DVD
Roswell
Season One

Starring: Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl and Majandra Delfino
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: 39.99
25073DVD
Certificate: 12
Available 26 April 2004


In 1947 something extraterrestrial crashed into Roswell and 42 years later, hybrid descendants Max Evans, Isabel Evans and Michael Guerin emerged from their incubation pods looking like six year old human children. They were eventually found roaming the desert and adopted by parents who knew nothing of their inner conflicts or supernatural gifts...

Roswell is based on the Roswell High series of books (in fact the series is better known to UK viewers as Roswell High) which was originally aimed at the teenage market. The TV series, it would seem, is after the same market.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the on/off relationship between Max and Liz - which starts to get a little tired and rather silly after a while. Also, there is a whole string of episodes in which we have to put up with teenagers snogging at every opportunity. And as if this weren't puke-worthy enough, they try and explain that this is necessary - they suddenly discover that kissing (and maybe even sex) helps the aliens uncover more about where they came from... Oh, please!

While this really does start to get annoying after a while, it's not something I was overly conscious of when I originally watched these episodes when they were served up on a weekly basis.

It's not really until the last few episodes of season one that things really start to settle down and you realise that there is something here beneath all the teen snogging and relationship problems.

As well as the young actors, there is a healthy collection of more established talent. Julie Benz, better known for portraying Darla in Buffy and Angel, puts in a great performance as the mysterious new counsellor at the school. Is she really just a teacher or is she in Roswell to track down the aliens?

William Sadler (who you may recall played the mysterious Section 31 agent Sloan in several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) is perfect as Roswell's local sheriff, Jim Valenti.

And Jonathan Frakes, who was an executive producer on the series, as well as directing several episodes, makes a very funny cameo appearance as himself.

Extras on the collection are interesting and include half a dozen audio commentaries (don't listen to these if you have not seen season two already, as Shiri Appleby and Majandra Delfino manage to ruin the surprise that a major character dies); Area 51: Behind the Scenes; The Making of Roswell; Actor auditions: Emilie de Raven; and Save Yourself music video.

Not only is this a fantastic series, but the fact that Fox are knocking it out for less than £40 is even more reason to grab this as soon as possible.

Nick Smithson

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