Any question about whether or not aliens landed in the desert
outside Roswell, N.M., in 1947 is answered by the WB drama
“Roswell.” After a short and shaky three-year run, the
first season of the sci-fi adventure, which combines elements of
“X-Files” and “My So-Called Life,” has now
come out on DVD.

TV/New Media Reviews

Max (Jason Behr, “The Shipping News”), Michael
(Brendan Fehr, “Final Destination”) and Isabel
(Katherine Heigl, “My Father the Hero”) aren’t
from around here. They can walk through people’s dreams and
manipulate molecular structures and have a strange affinity for
Tabasco sauce. After years of hiding their secret identities from
the world, a shooting in a local café prompts Max to save
the life of Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby, “Swimfan”). With
their secret revealed, the gang spends the first season running
from the FBI, searching for answers about their past and exploring
the intricacies of alien-human relationships.

The DVD provides audio commentaries on five episodes. Appleby
and co-star Majandra Delfino are spirited and interesting in their
comments on the episode titled “Sexual Healing,” but
their stories soon run out. Conversation on the pilot by writer
Jason Katims (“My So-Called Life”) and director David
Nutter (“X-Files”) is worth watching and includes
stories about casting and the development of the show.

A behind-the-scenes featurette titled “Area 51” is
an extensive 30- minute look at everything from casting to set
design with interviews from producers, directors, writers and
actors. While most of the segments with the cast are from 1999, a
much older and extremely talkative Colin Hanks receives far more
airtime than his more significant counterparts.

Unlike its original TV format, the DVD presents
“Roswell” in wide screen format and offers high quality
5.1 Surround Sound. Because of problems involving the copyrights to
some songs, however, several have been changed and can distract
from the original sentiment of certain scenes for the observant
fan.

An issue that comes up over and over again on this DVD is the
dedication of the fans of the series. They were drawn to the
intensity of the star-crossed love between Max and Liz, the themes
of alienation and the exciting plot. Without these fans,
“Roswell” may not have made it to DVD at all.

 

Show: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars

Special Features: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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