: suspenseful intrigue. And it’s the most instantly accessible of the new fantasy-adventure series. Hard to pigeonhole but easy to watch, this engrossing fable is all about secrets, laying out clues and mysteries while presenting a dewy-eyed teen romance. It’s all very earnest, but not without humor. In the second episode, to avoid being overheard talking about aliens, the heroes adopt the code word "Czechoslovakians." Nice touch.










Ultimate TV's WB Preview
9 p.m. Wednesdays on The WB

The Hook: My So-Called Alien. . . Bizarre things start happening in the little New Mexico town where flying saucers -- oops, weather balloons -- were spotted in 1947. Cut to 1999, when a cute high school student saves the life of a teenage waitress. Surrounded by cliques of clever, angst-filled classmates, the two form a bond that threatens the survival of a secret universe involving superhuman powers, a yen for hot sauce and an alien gene pool.

The Cast: Shiri Appleby stars as Liz Parker, with Jason Behr (the quarterback on "Dawson's Creek") as Max Evans, her soul mate from another planet. Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fehr and Majandra Delfino co-star.

Backstory: Developed by Jason Katims ("Relativity," "My So-Called Life") with David Nutter ("X Files"), the sci-fi thriller was set for the FOX schedule this year, before being sold to The WB. The network has ordered 22 episodes, nearly double the typical deal for a new show.










WDZL WB Preview

Starring
Liz — Shiri Appleby
Max — Jason Behr
Isabelle — Katherine Heigl
Michael — Brendan Fehr

In the summer of 1947, residents of the tiny town of Roswell, New Mexico believed they witnessed the fiery crash of an alien spacecraft. The federal government maintains it never happened. Now, on the eve of the fifty-second anniversary, the town once again comes together to celebrate the historic event some call an ill-fated visit from the stars and others call a hoax. No one knows the real story. Until Liz Parker, a student at W. Roswell High, is hit by a stray bullet at work. As she lays wounded, fellow classmate Max Evans miraculously cures her with a touch. When she confronts him, Max reluctantly admits he and two others; his sister Isabelle and Michael were among the crash survivors. Since then, the three have lived quietly among Roswell's residents under a strict part of secrecy to elude government capture. But in saving the girl he has secretly loved since childhood, he has endangered not only his own life but those of his friends.










All of Life's Little Mysteries
This fall's TV season highlights our rites of passage from tortured teendom to anxious adulthood
Newsweek
By Kendall Hamilton

The WB's "Roswell," on the other hand, isn't exactly what you'd call realistic. It is, however, a neat show. The setup is this: Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) is shot in an altercation at her father's Roswell, N.M., cafe. Classmate Max Evans (Jason Behr) comes to the rescue and, by a laying-on of hands, heals the wound. Questions fly, and answers slowly emerge. Max is a teenage alien, one of three who survived a saucer crash and grew up incognito in town. Now, thanks to a suspicious sheriff, their cover is eroding, and to top it off, Liz and Max are falling for each other. It may sound a bit much, but the pilot, written by executive producer and "My So-Called Life" veteran Jason Katims, inspires adequate, if not comprehensive, suspension of disbelief. And the adolescent struggles here — alienation, rebellion, first love — are presented metaphorically, which takes the edge off the angst and saves "Roswell" from becoming a "Dawson's Creek" clone.










I WAS A TEENAGE ALIEN
Entertainment Weekly September 10, 1999

The youth-crazy WB launches ROSWELL--an invasion of adolescent angst with an out-of-this-world twist
by Kristen Baldwin
ROSWELL The WB, 9-10 PM - Debuts Oct. 6

Another day, another teen drama on The WB. On a sawdusty Hollywood soundstage, two young, blithely beautiful players, Shiri Appleby and Jason Behr, perch side by side in preparation for their close-up. So what will the scene call for today--the usual dramatic recitation of hormone-fueled melancholia? Another teary-eyed insight into the teenage condition articulated in dizzying SAT-speak? Um, not exactly. Let's listen in, shall we, as Appleby breathlessly addresses her co-star: "Before you took human form were you three feet tall and green and slimy?"

Yep, a show about adolescent extraterrestrials--you just knew it had to happen. It's Roswell, a moody teen drama centering on three aliens--Max (Behr), his sister Isabel (Katherine Heigl), and their friend Michael (Brendan Fehr)--who fell to earth (specifically, New Mexico) in the infamous UFO crash and now hide in plain sight as everyday kids in the titular conspiracy-theorist capital of the world. Based on Melinda Metz's book series Roswell High, the story was adapted for television by the odd couple of Jason Katims (a writer-producer for touchy-feely fare like My So-Called Life and Relativity) and sci-fi guru David Nutter (a well-known X-Files director and helmer of last year's MGM Stepfordesque teen flick Disturbing Behavior).

"Before the studio killed [Behavior] and chopped it all up, I was trying to make a film dealing with the metaphor of teens as the aliens among us," Nutter says. "I got [the Roswell] script and I said, This is exactly what I want to do. All the metaphors are there." Behr, who exudes soft-spoken charm as the alien trio's levelheaded leader, perused the part while guesting on Dawson's Creek last year. "I thought it was a great premise," he says. "It kind of reminded me of Buffy and The X-Files. It's a nice hybrid."

And one The WB was near-apoplectic about snatching up. Says network president Susanne Daniels: "Teenage aliens? We were like, Yes! We get that!" Originally, Daniels' landing Roswell was about as likely as those 7th Heaven kids lighting up a joint: The show's studio, Twentieth Century Fox TV, planned to sell it to sister network Fox. When Fox wanted a revamp and a mid-season start date, however, Twentieth went with rival WB--but only after securing an out-of-this-world 22-episode order and the plum post-Dawson's time slot. "It's a large commitment and it makes one nervous," admits Daniels. "Basically, that's what it was going to take to make a deal."

The producers, meanwhile, felt they had finally landed in the right TV galaxy. "I had heard that The WB liked us for who we were, while Fox possibly wanted us to adjust more to their 90210/Melrose Place audience," says Nutter. "One of the things The WB has about it that a lot of other networks don't is they lead with their heart."

There's no question it's a match made in demographic heaven, but really, isn't it stretching the youth-soaked zeitgeist just a bit to throw backpacks and Adidas on little green men? "There's something innately silly in the idea," concedes Katims. "If you allow the audience to dismiss it, they will. So we wanted to make sure the show played as real as possible." Meaning Roswell eschews My Favorite Martian-style antics for a soulful, serious approach: In addition to tales of teen self-discovery, Max, Michael, and Isabel will search for a fourth alien who may hold the secret to their cosmic past. Upping the dramatic ante are an alien-hunting sheriff (William Sadler), who knows there's something spooky about Max and his pals, and the truly star-crossed romance between Max and Earth girl Liz (Appleby), a waitress at the town's Crashdown Cafe.

"It's written in a realistic way," says the 20-year-old Appleby. "It really spoke to me." Adds Katims: "The thing that first drew me to the show more than the sci-fi aspect was the love story. A lot of writers love that idea of two people who want to be together but can't, and it's hard in telling a contemporary [love] story to find a real obstacle. This one really has it--they're different life-forms."

Sure, but they both come from the Planet of the Impossibly Attractive Teens. So tell us, Mr. Behr, what would a hottie like you know about teenage alienation? "Oh, come on," groans the blushing 25-year-old. "I can tell you that growing up I was a little shrimp. I was probably half the size of my friends, and half the size of most of my girlfriends. I felt just as awkward and misunderstood and lost as a lot of people do." Uh-uh. You're going to have to do better than that. "Um, sometimes people said that I sounded like a girl on the phone." Not exactly intergalactic geekdom, but it'll do.

--Kristen Baldwin










TV Guide Fall Preview Favorite
ROSWELL
9-10 P.M., WB (premiers October 6)

STARS: Jason Behr, Shiri Appleby, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fehr, Majandra Delfino, Colin Hanks, Nick Welchsler, William Sadler

PREMISE: Star-crossed teen romance. Literally. When Max (Behr) mysteriously cures Liz (Appleby) of a gunshot wound, she learns his secret: He, his sister (Heigl) and best friend (Fehr) are orphaned aliens from the alleged 1947 spaceship crash in New Mexico. As their attraction grows, so does danger, with the local sherrif (Sadler) determined to find the truth that's out there. It will be hard to keep things hush-hush. Liz has already clued in her dizzt best friend (Delfino), and others are getting curious, including Liz's boyfriend (Welchsler), who is also the sheriff's son. Based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz.

THEY SAY: "It's really a cross between The X-Files and My So Called Life-two shows which, of course, we know a little about," says executive producer David Nutter (The X-Files). He teams with Life veteran Jason Katims, who says the show is about "taking any kind of love story that would happen between teens and sort of ratcheting up the obtacles coming between them, because they're diffrent life-forms." Nutter belivies "that for a long time, science-fiction shows really haven't been able to touch upon the heart and the emotions. And sci-fi fans really have their hearts on their sleeves.... We're all suckers for a good love story. I think that's somthing that will go on long after the teen craze has come down to Earth."

WE SAY: Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this show transcends genre with clever writing, suspenseful plotting and unexpectedly evocative performances by its charismatic young leads. Like a really fun B movie, Roswell os this season's most instantly addictive guily pleasure.

TAKEN FROM TV GUIDE, ISSUE SEPT. 11-17 1999.










Get with the Program, Teen People - Oct 1999

WHO:
Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fehr, and Majandra Delfino.

WHAT:
Every teenager feels like an alien at some time, but in Roswell, NM., a few of them really are.

WHY YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO WATCH:
Two genres merge in this deservedly buzzed-about drama, with inexplicable occurances worthy of The X-Files, plues a star-crossed romance reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. The young lovers--Max (Jason Behr), who's truly "not from around here," and the earthbound Liz (Shiri Appleby)--share "a very deep connection...almost [seeing] into each other's souls," says executive producer Jason Katims. But there's one obstacle: The explosive truth about Max's origins puts him at peril every minute of the day. "He can't let anybody in his life," says Jason Behr, "especially Liz."










Roswell
Seventeen Online
Wednesdays, 9pm / WB
(premieres October 6)
Orginal article can be found at http://www.seventeen.com/entertainment_buzz/1084.html

THE DEAL: Combine three tablespoons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a cup of the X-Files, throw in a dash of 90210, bake for one hour in the arid climate of New Mexico, and you've got one tasty series. Serves anyone with a TV and an appetite for sci-fi. That's the recipe the WB must have followed to cook up Roswell, a new show about an eclectic bunch of friends who aren't just from different cliques, they're from different solar systems. It starts out with Max (Jason Behr) rescuing his crush Liz (Shiri Apppleby) after she's accidentally shot. He mysteriously saves her life with the touch of his hand, which Liz naturally finds creepy and baffling. Turns out Max, his sister (Katherine Heigl), and his best friend (Brendan Fehr) are all aliens who were separated from their clan after their spaceship crashed in 1947. Liz falls for Max, but things get sticky when her boyfriend's father -- the local sheriff -- suspects that Max is from another realm. FYI: Tom Hanks' son Colin co-stars as one of Liz's (human) friends.

HIGH POINTS: The setup might sound kitschy, but there's no trace of cheese here. You get the cool alien plotlines plus the juicy teen relationship stories all wrapped up in one pretty package. What more could we ask for? Once again, the WB did us right.










But that Romeo and Juliet problem remains.

There's a lot of unfinished business between Angel and Buffy; their obstacle-strewn romance is just too hot to drop. Until the day when these lovers meet again (crossover, anyone?), WB is shrewdly filling the lovers-from-different-worlds void with "Roswell," an engaging "Buffy" meets "The X-Files" meets "My So-Called Life" drama about a human girl and an extraterrestrial boy who fall in love in Roswell, N.M.

Created and written by Jason Katims ("My So-Called Life," "Relativity"), co-produced and directed by former "X-Files" director David Nutter and based on the popular "Roswell High" series of novels for middle-school readers, "Roswell" has the best-written, most charming pilot episode of the season.

Liz Parker (the captivating Shiri Appleby) is an A-student who works in her parents' Crashdown Cafe, a diner that caters to/mocks the town's place in UFO-hunter lore (it's the site of the alleged 1947 crash of an alien spacecraft) -- the Crashdown's menu offers such items as "the Sigourney Weaver" and "the Will Smith." One day at work, there's an altercation between two patrons and Liz is shot by a stray bullet. A classmate of Liz's, Max Evans (Jason Behr), who is in the cafe, leaps to her aid; in the commotion, he touches her wounded abdomen, she experiences some sort of mind-meld and the wound heals. He begs her to tell people the bullet didn't touch her, only broke a bottle of ketchup near her, then he flees. Later, she finds a silver handprint on her stomach.

Liz staunchly protects Max's secret (she always did have a crush on him, with his shy puppy-dog eyes), even though she's a little freaked by his confession that he's not of this earth. But Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler), who, unfortunately, is Liz's jealous boyfriend's father, is snooping around.

Valenti's father was an FBI agent who was laughed out of the bureau when he became convinced that the silver handprint he found on a corpse in the 1950s was proof that aliens really did crash-land in Roswell. Now the sheriff wants to believe, in order to clear his father's name.

"Roswell" is an enchanting, bittersweet first-love story: "My whole life changed in an instant," Liz writes in her diary. "It's just so ironic that when something like this finally happened to me, it was with an alien." And the sci-fi stuff is pretty cool, too. Max, his sister Isabel (the imposing Katherine Heigl) and their surly pal Michael (Brendan Fehr) believe they survived the spaceship crash at Roswell and were hidden in suspended animation pods for over 30 years. When they hatched (taking human form), they were found wandering around and were assumed to be abandoned children.

Max and Isabel lucked out and were adopted by loving parents; Michael lives in a trailer park with his abusive foster father. Max, Isabel and Michael have the power to heal, can change the shape of solids and listen to CDs by just holding them up to their ears. They also have a strange and as yet unexplained fondness for Tabasco sauce. When they learn about the sheriff's autopsy photo of the corpse with the handprint, they become excited: Do they have a relative somewhere? Can they go home?

The "Roswell" pilot deftly blends breathless teen romance with witty nods to our alien-conspiracy soaked culture. At the show's climax, everyone in Roswell dons sci-fi movie costumes and gathers in the desert for the Crash Festival, where a model of a UFO drops and alien dummies burn. (The show's co-executive producer, Jonathan Frakes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame, has a cameo at the Crash Festival.) But "Roswell" also poignantly depicts what it feels like to be an outsider, a minority, a stranger in a strange land. The looks on the faces of Max, Isabel and Michael as they watch the dummies burn is heartbreaking.

The second episode of "Roswell" is less beguiling; the conspiracy widens to include the obligatory duplicitous government agent (played by Richard Schiff, doing double-duty between this and NBC's "The West Wing"). And the theme of small-town secrets introduced in the episode feels a little "Twin Peaks"-y, without that show's genuinely upside-down weirdness. (Peakheads will be amused, though, by the presence in "Roswell" of actor Michael Horse; he plays the sheriff's deputy, just like he played on "Twin Peaks.") For now, what grabs you about "Roswell" is its lyrical depiction of being 16 and in love and feeling like everything you thought you knew about yourself has become alien to you. "Five days ago I died," recites Liz from her diary. "But then the really amazing thing happened. I came to life."

salon.com | Oct. 4, 1999












October 4, 1999
by Joyce Millman

Created and written by Jason Katims ("My So-Called Life," "Relativity"), co-produced and directed by former "X-Files" director David Nutter and based on the popular "Roswell High" series of novels for middle-school readers, "Roswell" has the best-written, most charming pilot episode of the season.
Liz Parker (the captivating Shiri Appleby) is an A-student who works in her parents' Crashdown Cafe, a diner that caters to/mocks the town's place in UFO-hunter lore (it's the site of the alleged 1947 crash of an alien spacecraft) -- the Crashdown's menu offers such items as "the Sigourney Weaver" and "the Will Smith." One day at work, there's an altercation between two patrons and Liz is shot by a stray bullet. A classmate of Liz's, Max Evans (Jason Behr), who is in the cafe, leaps to her aid; in the commotion, he touches her wounded abdomen, she experiences some sort of mind-meld and the wound heals. He begs her to tell people the bullet didn't touch her, only broke a bottle of ketchup near her, then he flees. Later, she finds a silver handprint on her stomach.

Liz staunchly protects Max's secret (she always did have a crush on him, with his shy puppy-dog eyes), even though she's a little freaked by his confession that he's not of this earth. But Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler), who, unfortunately, is Liz's jealous boyfriend's father, is snooping around. Valenti's father was an FBI agent who was laughed out of the bureau when he became convinced that the silver handprint he found on a corpse in the 1950s was proof that aliens really did crash-land in Roswell. Now the sheriff wants to believe, in order to clear his father's name.

"Roswell" is an enchanting, bittersweet first-love story: "My whole life changed in an instant," Liz writes in her diary. "It's just so ironic that when something like this finally happened to me, it was with an alien." And the sci-fi stuff is pretty cool, too. Max, his sister Isabel (the imposing Katherine Heigl) and their surly pal Michael (Brendan Fehr) believe they survived the spaceship crash at Roswell and were hidden in suspended animation pods for over 30 years. When they hatched (taking human form), they were found wandering around and were assumed to be abandoned children.

Max and Isabel lucked out and were adopted by loving parents; Michael lives in a trailer park with his abusive foster father. Max, Isabel and Michael have the power to heal, can change the shape of solids and listen to CDs by just holding them up to their ears. They also have a strange and as yet unexplained fondness for Tabasco sauce. When they learn about the sheriff's autopsy photo of the corpse with the handprint, they become excited: Do they have a relative somewhere? Can they go home?

The "Roswell" pilot deftly blends breathless teen romance with witty nods to our alien-conspiracy soaked culture. At the show's climax, everyone in Roswell dons sci-fi movie costumes and gathers in the desert for the Crash Festival, where a model of a UFO drops and alien dummies burn. (The show's co-executive producer, Jonathan Frakes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame, has a cameo at the Crash Festival.) But "Roswell" also poignantly depicts what it feels like to be an outsider, a minority, a stranger in a strange land. The looks on the faces of Max, Isabel and Michael as they watch the dummies burn is heartbreaking.

The second episode of "Roswell" is less beguiling; the conspiracy widens to include the obligatory duplicitous government agent (played by Richard Schiff, doing double-duty between this and NBC's "The West Wing"). And the theme of small-town secrets introduced in the episode feels a little "Twin Peaks"-y, without that show's genuinely upside-down weirdness. (Peakheads will be amused, though, by the presence in "Roswell" of actor Michael Horse; he plays the sheriff's deputy, just like he played on "Twin Peaks.") For now, what grabs you about "Roswell" is its lyrical depiction of being 16 and in love and feeling like everything you thought you knew about yourself has become alien to you. "Five days ago I died," recites Liz from her diary. "But then the really amazing thing happened. I came to life."
--End--











Alienation permeates teen-themed 'Roswell'
By David Kronke, TV Critic
Tuesday, October 5, 1999
Orginal article can be found at http://www.press-telegram.com/archive/extra/life/falltv/roswell.asp

When a network devotes a quarter of its entire original prime-time schedule to paranormal youth programs, it's either seeking an insanely specific demographic or simply crazy like a network of a different name. In the WB's case, these quirky genre items are among its best shows. "Roswell" is an estimable companion to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel," more innocent (save a mildly blue sight gag in episode two) and less action-packed but equally concerned with abstruse romantic convolutions. It takes the metaphor of the high-school outsider to literal extremes -- some of these kids don't feel like they fit in with their peers because, well, they're a whole other species. Given that Jason Katims, who made his name in Hollywood writing for "My So-Called Life," and former "X-Files" director David Nutter are running the series, it should be well-served on both the sci-fi and teen-angst fronts. Call it "My So-Called Planet."

Set in Roswell, N.M. -- the infamous site of an alleged UFO crash a half-century ago -- the show centers around a cute but otherwise unremarkable high school student (Shiri Appleby) who likes to keep reminding herself in her diary, "I'm Liz Parker." Her whole life is changed when she's accidentally killed while waiting tables at the saucer-themed diner owned by her parents. Yes, killed, but don't waste your tears. Enter soulful Max Evans (Jason Behr, likely the WB's next hunk), an alien survivor of a pod thrown from that extra-terrestrial crack-up but hatched just a decade back. Even he doesn't know where he's from -- he can just point, vaguely, up. Attracted to Liz Liz, Max exposes his secret by using his alien powers to save her life. Max's sister, Isabel (Katherine Heigl), and buddy Michael (Brendan Fehr) are less than thrilled with his act of altruism - they don't want to be found out and end up part of some Alien Autopsy footage on Fox. The remainder of the series will be given over to Liz helping Max and company elude the authorities, particularly sheriff Valenti (William Sadler), who's out to prove his father wasn't an alien-hunting kook, and a mysterious "substitute teacher" who doesn't know her geometry, who turns up in episode two. The kids will also search for another alien who may still walk the earth, and, of course, there's the small matter of the unrequited passion Liz and Max have for one another, but are uneasy about pursuing -- an added, unnecessary complication is that Liz has been dating Valenti's son. Here's betting the trip will be an intriguing one, and that hormones will be hormones, human or otherwise.

The show: "Roswell."
What: Teen melodrama with a science-fiction twist, set in the town renowned for a UFO crash 50 years ago.
Who: Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Majandra Defino, Brendan Fehr, William Sadler.
Where: The WB.
When: Tonight at 9 p.m.
Rating: 3 stars










'Roswell': WB's teen sci-fi-er has makings of a breakthrough hit
Love, aliens and, yes, high school angst
By Andrew Wallenstein Oct 6, 1999
Orginal article can be found at http://www.medialifemagazine.com/newspages/archives/news51006.html

If "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" hasn’t convinced you the WB network has mastered the art of mixing science fiction and teen angst, the new series "Roswell" (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET, beginning tonight) certainly will.

If there is one hour with the best chance of being the year’s breakout hit, it’s this nicely crafted series from executive producer Jason Katims, who also helped create "My So-Called Life." NBC’s "Freaks & Geeks" may be a better show, but the built-in audience WB offers "Roswell" in the post-"Dawson’s Creek" time slot makes it a sure thing (After an impressive debut, "Freaks" plummeted in its second week in the tough Saturday 8 p.m. time slot).

Why more production companies don’t try blending TV’s hottest genres is a mystery, but "Roswell" does it exceptionally well. Based in the New Mexico city where a UFO was rumored to have crashed in 1947, "Roswell" hooks you from the very first scene. A trio of aliens masquerading as high school students get their cover blown when one of them (Jason Behr) miraculously heals the girl he has a crush on (Shiri Appleby) after she gets shot. The local sheriff suspects extra-terrestrial foul play, and voila, you have a love story and intergalactic space chase wrapped into one show.

Appleby and Behr, who got his start in a small role on "Creek," will probably follow WB stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Van Der Beek to side careers on the big screen—they’re that good as literally star-crossed lovers. "Roswell" could use a better supporting cast and may take itself a tad too seriously (a big WB no-no), but a gargantuan 22-episode order guarantees the network is committed for the long haul.

One misgiving: "Roswell" would probably be better as a lead-out for "Buffy" than "Dawson" because of its similar themes. Truth be told, WB should have risked moving the new series "Angel" after "Dawson" because two consecutive hours of vampires may over-slake any thirst for sci-fi on Tuesday, and "Buffy" fans would tune in for "Angel" even if it were on at 4 a.m. "Roswell" was originally meant for Fox, courtesy of fellow Murdoch conglomerate holding Twentieth Century Fox TV. But absurdly enough, Fox asked for a creative overhaul and only offered a midseason slot. To add insult to injury, the Fox series currently running in the "Roswell" time slot is "Get Real," a rookie drama flirting with cancellation and routinely finishing dead last in teen demos. Listen closely, and you can hear Fox Entertainment president Doug Herzog kicking himself.

Time-slot wise, the biggest competition for "Roswell" comes from ABC’s "The Drew Carey Show" and UPN’s "Star Trek: Voyager," which have attracted 18-34 viewers. However, "Roswell" should swipe teen demos entirely, a trend WB has proved it can continue this season even with brand new shows. Last week’s premiere of rookie "Popular" pulled off a shocking upset against NBC’s "Friends" Thursday at 8 p.m.: The WB offering actually topped the high-rated sitcom among female teens (6.9/26 vs. 5.7/22).

-Andrew Wallenstein is a New York writer.










Teen Alienation with a Twist
TV Times 2nd - 8th September 2000

A UFO crashes in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. Were there aliens aboard? Now fast forward to Roswell in 1999 and meet three teenagers with unearthly powers and a desire to find out where they came from. Add a mix of three non-alien local teens and you have a recipe for love, suspense and sci-fi. Now meet the characters.

MAX EVANS (Jason Behr)
Alien Max, who's adored Liz Parker since childhood is played by Jason Behr. You'll know Jason, 26, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and as Chris Wolfe in Dawson's Creek.

MARIA DeLUCA (Majandra Delfino)
Ditzy Maria is nervous when she discovers her classmates' secret. Playing her is Venezuelan-born Majandra Delfino, 19, who has sun with Samantha Gibb (daughter of Bee Gee Maurice).

LIZ PARKER (Shiri Appleby)
The naďve but intelligent daughter of the local diner owners, 16 year old Liz workers for her parents as a waitress. Shiri Appleby, 21, plays Liz.

MICHAEL GUERIN (Brendan Fehr)
Hunky Canadian Brendan Fehr portrays Michael, who has to hide his alien identity and deal with an abusive foster father. Brendan, 24, is dating co-star Majandra Delfino in real life.

ISABEL EVANS (Katherine Heigl)
The ultimate ultra-cool high-school babe, Max's sister Isabel has a very dangerous secret. Watch out for her developing on-screen romance with Alex (Colin Hanks, son of Tom). Isabel is played by Katherine Heigl.

SHERIFF JIM VALENTI (William Sadler)
Hot on the trail of the aliens, the Sheriff, played by William Sadler, has a deteriorating relationship with his own teenage son Kyle (Nick Wechsler) and an eye for the ladies. A classic bad guy. Or is he?










Family Album
Radio Times (16th - 22nd September 2000)
By JOHN PEEL

"It's Buffy with aliens instead of vampires," said Ellie, our Tom's girlfriend. You're right, Ellie, I thought, but how do I turn your seven well chosen words into my 950? Like this, Isabel uses a lot of gloss lipstick, has flawless skin and comes from Outer Space. Big place, Outer Space, I hear you cry. Where in Outer Space exactly. Where in Outer Space exactly? From a planet Very Similar to Our Own, I think you'll find. Isabel also has special powers. She can enhance a car's air-conditioning system simply by passing her hand in a highly individual way across the air vent. She does a similar trick with the in-car stereo facility. The car is driven by Maria, who knows that Isabel, Isabel's cute brother Max and Max's punk-lite friend Michael all come from Outer Space, although she, Maria, is a Roswell girl herself - albeit one who habitually behaves as though she was from the plant Zbbbzz.

You'd not suspect that the three young persons were from out there where the air is rare unless you were privately convinced that all young Americans exhibit symptoms of extraterrestrial origin. The only hint you get that Max, Isabel and Michael might not be from our humble galaxy lies in Max's somewhat irregularly shaped ears. Otherwise the trio seems oppressively normal.

Roswell High (Thursdays BBC2, Wednesdays in Scotland) is described in an upbeat press release as "suspenseful and touching new drama".

Hmmmm. It is based on, of all things, the Roswell High books by Melinda Metz. The essential premise is that Max, Isabel and Michael are the descendants of aliens who crashed in Roswell in 1947 and somehow survived. They are filled with a deep yearning to return home, but without having much of an idea where home might be or how they might reasonably expect to get there. Hence Max's tear-filled eyes when he sees, in Roswell's museum, a mock-up of the famous alien autopsy of 1947.

The dead alien doesn't look an awful lot like Max, to be honest; more like one of those bags of rope, string and electrical cable you keep in a shed against the remote possibility that its contents might come in useful one of these days.

The only earthling to know Max, Isabel and Michael's secret is Maria's best friend, Liz. Liz is dark and rather sensible, unlike Maria. Maria seems on the verge of some sort of breakdown, especially when the local sheriff, Valenti, is trying to get her to admit that she knows there is more to the extraterrestrial three than meets the earthbound eye. Sheriff Valenti is a man with a mission, a man who, as the press release puts it so succinctly, "is driven by a very personal need to expose the truth about what happened that fateful night in 1947". Something also happened in 1959, something that troubles poor pointy-eared Max, but we're going to have to wait a while yet to discover what that might have been, although the frankly creepy man who runs the town museum and seems rather to fancy Max, appears to know something about 1959 that you and I don't.

The only other thing you do need to know, I think, is that Max secretly yearns for Liz, and to be fair, I think he is right to do so.

All the main characters are played by attractive kids with great teeth, flawless skin and no weight problems - although there are at least two fat boys visible in crowd scenes - and all have appeared in other film and television productions I've never heard of. Sorry - of which I have never heard. Isabel, for example, is played by Katherine Heigl (My Father, the Hero) and the spiky-haired Michael, custodian of a mysterious key that I feel is going to turn out to be fantastically important later in the series, by Brendan Fehr (Disturbing Behaviour). The ditzy Maria is played by Majandra Delfino (Zeus and Roxanne).

Heigl? Fehr? Are these their real names? Reason insists they must be. Do these and similar developments in Hollywood mark the end of the emollient and euphonious alias? Wouldn't we admire Katherine Heigl even more if she was named, say, Autumn Loveliness? And, conversely, would we all yearn for Brad Pitt if he were called Barno Goot? Not that Brad Pitt is involved in Roswell High, of course. Majandra Delfino is better, but overlong. Poor Liz is played by "newcomer" Shiri Appleby. Oh dear.

Central to the plot is the fact that Liz, brave sensible Liz, is about to be shot dead in a table-rage incident in the Crashdown Café, where she and Maria work. But - wait for it - Max will use his supernatural powers to bring her back to life. Isn't there some sort of precedent for this sort of thing? Young man, not of this world and yet, you know, somehow very much of it, with the ability to raise the dead. I think Roswell High may yet turn out to have hidden depths. Or shallows, I expect it'll be very popular as well, although I'm not prepared to commit myself too much. I did, after all, predict derision followed quickly and mercifully by oblivion for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how wrong was I with that? Very wrong indeed. If there's a major marketing onslaught to go with Roswell High, I shall be the sinister man with a funny voice who is observed haunting toy shops looking for a Liz.















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