Opening with a Dido theme song and featuring character-driven, sweet-natured melodrama, Roswell
was a show with a surprisingly dedicated fandom, who twice won it reprieve from cancellation. One of its main strengths was, of course, the extent to which its premise--alien teenagers trying to sort out their identities while emotionally involved with their human contemporaries--was a free-floating metaphor for race and sexuality issues. Another was the strong ensemble that its cast developed: you believed in the strangeness of the alien trio and the well-intentioned normality of their three human friends. Jason Behr gave the alien Max a quiet authority and Majendra Delfino took the sidekick role of Maria and gave it both intensity and fine comic timing. It was also a show in which you were never sure which adults you could trust--William Sadleir trod a fine line of ambiguity as the local sheriff and Julie Benz was silkily sinister as an FBI agent. Anyone who ever loved this show will want these DVDs--and many others may want to find out what the fuss was about.
Roswell is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The special features include commentaries on six episodes by writer Jason Kanims, the directors, and various cast members as well as a featurette on the making of the show and another on its adaptation from the original Roswell High series of young adult novels. The commentaries are unusually insightful on the casting process, and the discs also include the auditions for the part of Tess as well as a deleted scene and a music video. --Roz Kaveney