Cue the Dido. ‘90s cult classic “Roswell” – based on the “Roswell High” book series – is returning to our screens, courtesy a purportedly unnecessary reboot (now a “dirty word” after the shocking “Dynasty” revamp, which kicked off it’s run this week) via Amblin TV and The CW.
For those that don’t recall, the original Jason Katims created series told of three aliens cloaked as human teenagers in the small New Mexican town of Roswell, New Mexico, as they struggle to stay off the government radar while navigating the ups and downs of earthly teenagedom.
Jason Behr, Katharine Heigl and Brendan Fehr played the extra terrestrial threesome with Shiri Appleby, Majandra Delfino, Nick Weschler, William Sadler, Colin Hanks, John Doe, and Emilie De Ravin helping fill up the callsheet.
The series developed a sizeable cult following during its three season run, with an outspoken fan base and even new “Roswell High” novels based on events depicted in the show.
Here’s the Deadline report :
Written and executive produced by The Originals scribe Carina Adly MacKenzie, the new Roswell reflects the realities of its location in a state bordering Mexico. After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, NM, 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.
Where the most successful (if not commercially then at least critically) of the recent crop of movie and TV show reboots (“Star Wars”, “Dallas”, “Blade Runner”, “Twin Peaks”, “The X-Files”, “Fuller House”, “Girl Meets World”, “TRON Legacy”) have scored points is by infusing both old and new. As a means of serving the original and its fans, while remaining accessible to new audiences, all of those relaunches have combined the casts of the originals with new faces, as well as rolled out story lines that, although somewhat tied into the originals, were mostly a new yarn. This is something “Roswell” 2.0 seemingly doesn’t plan on doing. The announcement today suggests that not only will the show have different faces and a completely new storyline but it also won’t feature appearances by any of the original actors. By all accounts, this is a complete out-and-out remake that ignores the events of the original. Now if that original series had been a stinker that nobody watched, let alone developed any emotional connection to, it’d make sense to just start from scratch (a’la “Buffy”), but “Roswell” was a very popular show back in the day – you couldn’t pick up a magazine back in the day and not see one of the cast members faces plastered on the cover – and that core fan base is still very much there today. Just do a search on Twitter for the show and you’ll see how many die-hard fans of the show, and its actors, are actively out there. It therefore makes no sense for The CW to ignore that – it’s a built-in troupe of publicists ready to go, after all! – and just pretend the ‘90s version never happened. Surely there’s a way for the producers of the new incarnation to blend old with the new, without having to merely be ‘Season Four’ of a fifteen-year old series? Most of the original cast are available, and would no doubt be interested in getting involved, so inserting them into the series (as adults now) surely wouldn’t be too difficult.
At this stage, the only link between the old and new is Kevin Kelly Brown, who was an executive producer on the original series. Neither Fox or New Regency, who sheltered the original run, are involved – again suggesting that this “Roswell” lies in an alternate universe to the one we fondly remember from the WB years.