Opening with a Dido theme tune and featuring character-driven,
sweet-natured melodrama, Roswell was a show with a surprisingly dedicated
fandom, who twice won it reprieve from cancellation. One of its main strengths
was, of course, the extent to which its premise--alien teenagers trying to sort
out their identities while emotionally involved with their human
contemporaries--was a free-floating metaphor for race and sexuality issues.
Another was the strong ensemble that its cast developed: you believed in the
strangeness of the alien trio and the well-intentioned normality of their three
human friends. Jason Behr gave the alien Max a quiet authority and Majendra
Delfino took the sidekick role of Maria and gave it both intensity and fine
comic timing. It was also a show in which you were never sure which adults you
could trust--William Sadleir trod a fine line of ambiguity as the local sheriff
and Julie Benz was silkily sinister as an FBI agent.