Netflix Sci-Fi Drama Only Exists Because Fans Demanded It For Years

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The 2019 sci-fi series Roswell, New Mexico, is streaming on Netflix. Developed by Carina Adly Mackenzie, it is the second television adaptation of Melinda Metz Roswell High book series. The story follows the lives of Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) and Max Evans (Nathan Dean Parsons), former high school classmates in the titular town.

Aliens Disguised As Humans Living In Roswell, New Mexico

The twist in the story is that Max and his sister Isobel (Lily Cowles) are aliens, along with their friend Michael Guerin (Michael Vlamis). The trio has lived in Roswell since their ship crashed on Earth when they were children in 1947. Roswell, New Mexico, deals with various themes, including love, identity, acceptance, and the complexities of human-alien relations.

Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 sees Liz, a biomedical researcher, return to her hometown after a decade away. She left after her sister Rosa was killed in a car accident along with two other girls. Liz starts working in her family’s diner and reconnects with Max, who is now Deputy Sheriff, her friend Maria DeLuca (Heather Hemmens), and her former boyfriend Kyle Valenti (Michael Trevino).

Human Allies And Hiding From The Government

After Liz gets shot in the diner, Max uses his healing powers to save her, but it leaves him weak. While helping him recover, Isobel and Michael question Max’s decision to save Liz. Feeling guilty, Max decides to tell Liz the truth about him being an alien, not knowing that Liz has already secretly tested his DNA. Max eventually shows Liz where he and his siblings came to Earth.

Kyle discovers Liz’s findings and is taken by “Project Shepherd,” a government program to track aliens. At the school reunion, Isobel warns Max to end things with Liz before she learns the truth about Rosa’s death. Throughout Roswell, New Mexico’s four-season run, the aliens navigate the challenges of living in a town where their true identities must remain hidden.

Along with their human allies, Max, Isobel, and Michael also confront the secrets of their past and the government’s involvement in covering up extraterrestrial encounters. As Liz and Max rekindle their romance, they remain one step ahead of the dangerous forces that seek to exploit their differences.

A Fresh Take On Aliens

Roswell, New Mexico, received praise for its diverse cast, compelling storytelling, and contemporary themes. It has been applauded for portraying LGBTQ+ characters, immigrant experiences, and social issues, adding depth and relevance to the sci-fi genre. The series also offers a fresh take on the classic tale of aliens living among humans.

Too Similar To The Original Series?

While Roswell, New Mexico, was popular with viewers, some critics felt that the reboot was too similar to its 1999 predecessor, Roswell, which aired until 2002. Created by Jason Katims, the series revolves around the lives of three alien-human hybrids who are survivors of the 1947 Roswell UFO incident. The aliens are Max Evans (Jason Behr), Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl), and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr).

The trio live in Roswell, New Mexico, as typical teenagers, hiding their true identities and abilities from the rest of the world. The story begins when Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby), a human high school student, is accidentally shot, and Max uses his alien powers to save her life. This event sets off a chain of events that bring Liz into the world of the aliens, forging a deep bond between her and Max.

Fans Saved Roswell

Fans rallied together to save the series when the show faced cancellation after its second season due to low ratings. The campaign was primarily conducted online, with fans organizing and mobilizing support through various internet platforms. One of its key components was the Roswell Crashdown Campaign, which involved fans sending thousands of bottles of Tabasco sauce to network executives.

Tabasco sauce was a significant element in the series, as it was the Aliens’ favorite condiment. Fans also launched letter-writing and email campaigns urging network executives to renew the series for a third season. The fan campaign to save Roswell is often cited as one of television’s earliest examples of fan activism. However, there were no efforts to save Roswell, New Mexico.