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Feature: Roswell - The view from Season 3.

DeLuca of Love

Will she..? Yes…

Maria DeLuca fell for bad boy alien Michael shortly after her friend Liz fell for his ‘brother’, filling her life with chaos, trauma and a side order of hot, sexy alien lurve.

We’re talking Sci-Fi here, speaking specifically of Roswell, so let’s time trip a little bit. The show isn’t yet dead-dead-dead, and not once and for all axed. The Crashdown Café sets still stand, cameras continue to roll and actress Majandra Delfino, who clearly senses that the end is nigh, chats on the phone for a while during a lunch break. .”

“I don’t really think about it,” Delfino says, referring to both the long-held notion that no one could kill Roswell and the fact that the show’s head sat primed on the chopping block even as she spoke. “I really don’t. It’s just my job. If they tell me to come, I’ll come. If they don’t, I don’t. Not much depends on it, so I really don’t think about it.”

Delfino applies that same pragmatic mindset to the matter of the show’s many shifts. Roswell started out in the autumn of 1999 as a teen romance, Romeo and Juliet with an alien twist. Critics heaped on the praise and a loyal core audience claimed Roswell as its own.

But the ratings sagged precipitously, the series – purportedly at the insistence of its then network The WB – went whole hog on the action and Sci-Fi aspects. Long arcs gave way to standalone episodes. When none of that worked, executive producer and writer Jason Katims tried to bring the show back to its roots, a tact implemented even more aggressively after Roswell leapt from The WB to UPN for its third season. But it was too little, too late, and Roswell simply couldn’t take advantage of its formidable new lead-in, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. “Like I said, I try not to think about it,” Delfino says of the tone changes. “I kind of just go with the flow. I don’t have enough invested in it – I don’t think any of us does – to let it frustrate us. The people it must frustrate are the fans. I’m pleased with this season. I’m always pleased. I just really trust Jason Katims, so I’m pretty much 100% pleased with anything he believes in.”

So what episodes in Season Three does Delfino like? “It’s funny; for us, this is our job,” the actress responds. “Rarely do we end up seeing the finished product because we’re working that day, or we’ve been doing this so long that we don’t really watch it. And I definitely can speak for all of us. For me, the reason I like an episode is because we had a lot of fun doing it or we had a great location or what we all had personally going on. So I would have to say that the Christmas episode [Samuel Rising] was really hilarious. We were all in these costumes and we were just ragging on each other the whole time for it. We were in Santa Claus and elf costumes on Hallowe’en day, and that was really comical to us. The episode is really sad. It’s about an autistic boy and Max suspects that his son may be trying to contact him through the body of this boy.

Specifically for me, there’s not that much after that. There are more Max episodes and an Isabel episode [I Married an Alien] where she imagines her life is a 1960s sitcom. Right now we’re doing an episode [Ch-Ch-Changes] where Liz contemplates going to boarding school. She’s changing. She’s sick and thinks she’s dying, so she starts contemplating going to boarding school. I guess I’m pretty heavy in that one.”

by Ian Spelling

Read the rest of this interview in:
Cult Times #83

UPN
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #83
August 2002
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