Someone save me! The long awaited “”Roswell: Season One”” DVD is now available in stores, and my productivity has gone out the window. I’ve had the set for about two weeks now and I’m addicted once again. I’m reading the novels again, hooked on “”Roswell”” Fan Fiction, watching season 2 and three again, I’ve got it bad.
Early last year Fox Home Video did an online survey to see which TV Series fans would most like to see released, the winner of that poll was the cult Sci-Fi series “”Roswell,”” and it was consistently one of the most requested DVD releases according to several websites that specialize in television show news. When watching season one you can see the seeds of what could have been a long running great show being planted. The first season sets us up very nicely – we meet our three mysterious aliens whom become known as the “”Pod Squad”” – Max (Jason Behr), Michael (Brendan Fehr), and Isabel (Katherine Heigl) and their human friends Liz (Shiri Appleby), Alex (Colin Hanks – yes Tom’s son), and Maria (Majandra Delfino). There’s no real easy way to sum up “”Roswell,”” other than to say that it’s about three teenage kids who were part of the infamous 1947 crash. They remained in “”Pod Chambers”” until they were “”hatched”” in the 1989 at 7 years old. Now as teens, they are trying to find out who they are and where they come from, while avoiding exposing themselves. Hot on their trail is local Roswell Sheriff, Jim Valenti (played by William Sadler, who many may remember as the bad guy fro Die Hard 2). “”Roswell”” was that rare show that deftly crafted an intricate story about teenage alienation and complex characters, while using their alien status as the not so subtle backdrop. While it was a sci-fi show, the series managed to keep the sci-fi elements down to a minimum during most of season one. The show was more about relationships with deeply flawed individuals than it was about their alien powers – which lets face it, were pretty lame. The especially nice thing about the show was the portrayal of the adults, most of whom were fairly smart and also served as nice foils to the kids. Unlike my other favorite show, Buffy, the “”Roswell”” adults actually existed, and for the most part cared about their kids, and often tried to figure out what they were up to and put attempt to put a stop to it. Of course they didn’t know that their children were Aliens (adopted) or mixed up with Aliens.The acting and chemistry of the young and relatively unknown cast was dead on and captured the essence of what it must feel like to be outsiders at school, and from the world. Another strong bonus for the series was the excellent use of music, from Dido’s amazing theme song, to tracks by relatively “”unknown”” groups (at the time) like Coldplay, helped set the mood and dower tone of the series perfectly.Unfortunately all of the Season One goodness was destroyed when the network suits took over and demanded more action and sci-fi elements in Season Two, and the network switch in Season Three was the death nail. While Season Two and Three had fantastic moments, and great individual eps, it never re-captured the magic that was Season One.[pagebreak]The new DVD set allows us to re-live Season One, with one major, glaring exception. Due to fights over the music licensing, many of the signature songs from season one where cut and replaced for the DVD release. And this is not a good thing, while I’m not so anal that I know exactly which songs were replaced, you can certainly tell the difference. A lot of the music on the DVDs seem completely out of place and are sometimes distracting. I found myself wondering what is this horrible generic “”butt-rock?””TV Show Grade – ADVD EXTRASThe DVD includes all 22 episodes, in a nice clean wide-screen format. While I’m generally not a fan of wide-screen, especially for TV Shows, the aspect ratio on this set is excellent. Picture clarity is top notch, audio is clean, navigation interface is simple and pretty easy to read. All the special features are included with their individual episodes, so you don’t have to go to the last disk to access them which is nice, however, it’s pointless here because there are no real extra features. There’s ONE deleted scene in the entire set and that’s on the pilot and a couple of individual episodes commentaries from the writer and director, and a couple from two of the cast members from Roswell (Liz and Maria).The packaging of the set feels sort of flimsy to me. All the disks are individually packaged in thin DVD cases, with photos from each of the cast members. But interesting enough neither Kyle nor Alex is featured anywhere on the set. Including a episode booklet would have been nice. Disk Six features two of the most boring non-descript featurettes that I’ve ever seen, a music video from Sense Field, and an audition clip from one of the cast members.DVD Extras Grade CHopefully Fox will, and they better, straighten out the music situation so we can get all the original music for S2 and S3 DVD releases (I doubt if they will). As musical cues become extremely important in those seasons. Any true “”Roswell”” fan will find it hard to be disappointed with this release. Yes, it could have been better, but just getting all the episodes on DVD is enough for me to love this set. FINAL GRADE A-DVD Reviewby Michelle AlexandriaOriginally Posted 2/18/04