This review has been written after watching the first episode of ‘Roswell: New Mexico’ and does not contain spoilers.
With Roswell: New Mexico, the CW adds to its catalog another science fiction series that, together with those of superheroes and fantasy, already make up the majority of its offer. Its forte are the youth series of genre.
This new version adapts, like the 1999 series, the novels Roswell High by Melinda Metz. Those who saw the previous adaptation will recognize the characters and the premise here, with several changes. The first is anecdotal, but worth mentioning as curious. The Tabasco®, the favorite condiment of the original series, and symbol of the fans in the campaigns to renew the series, here has been changed by… nail polish remover! The reason for the change is that they have the rights to adapt the books, not the first series. The reason why nail polish remover, and not something else, is only the result of thinking about the rarest option possible, as Carina Adly MacKensie, the creator of Roswell: New Mexico, tells.
The other changes are the result of the times in which we live, the political climate in the United States and the social conscience that characterizes the television series in recent years. Roswell: New Mexico takes a stand against the Trump administration’s immigration policies from the first scene, and explores its main issues through Liz’s father, an undocumented Mexican.
And there is more in this section, because the new group of protagonists is very diverse. Liz is, as we said, Latina. So is the character of the sheriff, who here is a woman; and there is a homosexual relationship that was not present in the previous series. Also, the characters are ten years older than the original Roswell.
For those who do not know the premise of the series, we are in Roswell, a town that became a legend and a tourist site because it is assumed that an alien ship crashed there in 1947. In the first episode we discover that Max, Isobel and Michael are three survivors of that interstellar accident, three young men with human appearance who have grown up among the inhabitants of the town hiding their secret. Almost 30 years later, his secret is put in jeopardy when Max decides to save Liz’s life after she is shot. This is a story of romance, personal tensions, alliances and, of course, military conspiracies.
The series begins with Liz returning to Roswell after ten years, and the reason why she does so is intrinsically linked to why she left. It is a complex plot for all that it implies on a personal level for Liz’s family and the rejection they receive from the people, but it also opens with it one of the first mysteries posed by the series, as the final sentence of the series makes very clear. episode: “She must never find out.”
As the first episode, without surprising, and following what is customary in series of this style, genre and chain, Roswell: New Mexico complies by presenting its premise, the characters and the relationships between them. It is a correct presentation episode, which will awaken the interest of those who know what they are going to see, and which will surely frighten those who usually flee from this type of stories. It works for those who have never seen Roswell, and also for nostalgic fans, as everything will look familiar while they will enjoy identifying all the changes. The only thing they will surely miss is a greater presence of the character of Maria.
The cards are already on the table and the intentions of the series seem good, it only remains to give time for the plots and chemistry between the actors to evolve. This last part begins well, especially at the stage direction and actors level, since they manage to convey the connection that is currently established between Liz and Max. The motivations and reactions of the characters are more adult because they are no longer teenagers, and that helps a lot.
We take advantage of the arrival of ‘Roswell: New Mexico’ to remember some curiosities of the original series, which turns 20…