Roswell Season One DVD Review - -

Feature 7.5
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 7.5
Distributor: Fox Home Video
Running Time:
918 minutes
Anthony Bethell


Roswell Season One

I must confess I really didn't get into Roswell on my first viewing when the show was broadcast here.  Initially I found the first season a bit of a slog as the series found its feet during the first year.  And in the subsequent seasons I gave up entirely due to the erratic scheduling of the show by the local networks.   

So when the opportunity arose to review the first season of Roswell I leapt at the chance to revisit the series and see if the years since have changed my perspective on the show.  I can say without doubt that I'm glad I did, as Roswell is a damn good show that warrants repeat viewing. 

Roswell isn't your average run of the mill Sci-Fi show.  During its first run it was more often than not referred to as and sold to the viewing public as a cross between Dawson's Creek and The X-Files.  A tag that I'm sure annoyed the show's producers just as much as the fans of the shows respectively. 

Roswell centres on a group of teens living in Roswell, New Mexico.  Home to many UFO nuts, and probably one of biggest UFO conspiracies of all time.     Liz & Max's relationship are the focus of the story.  The first episode introduces these two characters as well as the rest of the faces in Roswell and sets up the premise of the show nicely.  Our hero Max is not from around these parts.  And by these parts I mean Earth! 

The proverbial cat is let out of the bag during the series opener.  When Max saves the life of his girlfriend Liz from certain death by using his alien abilities after she had been clearly shot.  Now the two must conceal their secret from friends and family.  Not too mention the local sheriff who is suspicious of the claims that she wasn't actually shot, when clearly the physical evidence says that she was. 

As the series progresses Max's search for his true origins leads him on a series of some strange adventures and startling revelations.  All the while the suspicion of him grows amongst his friends.  The same goes for the local sheriff who is never far behind Max struggling to put the pieces together. 

The first season contains 22 episodes spread across six discs: 

Disc 1: 

    1 - Pilot

    2 - The Morning After

    3 - Monsters

    4 - Leaving Normal  

Disc 2: 

    5 - Missing

    6 - 285 South

    7 - River Dog

    8 - Blood Brother  

Disc 3:

      9 - Heat Wave

    10 - The Balance

    11 - Toy House    

    12 - Into The Woods  

Disc 4: 

    13 - The Convention

    14 - Blind Date

    15 - Independence Day

    16 - Sexual Healing  

Disc 5: 

    17 - Crazy

    18 - Tess, Lies and Videotape

    19 - Four Square

    20 - Max to the Max

Disc 6   

    21 - The White

    22 - Destiny  

Roswell Season One is presented for the first time in its intended aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16:9 enhanced.  The series was broadcast initially at a cropped ratio of 4:3.  And the transfer to DVD has opened up the frame and given the show a more cinematic feel.  Which truth is told has helped me develop an appreciation for the show. 

The transfer betrays the TV origins of the show.  You would think that this series was a recent feature film by looking at it.  Colours are rich and the small object detail is very good throughout.  There were some slight mpeg artefacts present as a result of the transfer to disc.  However these would largely go unnoticed by the general viewing public, those with larger sets may notice them. 

Like the video, the audio provided on this release is stellar.  A full bit-rate Dolby Digital 5.1 English track has been provided by the good folk at Fox and I'm sure will put a smile on the dial of many a home theatre enthusiast.  The soundtrack features plenty of localised surround effects and some truly deep bass via the LFE channel.   

A French Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also available.  Given that my French is worse than my English!  I stuck with the English track for this review and sampled the French track here and there for comparison.  Fear not Parisians, as the discrete 5.1 French stream is just as good as the English. 

Extras are located on the sixth disc and consist of the following Featurettes: -  

  • Area 51: Behind The Scenes of Roswell

  • Roswell High: The Making of Roswell

  • Actor Auditions

In addition to this there is a music video, “Save Yourself” by the group Sense Field, as well as audio commentaries on selected episodes.  And last but not least a single deleted scene from the series pilot. 

Fans of the show will not be disappointed with this release.  And for those yet to experience the show you’re in for a treat if you can look past the teen angst element of the show and surrender yourself to the greater story arc as it unfolds.  


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