Season Three

Starring: Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl and Majandra Delfino
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: 12
Available 11 October 2004

The drama of alien life continues for the teenage inhabitants of Roswell, New Mexico
where a trail of devastation has been left in the aftermath of Tess's shock departure. Tess has taken Max's unborn child back to their home planet and Max is feeling alone and confused towards Tess and his unborn son, heir to the throne. The third and final piece in the Roswell jigsaw sees the aliens' true identities become known to more people, and a number of tough decisions need to be made...

The third, and final, season of Roswell continues to follow the exploits of the three aliens and their human co-conspirators as they try to keep their true identity a secret.

As with season two, the producers seem not to have a clear plan of where this season is heading. There appears to be no real path with which the writers can stick to. This means that what we are left with is a collection of exciting storylines that never seem to be truly exploited to their full potential. This could be down to the fact that a third series was never really on the cards and so when they got the go ahead the writers had to make things up as they went along. This season also sees a drop in the number of episodes - 18 when compared to season one's 22 and season two's 21.

Despite the fact that nothing really flows properly from one episode to the next (Michael manages to be in charge for about five minutes, Max dies for about five minutes, Liz leaves Roswell for five minutes, Isobel gets married in five minutes, and someone makes a surprise return for five minutes) this is still an enjoyable third season.

Roswell is not usually at it's best when it 'does comedy'. Sadly, apart from Katherine Heigl (Isobel) and Nick Wechsler (Kyle), none of the other young actors seem to be able to pull off anything other than their moody teenager roles. Nowhere is this more evident than in I Married An Alien. This Bewitched parody is (surprisingly) a very funny episode, and one of my favourite this season, despite the fact that the other actors just aren't up to the challenge of camping up their roles. Brendan Fehr (Michael) almost manages to pull it off, but Jason Behr (Max) looks uncomfortable and ends up just playing a clueless Max.

Samuel Rising is this season's Christmas episode. It just (and only just) manages to steer clear of sentimental pap - what with it's sickly sweet autistic, cute little boy storyline. But there is plenty of comedy to be had as Michael takes on the role of Roswell's very own Santa. The kids seeing Santa and one of the elves (Maria) in an apparent sexual position (although in reality Michael's belt has managed to get caught to Maria's elf costume) is about the funniest scene in this season.

Maybe it's a good job that Roswell didn't get a fourth season. The number of people who know about the aliens grows every year and it wouldn't have been long before there were more people in Roswell that knew the secret than those that didn't. And the number of villains who appeared in this season was beyond belief. Towards the end it seems that every other episode had a new villain after the aliens' blood - so they really did a terrible job of keeping their secret.

It was also great to see Colin Hanks return briefly as Alex Whitman. And there are other interesting guest stars. Millennium and Harsh Realm fans will be glad to see that Terry O'Quinn appears in Michael, The Guys and The Great Snapple Caper. Other notable guest stars include Jonathan Frakes and John Billingsley (Enterprise) Interestingly enough it is rumoured that Frakes originally wanted Enterprise's captain Scott Bakula to appear in this episode, but Bakula declined.

It would appear that the producers realised that a fourth season wasn't going to happen, (actually the show's executive producer, Jason Katims, states this in his audio commentary for the final episode, Graduation) as all of the events are finally wrapped up and closure is given to the series. This works really well and I have to admit to having a lump in my throat during the final scenes.

The extras are pretty poor on this collection. All fans get are audio commentaries on a few episodes and a Class Of 2002 featurette. As this is the shows final year there really should have been a few more extras thrown in.

Despite the fact that this is a whole mixed bag of half thought out ideas and plot threads, the final season of Roswell is still a winner. And the fact you can buy this for less than £40 is all the excuse you need to add this to your collection.

Nick Smithson

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