Jonathan Frakes on Relaunching Roswell

Thanks to ProfForbin for sending this in. has started a new weekly feature called Roswell Mondays. This week, they feature Jonathan Frakes, and next week its Jason Behr.

You can read the entire article at:

Fandom – Roswell Mondays

Here are some excerpts from what he had to say:

“As the Official Spokesperson for the Paranormal, I�m comfortable with all things alien,” laughs Frakes, forever known as STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION�s first officer, Commander William Riker, and as host of numerous paranormal specials. He adds that he�s not concerned about going up against Fox�s Monday night hit, ALLY McBEAL. “I think it�s a different audience,” he says. “If we�re going to be sci-fi, we certainly don�t want to be opposite VOYAGER. If nothing else, when sci-fi fans find a show, they are passionate and loyal, so we�ll take a crack at the shows on in that time period. ALLY is a different audience, but anywhere you go, Monday through Thursday, you�re going to butt heads with another show with power. I think that ROSWELL is going to be one of those second-year phenomenons, where it will catch on.” It was certainly a lesson borne out of the success of THE X-FILES and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, neither of which gained much attention in their first year.

He feels just as strongly about the new emphasis on science fiction. “The network actually encouraged us to go sci-fi because they had enough teen angst,” Frakes explains. “The only resistance we felt had to do with the budget we had. We had a budget for a teen angst show. When you do a sci-fi show, your special effects budget has to go up; your costume budget has to go up. They haven�t done it yet, but I�m sure they�re going to have to next year if they�re going to try and make this change. THE X-FILES is a very expensive show to produce. They have to give you all the toys to work with, and it takes more time. It�s the STAR TREK phenomenon: you make a little movie every week; it�s not just talking heads.”

“We have a great cast,” offers Frakes as part of an explanation for the show�s popularity. “We�ve got the cream of the crop because we cast before pilot season last year, so we got the best young actors that were out there. Also, [executive producer] Jason Katims has that offbeat, MY SO CALLED LIFE writing voice, and John Bartley, our director of photography, has given the show a very different look. So there�s a cool look for the show; it has great actors in it; and it doesn�t talk down to the audience. It�s about fucking aliens [not aliens who�well, you know]. Everyone wants to believe that there are aliens, or want to talk about them at least. They want to think that there�s something else out there. That�s why all of these specials I�ve done have been so successful. There is constant interest in this subject. The dialogue alone about it, whether anyone believes it or not, goes on and on and on, and it keeps people coming back. Plus, these kids are very sexy. They have a big fan base, and a lot of kids are tuning in because the stars are hot.”

On the show coming back for season 2:
“Something tragic would have to happen,” he says. “There�s a lot of stuff beneath us that would have to drop before they drop us. They�d be crazy to cancel this show. They committed to 22 episodes in the first season, which they don�t do for every show. I think if they spend some dough on the relaunch when we come back on Monday April 10th, it will indicate that they�re behind us.”


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