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Roswell High [Season 1, Episode 1]
Shown September 2000
This was produced by Jonathan Frakes [ Star Trek: TNG ], who has a cameo at the end. Yes, he is the stage announcer at the school dance. The show is not SF, merely teen drama, based on a series of novels.
It starts on Sept 23rd. The narrator is schoolgirl Liz Parker [played by an actress who resembles Katie Holmes from Dawson's Creek], also a teenage waitress at an alien-themed diner. Max Evans [played by some plug-and-place teenage actor] is a guy she fancies at school.
She discovers he is really an alien - as are his best friend and his sister [ Katherine Heigel]. They are now aged 16, but they spent unknown years frozen in incubation pods. They have certain super-powers: they can generate heat, and also listen to a music CD without using a CD player.
William Sadler [The Rock] plays the sheriff, who develops suspicions about the kids. The climax is a fancy-dress school party. The babe is dressed as Aeryn Sun, and the aliens dress as humans!
The alien kids are in danger again. An FBI agent (Richard Schiff - Sarah Connor Chronicles ) is in town. Also, a teacher ( Julie Benz ) is taking interest in the fact that one of the aliens is skipping class.
Liz's grandmother is dying, and Liz begs Max [the alien she fancies] to heal her.
Liz's BF is jealous of Max, and Max gets beaten up by the BF's friends.
Liz's personal journal is missing - and whoever has taken it might discover what she knows about the Aliens.
Michael dreams about the Geodesic Dome. He takes Maria's car (with Maria in it) to find the dome, and to find out what the key he's been holding is for.
Max and Liz visit the Indian Reservation. The Shaman, River Dog, tells them about an alien visitor back in the 1950s. His alien name is not mentioned, but he was referred to by the Indian word Nasedo (meaning "Alien").
Max takes Liz for a drive, seatbelts optional. When they crash, Max needs hospital attention. Liz must get Alex to provide a blood sample they can swop for Max's.
The undercover FBI agents are snooping about. Topolsky tries to get Alex to crack.
A heat-wave hits New Mexico, and gets everyone's hormones up.
Isabel enters Alex's dreams, to see if he will betray them. She discovers his fantasies, and decides to manipulate him ...
Michael goes to the Reservation, looking for River Dog. He consumes some Peyote, and has an extreme reaction to it!
Max has to use his superpowers to save his foster-mother from a kitchen fire. Foster-mom is suspicious, and Valenti is lurking around looking for evidence. Isobel wants to trust foster-mom and tell her the truth. Max and Michael don't even want to involve their human GFs any deeper.
Kyle Valenti gets invalided out of the sports team with a busted ankle, and the apparently now-single Liz befriends him again. Michael tries to help his waitress ex-GF make a napkin-holder in wood-work class.
A light is spotted in the sky above the woods near the Indian Reservation. Michael is visited by River Dog, the Indian Shaman.
Valenti thinks he's closing in on the alien conspiracy. But he has to sort out his relationships with his son and dad first.
The Sheriff tries to deal with a UFO hunter. This Hunter, a poor man's Dennis Hopper, was involved in the incident that led to the disgrace of the Sheriff's dad (from Northern Exposure). Back in the 1970s, 30 years ago, the Hunter's wife was murdered. The Hunter thinks that Aliens did it, and he's out for revenge!
A local radio show sends Liz on a Blind Date with a fellow specially selected to her exacting criteria.
Max and Kyle, now with something in common, start to bond. Kyle has a decent tolerance for alcohol, but Max's alien physiology means that he overreacts to it.
Michael's relationship with his stepfather turns violent. He tries to find sanctuary elsewhere, with Max or with Maria ...
Maria's mother is starting a relationship with Sheriff Valente. This leads on to some mother-daughter talking ...
Max and Liz start to have psychic flashes whenever they kiss. Naturally, their frenzied sexual activity makes this a problem for parents and teachers. The wrinklies are too old to remember what it felt like to experience things for the first time, so resort to typical sex is baaad rhetoric. Also, Michael and Isabel try to replicate it (with humans, not each other).
Max's subconscious memories reveal a plot device buried in the desert. It may be useful in a later episode ...
Somewhere along the line the 3 main alien characters have been joined by others. Julie Benz returns. She claims to be an ex-MIB who is now on the run from her former employers. Of course, she could just be clinically insane ...
Max finally meets his sister's friend Tess [ Emilie de Ravin ]. Unfortunately, he starts to have vivid fantasies about her. She intrudes more and more into his life, until he cannot focus on anything else.
Someone has planted a secret vidcam to watch the Aliens. The kids are suspicious of Tess and her dad. But for every strange incident, Tess has a perfectly innocent answer ...
Sheriff Valente tries to contact Julie Benz . However, he discovers some things that make him even more suspicious. He tries to gain Max's trust.
Liz is kidnapped by a shape-changing alien. Even worse, Max is captured by the MIBs.
Max is being held by the MIBs, and his friends team up with the kill-crazy shape-shifter to save him.
This takes off from the end of the last episode previously shown on BBC. However, this is the final episode of Season One ... Yes, it appears the BBC deliberately left off in the middle of a 2-parter, to give a cliffhanger ending.
The good guys continue their escape from the MIBs. Shiri Appleby and her alien BF get separated from the others. They hide out, and squeeze in some teen lust and angst.
[Season 2, Episode 1]
Skin and Bones
Shown 11th September 2001 [Tuesday]
The good guys continue to lie low from the MIBs. There is a Congressional hearing in Washington to investigate the MIBs, and decides to get rid of their department. Shiri Appleby gets a job working for the local Congresswoman [ Gretchen Egolf ] who supports Agent Pierce.
A geologist uncovers a skeleton in the desert, and the Congresswoman realises it may be evidence of alien existence. The good guys, including Katherine Heigl and Sheriff Bill Sadler [ Green Mile ], decide that they'll have to cover it up.
There's a sub-plot involving apparently invisible aliens who leave shed human-looking skins lying around. Yes, there are some evil villains in store for this Season ...
The teenage aliens are being stalked by an unknown race of alien assassins, the Skins.
Ms Appleby is jealous of Max's non-girlfriend Tess. Tess is targeted by the Skins, so she goes to stay at the house of Sheriff Bill Sadler [ Green Mile ]. This leads to certain [non-sexual, unfortunately] tension between Tess and the Sheriff's son.
A stranger buys the UFO centre where Max worked. Is he one of The Skins? His bleach-blond hair, irritating accent and megalomania certainly make him similar to a certain UK SF fandom personality.
The story is basically about Max's responsibility as a leader. This is paralleled by inserts of Max's history teacher [JG Hertzler - Star Trek: DS9 ] telling the class about the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Isobel [ Katherine Heigl ] discovers Tess, bruised and battered. They try to escape, but come face to face with their enemy.
The main story begins two hours earlier. Isobel has a surprise 18th birthday party, where it is revealed that she is dating the geologist guy. Nobody approves, which is quite hypocritical considering how convoluted their luurve lives are.
Isobel has psychic flashes of Tess, who was targeted by the Skins. Sheriff Bill Sadler [ Green Mile ] helps Max look for Tess, while Isobel goes after her.
Because of his slipshod school-work, Brendan Fehr is sent to interview a WW2 bomber pilot [Charles Napier]. The main part of the episode is a flashback to 1947, where the 21-year-old Napier is played by Fehr. Sheriff Bill Sadler [ Green Mile ] is the 1940s USAAF Colonel in charge of the base, and cover-up. Isobel [ Katherine Heigl ] is the older woman, all of 25! Shiri Appleby plays a nurse who assisted in the alien autopsies.
Last episode was a flashback into history, while this time we get a flash-forward to 2014. It's the end of the world, so Max goes back in time to change history.
Meanwhile, Brendan Fehr is being stalked by the sexy new waitress chick. His girlfriend isn't worried that alien killing-machines want him dead, merely that he might be getting some action.
A TV News broadcast announces that Liz's boss, the evil Congresswoman, has been killed in an RTA. Since the kids know the truth about her demise, they know her comrades must be responsible for the announcement. They head off to investigate, and discover a town of Skins ...
The Skins come to pay our heroes a return visit. An alien gizmo sends all the humans in the town into another dimension. Luckily Liz, Maria, the sheriff and his son are all just outside the town boundary at that time, and nobody who isn't in on it comes to town.
This is the end of the Skins arc, and kills off several recurring characters. A terrible waste of a good opportunity, IMHO.
With the Skins arc over and done with, we get a whole new story arc. Three new aliens come to Roswell, and they are punk rocker versions of Michael, Isobelle and Tess from NYC. Their version of Max died in a RTA, and they need the Roswell Max to fill in for him at a Peace Conference. The whole Volandra issue becomes a major plot point.
Max and Tess are in NYC, which is portrayed here as being as unattractive as the NYC clones. They attend the Peace Conference with delegates from the five worlds in their star system - including a Skin to represent the Evil Dictator (tm).
Max and Michael are out shopping for a christmas tree when they see a man get knocked down by a car. The man dies, and Max can't save him. However, the man's ghost haunts him and compells him to balance the scales.
Katherine Hiegl , the Christmas Nazi, helps to pick the perfect Xmas gift for his girlfriend Maria. If he doesn't get it right, Maria will dump him for Brody, Max's boss. By coincidence, Maria discovers that Brody has a 5-year-old daughter who has cancer. Nice opportunity for Max's good deed, eh?
Tess motivates the Sheriff [Bill Sadler - The Green Mile ] and his son to have a big Xmas celebration. The episode ends with the entire cast attending Midnight Mass while snow falls ... in the desert of New Mexico.
Katherine Hiegl can psychically enter peoples' dreams. She has a laugh at her friends' expense - then discovers that a young woman has been kidnapped and buried alive. Can she save her?
Sheriff [Bill Sadler - The Green Mile ] is on suspension because he helped Max and Isabel get home when they were out in the woods. The FBI are in town, looking for a mad woman named Glory Dupree. They think she was kidnapped, but she claims she was kidnapped by aliens.
Alex [Colin Hanks] is back from a Swedish extrange trip. Shiri Appleby has a new love interest, an apparently reformed ex-inmate of Juvie Detention.
Sheriff [Bill Sadler - The Green Mile ] has been fired. He is being sued by Isabel's geologist BF, who it seems is linked into something eeeevil.
The FBI are in town, looking for a mad woman named Glory Dupree. They think she was kidnapped, but she claims she was kidnapped by aliens. Michael and his waitress GF take Glory to see her grandfather, who looked identical to Michael. They find ... the mansion is run by a duplicitous Roddy McDowell lookalike.
Shiri Appleby has a new love interest, an apparently reformed ex-inmate of Juvie Detention.
Max and Isabel investigate the strange crystals they found where Glory was, and it seems that Earth has been contaminated by alien parasites!
Max and Shiri Appleby discover that the parasitic crystals are living in an underground hive. The teenagers head out to the woods and start digging, but two of them end up trapped inside the hive.
The geologist is now unshaven, TV shorthand for eeevil. He goes after Laurie, who is in Arizona with Michael and Maria. The Roswell Sheriff [Bill Sadler - The Green Mile ] and the FBI woman rush to the rescue.
This episode is a one-off, somewhat lighthearted attempt to get away from the story arcs concluded in prior episodes. It begins with an intro spiel by Majandra Delfino.
Michael is under severe stress, having nightmares because of recent events. He decides to take the USD 50,000 bribe money and blow it all in Las Vegas. The others decide to tag along.
Majandra Delfino gets to sing.
We get another intro spiel by Majandra Delfino . Max is getting closer to Tess, whom he is destined to marry. Liz is getting closer to Shaun, her loser ex-BF. It's the end of April 2001 and the kids are preparing for ... High School Prom!
Max goes with Liz, and Tess goes with Kyle. But will they stay together, or will things take a semi-unexpected turn?
This is just yet more teen angst, a let-down after the great story arcs that the Season kicked off with.
We get another intro spiel by Majandra Delfino , just to summarize the current dating situation among the characters. But just as the romance scenario starts to work out, one of the regular characters is killed!
The survivors try to adjust to the loss of their friend. Official investigations discover that it may have been suicide, but one of the kids thinks that it may have been murder!
Max and Liz split up over their friend's death. Max ends up with Tess.
Meanwhile, Liz and Majandra investigate the death.
Max and Tess try to cope with the results of what happened between them.
Katherine Hiegl and Kyle start to bond, and play practical jokes on Max.
Liz, Majandra and Brendan Fehr investigate the murder, and discover that the motive involves supercomputers and cryptography. They also get to see a concert with Nelly Furtado , an Aaron Spelling-type gimmick that belongs in teenager shows far inferior to this one.
As per usual, we get another intro spiel by Majandra Delfino . The first time this was interesting, but now it is just patronising.
This episode is a flashback to before the current round of intra-species dating, intended to show why Max is with Tess and Liz is with Sean. Yes, we don't get the answer to the previous episode's cliffhanger.
Brody uses a VR machine to recover his memories of the Abductions. However, there is a power surge and he ends up with the jumbled memories of the alien he played host to in Max In The City. In his state of confused paranoia he holds Max, Tess and Maria's family hostage in the UFO centre.
Valenti is no longer Sheriff, but he tries to control the situation as best as possible.
As per usual, we get another intro spiel by Majandra Delfino .
The four aliens decide they have no option but to return to their homeworld. They set the granalith on 24-hour countdown. It can't be re-used or deactivated, so this is their only chance.
Max and Michael sort out their relationships with Liz and Maria. Katherine Hiegl says goodbye to Alex, then she and Max sort out something for their parents. Tess says goodbye to Valenti and Kyle.
Max and Liz go after the girl they believe is an alien who killed their friend. However, all is not what it seemed. Eventually, Liz works out who the murderer is - thanks to the previous episode! She and Maria must race against time before Max and the others depart forever ...
Months have passed since the end of the last Season. Everyone has moved on. Katherine Heigel is secretly dating her dad's sidekick, the Latino guy from CSI: Miami.
Max and Liz try to find the Alien ship. It's in a US Government bunker, and they get in trouble trying to find it. Liz's parents hate Max, they think he's a bad influence, and now they have an excuse to prevent her from seeing him. That said, the so-called teenagers are beginning to look their real age (late 20s!), so suspension of disbelief takes a tumble.
The FBI aren't the only ones who want the kids to stop looking for the UFO. A creepy PI threatens Michael. This film noir bit is the start of a story arc ...
Michael gets a job, and ends up bonding with the other guys there. They have to break into the workplace at night, avoid security guard Terry O'Quinn [ Lost ].
Ex-Sheriff Valente joins a Country & Western Band named The Kit-Shikkers. His son Kyle is certain it will end in disaster.
Isobel is in two minds about her relationship with her BF Jesse. He's ten years older than her, he graduated from Harvard while she has just graduated High School, but that's not really a factor. Luckily, she's projecting the ghost of Alex (Colin Hanks) ...
Michael and his new work buddies are hanging out a lot. Maria gets jealous, and demands he take her out on a date to make her feel special. How can he juggle his commitments?
Liz discovers why her dad objects so strongly to her being with bad-boy Max.
Max traces the Alien pilot to Hollywood. He interviews the only witness to a Freak lightning strike - Bitty Schram . If only Mr. Monk were around to solve the mystery!
To access the Paramount offices, Max auditions for an episode of Enterprise . This allows another cameo by producer Jonathan Frakes and a guest appearance by John Billingsly. Joe Pantoliano [ The Matrix ] also appears, but not as himself. He's a big-time Hollywood Producer.
Liz and Kyle undertake a class assignment to shoot a news bulletin with a video camera. They visit the Old Folks home that Kyle's granddad is housed in. This brings Valenti back in touch with his dad, allowing Bill Sadler some touching scenes - and giving a clue to the murderous Alien Pilot's identity.
Max and the Alien pilot try to access the spaceship. He must choose between his life on Earth and his son on his homeworld.
Katherine Heigl tries to arrange her forthcoming marriage to Jesse. She's still all angsty and full of doubt, despite the previous episode devoted to her.
Max meets a young boy who is severely autistic. He thinks the boy is being used by Tess's son to ask for help, so Max tries to help the boy's mother.
The Xmas Nazi tries to get Jesse to conform to her party-organising standards. Liz and Maria are roped into working as Santa's elves, while Michael becomes Santa.
New Years Day 2002 - yes, it's really THAT long ago! The day dawns, and the human-alien couples have all paired off for the night. Kyle and Katherine Heigl , Michael and Shiri Appleby , Max and Majandra Delfineo . The main story then starts in flashback, seven and a half hours earlier ...
Shiri's dad makes her help him hold a New years party at the Old Folks Home. Majandra goes off in search of a mysterious rave in the middle of the desert, which can only be found by solving a scavenger hunt. Kyle is looking to meet the right woman, and Ms Heigl's husband is out of town so she tries to pimp Kyle out to her College buddies.
Katherine Heigl has settled down in marital bliss with Jesse, the older man she hardly knows. So blissful, in fact, that she develops a fantasy that she's living in a 1960s sitcom reminiscent of Bewitched !
Underlying the gimmick of the week is a genuine undercurrent of uneasiness. Jesse's old college buddy, a journalist, is in town. And he does what nobody else has ever done - put together the Roswell crash, the 3 orphaned kids, their suspected superpowers ...
Maria does vocals for the Kit-Shickers and is offered a recording contract.
Liz starts to manifest Alien powers. It seems she was altered when Max saved her. She might not survive ...
Morgan Fairchild kidnaps Max and forces him to cure her OAP husband, Clayton, who's dying of natural causes ...
Liz and Maria say their goodbyes, before Liz goes to boarding school on the other side of the country.
Valenti and the others must outsmart the security guards and rescue Max.
Isobel gets shot, and Jesse discovers her secret. He has to help save her - but can he cope with the knowledge?
Liz has to cope now that Max is gone. But Clayton has got multiple personality issues ... and his house seems to be within walking distance of her boarding school!
Jesse is having a lot of trouble dealing with the truth about his wife. He visits a shrink (Harry Groener - Buffy: Season 3 ).
Michael takes over the Kingship. He messes it up, of course, and the FBI Special Unit get involved ...
Michael is huffing in the desert after last episode's events, when he sees a US fighter jet collide with a UFO. Naturally, this dials everything up a notch.
The USAF claim their pilot was killed in the collison. But Michael discovers evidence to the contrary, and the pilot's daughter wants answers too.
Isabel and her husband must outwit her parents.
The USAF investigate the UFO wreckage from the previous ep. Unfortunately for them, the occupants aren't friendly ...
We find out what happened to Max's baby. At least one other loose story thread is tied up.
Tough moral decisions are required. One of the more serious episodes, this was directed by Bill Sadler.
After the previous episode, the USAF is somewhat annoyed. They get the FBI MIBs to send an assassination team.
Liz has visions of the future. She and the others will be killed, unless they can make a new plan.
Michael and Maria have yet more relationship disputes. Michael gets advice from a Tarot-reader, though he may ignore it. Maria has a tete-a-tete with Liz, and Malandra displays far superior acting skills.
Finally we get a proper ending to the show. This is bitter-sweet, as we say goodbye to the good old days. The Class of 2002 graduate, although they look their real age (about ten years older)!