The Roswell Reboot Series Roswell, New Mexico: Everything You Need To KnowPublished on January 11, 2019. Updated October 31, 2019
There is never any telling when the next remake or reboot will come to TV, and one of the newest is Roswell, New Mexico, a reboot of the short-lived teen sci-fi series Roswell. Despite Roswell only lasting for three seasons, it has many loyal fans which means Roswell, New Mexico has a lot to live up to as it diverts from the high-school focused series of the original and turns to a more politically charged series. Here is everything you need to know about the new series, Roswell, New Mexico:
12. The Original
The original Roswell series aired for only three seasons from 1999 to 2002 and starred Shiri Appleby, Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl, Mahandra Delgindo and Brendan Fehr and was loosely based off the young adult book series titled Roswell High. The original series focused mostly on teenage life in high school, which is going to change with Roswell, New Mexico. “The first show was about how everyone feels like an alien in high school,” creator Carina Adly MacKenzie said. “But the stakes of that feeling get raised dramatically when you’re not in high school anymore.”
11. The Cast and Characters
One month after a pilot order was given to Roswell, New Mexico, the lead character of Liz Ortecho was cast with actress Jeanine Mason taking the role. Mason has had many roles across TV over the years, but most recently fans might recognize her from her time on Grey’s Anatomy playing Dr. Sam Bello for 12 episodes. Pretty Little Liars alum Tyler Blackburn also joined the series as Alex Manes, an injured Air Force officer who has to deal with a controlling father who does not approve of Alex’s homosexuality. Nathan Parsons will be taking on the role of Max, Liz’s love interest, and one of the aliens who becomes one of the town’s police officers and does his best to hide his real identity. Lily Cowles plays Isobel, another alien who grew up with Max and “is the most protective of their secret” which means she will “do anything possible to make sure no one finds out what she really is.” Relative newcomer Michael Vlamis landed the role of the third alien Michael. Michael “is the most troubled of the three and prefers to be alone. He often clashes with Max and is trying to get off of Earth and return home.”
10. The Premise
While the original Roswell series as well as the book it was loosely based on were taken into consideration for Roswell, New Mexico, the creators of the new series wanted to modernize the storyline by adding an “immigration twist.” The initial description for the series read: “After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, Liz, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.” As the show comes closer to airing, it has been revealed that while the show mostly centers on Liz, it also features three alien siblings, one of whom is of course Max, the police officer.
9. The True Story
Although the Roswell book series that inspired the original series was a fictional work based on high school aliens, the real story of Roswell, New Mexico has fascinated many for years. Back in 1947 it is alleged that an actual UFO crash-landed in Roswell and the government found the spacecraft as well as its occupants and then embarked on a massive coverup of the incident. In the ’90s the government released a report that stated the “Roswell UFO Incident” was really just a nuclear test surveillance balloon. Now Roswell is a huge tourist area, and there are many that don’t believe the government’s version of events and truly believe a UFO did land there.
8. The Minds Behind
Roswell, New Mexico is being led by Carina Adly MacKenzie, who is best known for her work on The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. MacKenzie will write and executive producer with Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Lawrence Bender, and Kevin Kelly Brown, who was an executive producer on the original series. Julie Plec, who is also known for her work writing and producing on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, is set to direct and executive produce.
7. The Political Tones
When Roswell, New Mexico was first ordered to pilot back in January of 2018, The CW made it clear that the show was going to be different from the ’90s series in many ways, and would be modernizing and adapting it to today’s social and political climates by adding an “immigration twist.” While many prefer shows to stay away from the reality of the political landscape, creator Carina Adly MacKenzie knew she didn’t want to just do another romance drama. “I wasn’t really looking to do another supernatural romance because I’d just come off of five years on The Originals and was feeling really politically engaged,” MacKenzie says. “I wanted to write a show that meant something. I wanted cowboys, grown-ups, murder — and I wanted politics. We thought the CW would be like, ‘Cool, thank you, next,’ but they ended up buying it at the table.” Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan has already noted, “The show definitely has an undertone of politics, and overtly deals with the racism, fear, and bigotry that’s going on in the country right now.”
6. Socially Conscious
Along with tackling the controversial political issues of today, MacKenzie made it a point to have a diverse, and well-rounded cast and characters. She revealed that she wanted Roswell, New Mexico to explore the people “who don’t necessarily fall into the binary.” MacKenzie then made changes from the original series’ characters such as making Liz the Latina daughter of an undocumented immigrant and Alex as a member of the LGBTQ community. “I don’t have any interest ever in my life making a show with a bunch of white leads — I hope I never do,” MacKenzie said. “So I really wanted to make sure there was a diverse representation on this version of the show.” Star Jeanine Mason, who took on the role of Liz added, “We don’t just want to show one perspective on this show,” she says. “Our show is very socially conscious; that’s just been such a blessing to be part of. Liz is an unapologetic activist. I’m so excited to live in that brash, I’m-going-to-call-you-out energy.”
5. Not A Continuation
Despite Roswell, New Mexico using several of the same names as the original series’ characters, and placing the series post-high school, fans have to understand that the new series is a stand-alone show and not a continuation. It turns out they first asked Shiri Appleby, who starred as Liz in the original series, to star in the reboot but when she wasn’t available, they detoured from the idea of connecting the two shows. “It wasn’t even a question of would Shiri want to do it, it was just, she can’t do it,” the showrunner says. “From there it was clear we were not doing the continuation.” Roswell, New Mexico takes place 10 years after the characters have graduated from high school.
4. Peaking Interest
Unlike many other shows, there is some real life mystery to help peak viewers’ potential interest in the show and since it has been 17 years since the first Roswell series ended, The CW had an interesting way of leading into the new series. On Thursday, January 10, The CW aired Roswell: Mysteries Decoded, a documentary separate from the show that looks at the infamous 1940s UFO crash-landing. The documentary features investigator Jennifer Marshall and UFO enthusiast Ryan Sprague to help get The CW audiences ready for Roswell, New Mexico.
3. Initial Reviews
With the continuous push on TV and film of “what old is new again” many remakes and reboots are facing harsher criticism than ever, and while the original Roswell may have only lasted three seasons, it was enough to give the new series something to live up to. Initial reviews for Roswell, New Mexico are at best mixed right now. Some critics are calling the show “dull” and “bogged-down” while others seem hopeful for what the show past the pilot will bring. It looks like the only way of knowing whether or not Roswell, New Mexico is worth watching is by checking it out for yourself!
2. The Trailer
For those who aren’t sure if they are ready to check out the new series, The CW has released quite a few trailers introducing the characters and the new tone of the series. On January 8, 2019, a week before the show’s premiere, The CW released the “Powerful Trailer,” which features Max and Liz reuniting and Liz finding out Max’s secret.
1. The Premiere
The wait is almost over! The show will officially premiere on January 15 at 9/8c on The CW.