Shapeshifters were sent to Earth with the pods to protect them and the Granolith.
There has been controversy about them pretty much since we were told about them on the show.
Here is all the information we know about them, and some speculation.
How many shapeshifters were there?
We aren't sure exactly how many shapeshifters were on the ship, but in the episode
'The White Room', Pierce tells Max that in the crash debris, four aliens were found - two alive, and two dead.
(However there may have been more on board, or perhaps the dead aliens weren't really dead. Maybe they were 'healed.')
We know there were at least three surviving shapeshifters after the event of the crash, Nasedo, the shapeshifter who was held in captivity for three years, and the dupes protector.
The Special Unit held two aliens at Eagle Rock Military Base. Pierce mentions that one shapeshifter escaped (Nasedo and/or Ed Harding - we assume), but the other alien was held in the White Room for three years and they performed experiments on him before he either escaped or was killed.
(It is likely he was killed from what Pierce says.)
River Dog described an alien who lived in a cave, that he befriended as a child. He called the alien Nasedo because it means visitor.
Some people believe Nasedo was Ed Harding, and some believe that Nasedo was a different shapeshifter.
Many believe there is another shapeshifter in addition to Ed Harding,
who was in Roswell helphing the Pod Squad. He was nicknamed Tic Tac by
the fans because he is seen eating the candy. (this is not Kal from season 3)
And there is the dupes' protector
More about each of them below
River Dog describes an alien that he knew as a boy - Nasedo.
The man who lived in this cave when I was a boy was not like us. Some of the elders believed he was an evil spirit, so they decided to test him. He was invited into the sweat, just like I invited your friend. His reaction was quick and severe. Within a minute, his eyes were white, and he developed a fever.
I saved his life. After the sweat, he ran out into the desert. And we were told not to follow him. But I was a boy, and I didn't listen. I found him in this cave, dying. He had to trust me with his secret so that I could heal him.
I didn't know where he came from or why he was here. He stayed pretty much to himself. He befriended me and everyone here. He began to trust me.
I haven't seen him for 40 years. Besides me, the only man he trusted was Atherton. The man gave Atherton his necklace, the one you had.
Atherton was murdered. The man killed him. I was too far away to see what happened, but when I reached them, Atherton was dead. November 1959.
He was afraid they were going to kill him. He felt they were close to finding him, so he had to leave. I promised I would never share this information with anyone unless they passed the test.
River Dog also shows them drawings on a cave wall that Nasedo left. Max thinks it is a message for them. Later Michael figures out it is a map
The shapeshifter known as TicTac
TicTac was the shapeshifter who killed Michael's foster father, Hank Whitmore, and posed as him, telling Sheriff Valenti he didn't want Michael any more. TicTac then buried Hank's body in the desert.
TicTac was also the shapeshifter who watched over Max and Liz as they slept near the radio tower after they dug up the orb.
Tictac impersonated Dr. Margolin, the psychiatrist who was treating Ms.
Topolsky. He and Sheriff Valenti stopped Michael from going to meet Topolsky
and walking into the hands of the Special Unit
The Dupes Protector
In the Silver Handprint documents, there is a colege made by Ava that mentions their protector, and that he or she is gone. Some believe that this shapeshifter was Tic Tac, and others believe that he or she may have been killed by Lonnie and/or Rath.
Ed Harding may or may not have been Nasedo, but here is the info we know about him.
Ed was held at Eagle Rock military base after the crash and escaped.
Ed was waiting for Tess when she emerged from the pod and raised her, posing as her father.
We assume Ed was the one who killed Shelia Hubble, because when he posed as Max in 'MTTM' Liz saw a flash of Shelia dead when she kissed Ed. (But an arugment could be made that Liz got the vision from someone else, like the visions of the orb being buried she got when kissing Max. Max certainly didn't bury it, but Liz saw it being buried when she kissed him.)
We never know for sure who sent the signal in the woods and burned the picture of Max, Isabel, and Michael at the library. A case could probably be made for each shapeshifter, but it seems to have been Ed.
Here is a basic timeline of what we know about the shapeshifters.
Aliens abduct Charles Dupree. We don't know it if was shapeshifters, but some aliens were on Earth in 1936.|
July 4, -
Four aliens were found in the crash, 2 dead and 2 alive. We don't know if all were shapeshifters, but at least one was.|
unknown dates -
- possibly one or both shapeshifters escape with the two sets of pods |
- one set of pods is placed in the pod chamber
- one set of pods is taken to New York City, NY and placed in the sewer (MITC)
- the Granolith is installed in the pod chamber (this could have been before or after the capture)
- a communication orb is buried near the pod chamber (this could have been before or after the capture)
- a shapeshifter goes to live in a cave on the Mesiliko reservation and takes the name Nasedo (B)
- Nasedo retrieves the healing stones and pendant necklace from where they were hidden (the army didn't have either item, so they must have been hidden somewhere, possibly near the crash site. he might have retrieved the items at different times, or possibly he told River Dog where the healing stones were hidden when he used them to heal him) - Nasedo is tested by the Mesiliko elders and would have died if he didn't share his secret with a young River Dog, who used the healing stones to save Nasedo's life (B)
- Nasedo befriends the Mesiliko people and James Atherton (RD)
- Nasedo gives James Atherton his pendant necklace
1959 - |
exact dates are unknown but it is likely that they happen near the time that James Atherton died
- possibly before or after Nasedo kills Atherton, Nasedo fears someone is close to finding and killing him so he feels he must leave. He instructs River Dog that someday someone like him would come, and River Dog should show them the map he drew on the wall, but he should only show it to those who could pass a test. (RD)|
- Nasedo gives River Dog the healing stones (B)
- it is most likely at this time that Nasedo draws a map on the cave wall, probably in case he is captured or killed
- Nasedo leaves the Mesiliko reservation (RD)
(date are never given for these events, but I am guessing Nasedo wouldn't stick around long if he thought someone was coming for him)
1959 - |
- Nasedo kills James Atherton (285S)
1960s - |
exact date unknown
- Nasedo makes a supposed deal with Khivar to get the bride pregnant and deliver the baby and the clones to Khivar.
- Agent Malcom Lewis, the first head of the Special Unit is found dead in Delta, Colorado with his internal organs cooked and a Silver Handprint on his chest(SHP)
- Agent Del Bianco, head of Special Unit found dead in Union City, Tennessee (SHP)
1970 - |
- Shelia Hubble most likely murdered on this date, the day before it was reported in the paper. (TC)
- Agent McMahon, head of 'Special Unit', found dead (SHP)
1989 or 1990 - |
exact date unknown
- Tess comes out of her pod and Ed Harding is there to meet her
1989 or 1990 through 1999 - |
- Tess and Ed Harding posing as father and daughter move all over the US, being hunted by the Special Unit.|
(why they are constantly hunted is never mentioned, if it is even true. how could the SU know who they were or where they had gone, unless Ed Harding was completely incompetant)
1999 - |
- Agent Daniel Sommers, head of 'Special Unit', found dead (SHP - TWR)
2000 - |
- sighting in Frazier Woods. One of the aliens sends a signal from near the cave on the Mesiliko reservation (ITW)
- Michael and Isabel send a signal at the Roswell Library, and after they leave an alien reignites the signal and burns a pic of Michael, Max and Isabel (BD)
- Screaming and toturous noises are reported after Hank and Michael fight, and Hank disappears
- a shapeshifter buries Hank's body
- a shapeshifter observes Max and Liz sleeping near the pod chamber after they have retrieved the orb.
- a shapeshifter poses as Dr. Margolin to stop the kids from meeting Topolsky and walking into a trap with the Special Unit
For more info and theories on multiple shapeshifters - Click Here
Faces of 'Nasedo'
Whether you believe that there was one shapeshifter,
or more, we saw many different forms and faces.
There may have been one or many, but I'm going to divide the info by supposed shapeshifter.
This seems to be the shapeshifters' natural form
Some fan created names for Nasedo's when he was impersonating other people -
Edsedo, Maxsedo, Piercedo, Agent-Brownsedo.
The shapeshifter known as Tic Tac took these forms
The shapeshifter known as Ed Harding took these forms
Nadeso/Tic Tac/Shapeshifters - Some people believe there were more than one shapeshifter running around Roswell, so I am listing several different 'first' appearances.
1. A shapeshifter sends a signal for Max, Michael & Isabel in the episode 'Into the Woods', but no one sees him.
2. In the episode 'Blind Date' a shapeshifter burns a photo of Max, Isabel & Michael at the Roswell Library. This is the first time he is partially seen on screen, but none of the characters see him.
3. In "Independence Day' Hank Whitmore, Michael's foster father, is killed and buried by a shapeshifter (Tic Tac). The shapeshifter then takes Hank's appearance and tells the Sheriff he is leaving town, and doesn't want Michael any more.
4. 'Sexual Healing' is the first time a a shapeshifter is seen by characters, but they don't realize who he is. Tic Tac talks to Max and Liz near the pod chamber where they dug up the orb.
5. 'Tess, Lies & Videotape' the Sheriff figures out that the man posing as Dr. Margolin was a shapeshifter and tells Max.
6. In 'Max to the Max', the shapeshifter, Nasedo, poses as Max and convinces Liz to go with him, but she figures out he is not Max. And Max finally come in contact with the shapeshifter in the mirror maze.
We don't see the shapeshifters using powers very much.
Ed Harding uses his powers to blow up a gas station, send a signal into the air
that resembles a spotlight, throw Michael across a room, change Michael's jeans
and t-shirt into a suit, can presumably 'scan' items into his mind
(Nasedo tells Michael & Isabel to do it, and is suprised that they can't)
In 1947, an alien, probably a shapeshifter caused the truck carrying the pods
to lose power, and appeared in front of the truck so it would swerve, then
disappeared. Possibly this was some kind of mind warp of the driver.
In the documents from the Silver Handprint it is mentioned that in the 50+ years since the crash
that over 32 deaths can be attributed to aliens. Everett Hubble also mentions that an alien has left
a trail of bodies all over the southwest for the last 40 years. Of course it could be one alien or many who did the killing.
We don't know who most of the people were that died, but we do know some, Agent Malcom Lewis (1st head
of the Special Unit), Agent Del Bianco (2nd head of the SP), Agent Sommers (3rd head of the SU), and Shelia
Hubble. We assume the Special Unit heads were killed because they were hunting the aliens. But no
reason is really given for Shelia Hubble's death, although many theories have been put forward, including
the speculation that she was killed so the alien could take her baby, possibly to be used to make another
clone. (there is no proof of this, of course.)
We know several people were killed by shapeshifters who cooked their internal organs,
and leaving a silver handprint behind. We don't always know exactly which shapeshifter
did the killing, but I will list what we do know.
- Two army guys were killed at the crash site in '47.
- The Doctors examining the pods at the military base were killed in '47.
- Nasedo killed James Atherton.
- Ed Harding killed Shelia Hubble, for some unknown reason, in 1970
- Ed Harding killed a Special Unit Agent in the episode 'Max to the Max'.
- In the episode 'The White Room', Ed Harding killed another Special Unit Agent, Mattheson.
- Pierce also tells Max of several people killed, who had a silver handprint on their chest.
Delta, Colorado, 1962, Agent Lewis, the first head of this Special Unit
Union City, Tennessee, 1967 Agent del Bianco
May second, 1999, Agent Daniel Summers
- In the episode 'The Convention', Everett Hubble shows Sheriff Valenti pics of three
people killed with silver handprints on them, including his own wife (Shelia).
It is likely that Ed Harding killed them all.
These are just a few theories about different aspects of the shapeshifters that I've discussed in various forums.
Although it is never discussed on the show, some people believe that the shapeshifters are native to the planet Antar, others believe they may have other origins. Perhaps the shapeshifters came from another planet, or perhaps they were genetically engineered or altered.
Here is my reasoning. We know the Skins came from Antar, but they couldn't shapeshift, and the shapeshifters could live on Earth but the Skins couldn't. So either there are two (or more) types of intelligent life on Antar, or the shapeshifters were altered or created, or they are from a different planet.
Personally I think the shapeshifters might have come from another planet or perhaps were created or altered by the Antarians, for one simple reason - slavery. Basically the shapeshifters were slaves, forced to do what they were ordered. Slavery in any form is terrible, but to think the Antarians enslaved some of their own people is reprehensible. Wouldn't the Antarian people be horrified that other beings from their planet were being forced into servitude?
We don't really know anything about the people, that is true. We don't know their viewpoint on slavery. But if some people were forced into slavery, then couldn't the same be done to your neighbors, friends, relatives, and even you?
Now if the shapeshifters were from another planet, it might seem more acceptible, or possibly the shapeshifters were genetically engineered, created or altered for the purpose of service. It is likely they had to be 'programmed' to obey the king, so maybe they were just created from scratch to be protectors and aren't a real species at all.
Some people believe that the pod squad were just like the shapeshifters on their planet, and some believe that they were completely different.
Although it is never said one way or the other in the show, I always assumed that the Royal Four were completely different than the shapeshifters.
My reasoning is that Shapeshifters could already live on Earth, they didn't need altering. And why change the pod squad at all if they are shapeshifters? Shapeshifters can live on Earth with no changes. Shapeshifters could appear human, so they don't need to be given a human body. There was never a plan for the podsters to live in a family with humans, so there would be no need for them to be able to pass as humans in medical tests or anything.
Why make the pod squad half human if they didn't absolutely have to? A lot work and time for nothing.
But the Skins couldn't live on Earth without help. I always thought the Royal Four must be more similar to the Skins, and that is why they were given half human bodies, so they could survive on Earth.
I think the shapeshifters must have been a different species, or genetically altered. They had to follow orders, but they are the only ones who did, and Skins couldn't shapeshift.