Sci Fi Magazine: Roswell Returns

Thanks to jero for sending this in!:

Our very own CRAVE Campaign was mentioned in the February 2003 issue of SCI FI Magazine on page 68 by Kathie Huddleston! (Be sure to check out the caption on the photo too!) It’s almost the last paragraph, but it’s there!

Ex-Trekker Jonathan Frakes believes that bringing Roswell to SCI FI will allow it to live long and prosper. By Kathie Huddleston

ROSWELL RETURNS

Perhaps no series since the original Star Trek has had no more fanatical fans than those of Roswell – at least according to Roswell executive producer and Star Trek alumnus Jonathan Frakes. The show about modern-day teen aliens living secretly in Roswell, N.M., had more going for it than just an intriguing concept and a talented cast–it also had loyal, intense, unwavering fans who were determined to do whatever it took to keep the show alive.

These fans, who call themselves Roswellians, sent thousands of bottles of Tabasco sauce (the aliens’ favorite condiment) to network executives, wrote letters, took out entertainment ads, signed petitions and raised money for charity. Through their intense efforts, many believe that the fans are largely responsible for keeping the series from being canceled and giving it a life long past what the ratings would have justified under normal circumstances.

Roswell started out on The WB, where it ran for two seasons, after which it was picked up by UPN for a final season. And now Roswell comes to the SCI FI Channel on Monday, Jan. 13, where all 61 episodes will air.

“It’s not unlike Star Trek, in that the fans that we have are passionate and dedicated,” said Frakes. “I mean, the Tabasco campaign was brilliant. You don’t spend your time and energy doing that kind of thing unless it’s a show that you really have somehow become attached to. And it’s not just kids. There’s a whole group of women of a certain age who viewed the show as a guilty pleasure, I’m sure. It has a wonderful, loyal following. It should be good for SCI FI, I would think, knowing that their core audience will follow the show in a way that the Trekkies follow Star Trek.”

Frakes believes airing Roswell on the SCI FI Channel will continue the show’s life. “it will keep the lore going. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to say they’ve landed on the right network, given what the show is about and what the message of the show is, that all things alien need to be respected. That’s one of the themes of the network and one of the themes of the show. ‘Aliens’ and ‘alienated’ come from the same root. It’s what I think hooked the audience.”

Beyond the themes, what also attracted that audience was the fresh and appealing cast and the exceptional writing of the series, said Frakes. “I think Jason Katims clearly has his finger on the pulse of some sort of youth voice. Both he and Ron Moore created a wonderful combination of teen angst and alien mythology, and the fact that these kids were wonderful, likable, sexy actors. The leading cast was very, very watchable and anchored by Bill Sadler as the sheriff, a classy experienced actor. It was a very solid company.”

In fact, Frakes was highly involved in the series and acted in and directed several episodes, as well as executive producing the series. As an actor, “because of my connection with Star Trek and Commander Riker, I was able to spoof myself, which I think is always quite healthy. I also loved directing the show, because we were able to do some really wild things, because it was an alien environment and alien mythology. I directed two or three each year. And I think the most exciting one was probably ‘White Room.’ I think (what was satisfying) was the discovery of this wonderful company of young actors, who got better and better each week. That’s what I, as a director, took the most pride in.

“In the end, it turned out OK. It didn’t ever fit where it was told to fit, and that was kind of ironic, a lot like the aliens. When it was piggybacked with Buffy it seemed like such a good idea. And yet that didn’t work either, which I’m not sure I understood.”

However, what Frakes is sure of is that in the end, it all came together. “Well, that was because we knew the ending was coming, so the writers had a chance to tie up the strings and create a mythology finale. Shows sometimes are canceled after the last show is written. They made it quite clear that we weren’t coming back, so that’s the upside of getting canceled is that you know ahead of time and you can tie up your loose ends.”

For fans, the series finale, “Graduation,” stands as one of the all-time best genre series finales, offering an emotional resonance that promises to keep Roswell alive for a long time to come.

In fact, the Roswellians have begun a new campaign called C.R.A.V.E-Calling Roswellians …Advertisement in Variety Endeavor. The campaign seeks “to increase awareness of, and generate publicity for, the re-airing of Roswell’s first three seasons on the SCI FI Channel this coming January. We also hope that the increased awareness of Roswell (that this campaign will generate) will lead the SCI FI Channel to consider continuing the Roswell story in some form.”

And Frakes has similar hopes. He would like to see “continued life and success. Maybe they’ll decide eventually to make a Roswell movie. That would be great. I think that would be a fabulous thing.”

A movie? Well, maybe … maybe not. But one thing’s for sure, this January, Roswellians will have a chance to revisit the series and take the journey one more time.