Roswell High – tape 2494

Here’s some episodes of Roswell High, a passable teen-sci-fi show clearly wanting some of what Buffy was having. There’s a bit too much moping and meaningful glances for my taste.

In the first episode here, Liz and Max blow off school for a couple of hours to take a drive up an old highway. It’s so romantic, and the perfect song comes on the radio, and it’s just the best, and we know all this because Liz is giving us a voiceover explaining all this, and they’re gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes, and they wish a moment like this will never end, and a horse walks in front of the jeep and they end up crashing off the road.

I kind of saw that coming after the two minutes of loving gazing.

Of course, there’s a worry about blood samples taken from Max in the ER. They corral young Colin Hanks into donating some of his blood to switch for Max’s, and other alien Michael has to creepily chat up the nurse who took the blood to switch it. Meanwhile, a shifty looking hard man is also after Max’s blood.

Colin Hanks, playing Alex, I should note, is the cool one amongst his friends. He even plays bass. But he’s not cool enough for the cool aliens and their cool alien-knowing friends to let him in to the secret, making him a weak link.

Max’s mum is played by Mary Ellen Trainor – Gail Wallens from Die Hard.

And there’s some kind of shadowy group after the teen aliens, and Buffy’s Julie Benz is part of it.

She’s the school guidance counsellor, and her involvement is discovered when Michael and Maria search the motel room used by the shadowy man at the hospital. She pumps Alex for information about what he did to help Max.

She spikes his drink with something that gives him a nosebleed, then grabs the tissues he uses to clean himself up.

Liz asks Alex to help her again, so she distracts Miss Topolsky (Benz) while he looks at her computer. Remember when Apple laptops had the apple symbol upside down when the lid was opened? Almost all brands did it this way around the 2000s. I suspect it’s because the people designing them liked to look at them while closed, so they had the logo the right way up that way, but therefore upside down when opened. The first laptop brand I noticed that did it the other way, to have the logo the right way up when the lid is opened, was the Sony Vaio. I presume someone at Sony realised that with all these people at meetings, or in coffee shops, or on trains, with their laptops open, were a great way to advertise your brand, which was undercut by having the logo upside down.

Pretty soon, Apple started doing it, now it’s the norm. Strange that it was done ‘wrong’ for so long before everybody flipped it round.

The next episode is called Heat Wave. It’s the first appearance here for Sheriff Jim Valenti, William Sadler.

He seems to be attracted to Maria’s mother.

Talking of attraction, Maria and Michael are doing a lot of smooching, so all the regulars are talking a lot about it.

Liz also talks to Max’s alien sister Isabel about her love life. Isabel is played by Katherine Heigl. I think she’s got a thing for Alex, so she goes into his dream (I guess that’s one of their magical powers) to find that he’s already dreaming about her.

There’s an illicit party in the old soap factory, and after a fire scare, Liz and Alex are caught with bottles of booze.

I’m starting to remember how frustrating this show got. If you’re not interested in the teen angst and romance elements, then the story moves glacially slow.

Next up, The Balance. WTF is it about the women in genre drama always working at cafes? Liz and Maria work at the Rowell diner, Lois worked at the coffee shop in Smallville, in the current incarnation of The Flash, Iris worked at the coffee shop to begin with. Hell, let’s include Rachel at Central Perk and Penny in Big Bang Theory working at the Cheesecake Factory.

Michael decides he needs to talk to a local Native American called River Dog about some symbols they all recognise. This is another favourite 90s trope – the mysticism of the Native American being tied into whatever magic a series wanted to use. The X Files did it occasionally, as did Smallville. Voyager’s Chakotay frequently referenced his spirit animal, and here it’s the same. Michael sits in on one of their sacred rituals, then later starts having seizures and fever, before becoming covered in some goop.

So obviously they take him back to the caves where they found strange symbols, and they have to enact a ritual, which gives them a cryptic vision, and what looks like memories of when they woke up from their pods as children.

The last episode here is Toy House. Max’s mother starts a raging pan fire in their kitchen, and Max uses his powers to put it out.

He and Isabel talk about it. “You only ever listen to the Counting Crows when you’re really upset.”

After this, recording continues for a short time with the start of an episode of Friends.

Adverts:

A note about the adverts on this tape. This is one of the later tapes in the collection, and it’s interesting to see the change in what’s been advertised. Little things, like it’s Oil of Olay now instead of Oil of Ulay. But the noticeable thing is that the internet is now all over the ad breaks. Two different Internet Service Providers are advertising here (AOL and World Online) along with several online services (AskJeeves, firedup.com, excite.co.uk, even Iceland are pushing internet ordering, long before Ocado finally caught up.)

It’s Sky, so the trails are very Sky-focused, and they’re really pushing Sky Digital, which I clearly don’t have yet. But clearly we’re deep into that period where Sky were churning out umpteen variations on Ibiza Uncovered. I blame Eurotrash and The Word myself.

  • Maybelline
  • TV Licensing
  • McDonalds
  • trail: Buffy/Angel
  • trail: ER
  • Ford Focus
  • Canderel
  • UK Gold – Dinnerladies
  • World Online – Christopher Reeve
  • Airwaves
  • Bourjois
  • Chicken Tonight
  • trail: Football/Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Sky Digital
  • trail: Saturday Night on Sky
  • trail: Prickly Heat/Yanky Panky
  • Bananabix
  • Discovery Channel
  • Galaxy
  • Canderel
  • B2
  • trail: Dragonball Z
  • Oil of Olay
  • trail: Heroes Night
  • trail: Friends
  • trail: Sky Movies
  • Pantene
  • The Talented Mr Ripley in cinemas
  • Smint
  • Direct Line
  • Network Q
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Miniature Heroes – I’m fairly sure that’s Tom Lenk off of Buffy
  • trail: Rugby
  • Frutibix
  • Street Vibes 4
  • trail: Sunday Night on Sky
  • trail: Stargate SG-1
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Pocahontas II on video
  • The Times
  • World Online
  • Johnson’s pH 5.5
  • AOL
  • Pizza Hut
  • Iceland online shopping
  • Sky Digital
  • trail: The X Files
  • trail: Boxing
  • Rover 25
  • Club 2K
  • Finish
  • Cadbury’s High Lights
  • Friends on video
  • Daily Mirror
  • AOL
  • trail: Mr Nice Guy
  • trail: British Tribes
  • trail: The Spice Girls
  • Sunny Delight
  • Practical Aquarium
  • Ask Jeeves
  • Bird’s Eye Chicken Dippers
  • Toy Story 2 in cinemas
  • The Times
  • firedup.com – an auction site I have no memory of, with an advert featuring Bruce Willis

  • trail: Thursday Action
  • Sky Digital
  • Olivio
  • Clairol Daily Defense
  • Persil Performance Tablets
  • trail: The Westlife Story
  • trail: Sunday Night on Sky
  • trail: The X Files
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Colgate Whitening
  • UK Horizons
  • Playtex Affinity
  • Rowenta
  • MSN
  • BT
  • Vision Express
  • Special K
  • Sky Digital
  • trail: Robbie Williams from Slane Castle
  • trail: Sea of Love
  • Sunday Times
  • Crown
  • Aviva
  • UK Gold
  • Ragu
  • MSN
  • trail: The Assignment
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Friends
  • Secret
  • Olivio
  • KFC
  • Haven
  • Smint
  • Crown
  • Austin Powers 2 on video
  • Special K
  • Bounty
  • Recycling
  • Oil of Olay
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Afterglow
  • Dove
  • Lurpak
  • The Sleep Council
  • Nat West
  • trail: The Simpsons
  • trail: British Tribes
  • Nescafe – Ian Wright
  • Nivea Visage
  • Coca Cola
  • Special K
  • UPS
  • Persil Performance Tablets
  • Playtex
  • Homebase
  • excite.co.uk – I’m fairly sure this is Robert Webb

  • trail: 72nd Academy Awards
  • trail: Football
  • trail: A Kiss Before Dying
  • Ford Puma – Steve McQueen
  • Nivea Visage
  • UK Gold
  • Any Given Sunday in cinemas
  • Street Vibes 4
  • BT
  • Sky Digital
  • trail: Sunday Night on Sky
  • trail: Out of Sight
  • Clearasil
  • Playstation
  • Comet
  • Vodafone
  • AOL
  • Lurpak
  • Disney Video
  • The Sleep Council
  • Robinson’s High Juice
  • trail: Football
  • trail: World Magic Awards
  • trail: Buffy/Angel
  • Sky Digital
  • Learndirect
  • Oasis – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
  • trail: The X Files
  • trail: British Tribes
  • Monster.co.uk
  • McVities
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4 comments

  1. Sky 1 ran this under its final title of “Roswell” – it was BBC2 than used the original title of “Roswell High.” The first two seasons were good, the third and last… not so much.

  2. I think it was always called Roswell in America, but renamed for British consumption, like Lois and Clark and Smallville. American telly isn’t very imaginative when it comes to names, is it?

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