VC Star: ‘Roswell’ Returns To Original Format

This was in my local paper’s TV Star section which is the TV Guide for my area. I apologize to anyone who already sent this in to the Crashdown account–I haven’t logged onto my mail since Wednesday.,1375,VCS_234_841041,00.html

‘Roswell’ returns to its original format

Sci-fi series to focus on relationships instead of complex plots

By Dave Mason, TV Star editor

PASADENA — The change of networks means an easier-to-follow “Roswell.”
Majandra Delfino, who stars as all-too-human Maria DeLuca on “Roswell,” won’t have to step up to the blackboard to explain the plots before each episode this season.

“It did get complicated,” Delfino told TV Star. “The WB stressed the need for sci-fi, but the plots upset the majority of fans.”

With its move to UPN, “Roswell” is focusing on relationships, changes for the characters and stories that are over at the end of the hour, Executive Producer Jason Katims said.

“Roswell” begins its third season at 9 p.m. Tuesday on Channel 13. The back-to-basics approach should prove popular with fans, who watch the show less for pure science fiction and more for its characters.

The season premiere, in fact, is an easy-to-follow story that says a lot about alien Max Evans (Jason Behr) and his human girlfriend Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby).

“Roswell,” based on the “Roswell High” books, makes the feeling of teen-age alienation literal by making some of its teen-age characters descendants of the aliens who supposedly crashed in Roswell in 1947. The young aliens were incubated and “hatched,” but appear in every way to be teen-agers. It’s their powers that can give them away.

Last season ended with alien Tess taking the only way home to their native planet after betraying the group and becoming the mother of Max’s (Jason Behr) son.

“Tess is somewhere out there in the cosmos, and she may return at some later date, but for now, she’s gone,” Katims said at a UPN news conference at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel.

This season will feature coming-of-age stories for the human and alien characters, who will be challenged in ways viewers haven’t seen, Katims said.

There are plot spoilers in the next four paragraphs.

Katims confirmed Max will try to find some way to leave Earth and get to his son. Liz will join him on that quest.

This season, Adam Rodriguez joins the cast as Jesse Ramirez, a love interest for alien Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl), Katims said. I can’t say too much, but I urge fans to follow this story. For one thing, the romance will lead Isabel to stay in Roswell and go to a community college instead of heading off to a university.

And alien Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) will get a job and try to build a life for himself on Earth.

Tuesday’s episode (again, here’s another plot spoiler) begins with Max and Liz in a store robbery. But the story goes far beyond that.

“Roswell” appeals to viewers because the characters, including former Sheriff Valenti (William Sadler), are outsiders and underdogs, Katims said.

Appleby said fans tell her they’re waiting for the day when Max and Liz are really a couple.

“Hopefully, that will happen,” Appleby said. “I would love to see her not cry in a whole episode. Personally, I’m ready for her to smile and run around and be a fun kid, so hopefully this year will lend to that.”

Appleby said she liked the storyline last season in which Liz, without much support from anyone, investigated the death of Alex (Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks’ son). “She was able to fight for something that she believed in, and so I think it sort of gave her a sense of independence.

“I think you’ll see her actually become more of a young woman and more of an independent person versus just chasing after a boy,” Appleby said. “She’s actually going to form more of her own opinions.”

That’s a good change for Liz. For too long, she’s been reacting to events she couldn’t control, and I think it’s time for her to provide more of the leadership.

When The WB canceled “Roswell,” the producers and stars didn’t know whether UPN would pick up the show.

“As bizarre as it is, I had, like hundred-dollar bets going on with everybody that we’d for sure come back,” Delfino said.

“She didn’t actually specify on what network, so …” added Heigl, sitting near her.

Heigl had darkened her hair and cut it for another role before the news came of UPN picking up the show. She admitted it was easier to keep her new hairstyle for UPN than it would have been on The WB, which faced a good-natured controversy with the media over star Keri Russell cutting her hair on “Felicity.”

— Dave Mason can be reached at

October 7, 2001