Roswell (1999)

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Name: Roswell
Abbreviation(s): ROS
Creator: Jason Katims
Date(s): October 6, 1999 – May 14, 2002
Medium: television
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: wikipedia, IMDB entry
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Roswell is a science fiction series that ran for three seasons on the WB (and later the UPN) based on the book series Roswell High by Melinda Metz.


The series revolved around a group of teenage alien-human hybrids like semi-clones of members of the royal family who had been killed in a power struggle on their home planet—who had been sent to Earth for their safety. Their ship crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in the 40s (yup that one!), their pods laid dormant until the 80s when where they were hatched and later found in the desert, and were raised there as humans. The show focused on their friends, romantic interests, allies, and enemies, and on the alien teens' struggle to understand their background and possibly find a way back home while evading detection by Earth authorities.

During its first season the show had a strong arc around the developing romance between alien Max and human Liz. TPTB brought in Ronald D. Moore as showrunner for the second and third season; subsequently the focus headed towards various alien plots and danger-of-exposure of the week episodes.


Main characters:

Reoccurring Characters:

Alternate Universe to Book Series

While the show is based on the book series, the plots are incredibly divergent. Showrunner Jason Katims and original creators Melinda Metz and Laura J Burns all agree that the show is based in an alternate, related universe.

The books have always lived in a parallel universe that's different from the show. What Melinda has done with the books and what we've gone on to do with the show – we've both used the first book as the jumping-off point, but we've gone in different directions, so the characters, their experiences and what happens to them is different.

-Jason Katims, in a 2004 interview with Starlog[1]

When Jason offered us staff jobs, we were even more thrilled! It’s weird because, in one way, we have a lot of history with Roswell. But in another way, we’re just big fans of the show. The books are very different, and it’s been years since we worked on them. So working on the show is like working in an alternate universe.

-Laura J Burns, in an interview with[2]

Maybe the first couple of episodes in the first season, I had some twinges. It would feel like—wait, that doesn’t seem like the characters to me! But now, the show is so much its own thing and it has its own back story and the characters are just themselves—some are more like the books, some less like the books. I love some of the ways characters changed in the TV show—like Valenti. I mean, he was such the evil bad guy in the books.

-Melinda Metz, in an interview with[2]



Conventional Couples

Conventional Couples, or "CC", in the Roswell fandom dealt with canon pairings and only included the ones below:

Max/Liz Michael/Maria Alex/Isabel
Amy/Jim Kyle/Tess Isabel/Jesse

Unconventional Couples

Unconventional couples, or "UC", in the Roswell fandom dealt with any pairing that were not in the above category, whether it was het, slash or femslash and no matter that it was a canon (or near-canon) pairing or not. Any threesomes would of course be included as well.

Liz/Michael Michael/Isabel Kyle/Liz Kyle/Isabel Tess/Isabel
Max/Tess Isabel/Maria Rath/Liz Zan/Liz Kyle/Ava
Max/Maria Max/Michael Kyle/Tess Alex/Maria Tess/Michael

Pairing Names

Roswell fandom is known for its unusual pairing name conventions. Most ships, both het and slash, and the fans of these ships are referred to by obscure nicknames in Roswell fandom.

Mainly it developed this way in Roswell because there were *so many* different characters-- four aliens and four humans in the main cast alone, not to mention the grown-ups, villians, outsiders and then the aliens' clones. And they all had more or less chemistry with each other. So keeping track of pairing codes like A/T-- is that Ava/Tess? Alex/Tess? Ava/Topolsky? Amy/Topolsky?

And those are just the *obscure* pairings. The five or six most *popular* pairings through the first season all had the same initials-- M/M or M/L. You couldn't just say "I'm writing M/M," because people wouldn't know if it was canon hetfic (Michael/Maria) or unconventional hetfic (Max/Maria) or slash (Michael/Max.)

So it tended to be much easier for people to say "This is a Dreamer / Polarist / Waitress fic."[3]

Often these nicknames were derived from each other, e.g. the canonical ship Michael/Maria is called "Candy" (because of its "M&M" initials). The slash ship Max/Michael is then called "Peanut M&M", the threesome Max/Michael/Maria is "Peanut Butter M&M", and the threesome Michael/Maria/Kyle is "BBQ M&M".

They also reflect the view of the pairing in fandom (like "Dreamers"), and thus sometimes names vary depending whether fans like or dislike the ship, e.g. Max/Tess and Michael/Isabel may be called POD or "Protector of Destiny" by someone if they want the Pod Squad together, but "Shipwreckers" and "Intruders" respectively if they oppose these ships. Some ships have multiple names, e.g. Kyle/Tess fans can be Lamp Trimmers, Rebounders, or Space Cowgirls.[4][5]

See List of Roswell Pairing Names for more.

Ship Wars & Kerfuffles

Various ship wars and kerfuffles happened within the Roswell fandom. They were more active when Roswell was on air, however some of the reasons behind the them are still there and is the reason why there was so much character or ship bashing in fanfiction, various arguments/discussions and open letters.

Renew/Movie Campaign

Due to Veronica Mars fans success story of raising and achieving a movie, Roswell fans also have the same hope in gaining a film despite the fifteen year difference. It's not just the fans either that support the idea, but also several actors including Shiri Appleby (Liz), Majandra Delfino (Maria), Colin Hanks (Alex), William Sadler (Sherriff Valenti), Diane Farr (Maria's mother, Amy), Melinda Metz (author), and Laura J. Burns (staff writer) have shown interest either be retweeting about it or in interviews or actually signing the campaign.

Since with the help of Netflix had with Arrested Development, Full House (the spin-off Fuller House) and Gilmore Girls (a miniseries), some fans were hoping maybe a miniseries or a revived series for the show might have more potential with the company.

CW Reboot

In January 2018, The CW had announced a reboot of the Roswell show "with an immigration twist",[6] it would be closer to the book canon (Liz Ortecho instead of Liz Parker, Alex Manes instead of Alex Whitman) but like Roswell, an alternate version of the books since it takes place after high school. By May 2018, the series was officially picked up and the show finally aired January 15, 2019 as Roswell, New Mexico. Shiri Appleby directed one episode.

Excitement for the reboot was mixed, while many fans were overjoyed with any possibility of a new series, including one with POCs, others were disappointed that it would not be same actors/actresses from the 1999 version and thus the same characters/history they knew and loved. There was also skeptic for the executive producer Carina Adly MacKenzie.[7]

See Roswell, New Mexico for more canon and fandom information on the reboot.


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  • A Father's Duty by Watcher Tara, What happened to the people left behind once the kids left Roswell during graduation? Did the FBI leave them alone, or did they have a more chilling agenda? This is Jeff Parker's search for the truth as his world falls apart unexpectedly following Liz's disappearance. (Jeff/Nancy, Post-Graduation, PG)
  • Us Six Against the World by Linda, Post heatwave, and how the six Roswell High kids become closer and realize through good times and bad, that no matter what they go through, it really is, "the six of them against the world".
  • Other Paths by Tharos, Isabel cant move on, Max and Liz are changing and so will other things.




Fannish Links

See individual Character or Relationship pages for more.


See more at Category:Roswell Websites.

Forums & Message Boards



See more at Category:Roswell Archives.

LJ Communities

Pairing Comms:


Most of Roswell mailing lists were originally egroups which later became Yahoo! Groups after Yahoo bought them.

See List of Roswell Mailing Lists.



  1. ^ "September 2004 issue of Starlog; page 74".
  2. ^ a b Crashdown Exclusive Interview with Melinda Metz and Laura J Burns
  3. ^ Comment by livia penn, on Roswell: An Overview on the crackvan, 2003.
  4. ^ 'shipper Names (Accessed 17 January 2009)
  5. ^ See also list of ship names at Crack Van fandom overview. (Accessed 8 May 2011)
  6. ^ "'Roswell' Reboot, Projects Produced By Greg Berlanti & Rob Thomas Among 6 CW Pilot Orders For Record Total Of 9 Pilots". Archived from the original on 2022-05-21.
  7. ^ Anonymous said: carina is sooo rude and condescending i honestly can't see her tweets anymore. space-malex reacts. This particular post takes place after RNM had already aired, however I remember seeing a post or two of fans showing worry about it being created by MacKenzie due to her actions with the Originals/TVD fandoms, however I can't find these posts right now.