sat 18/09/2021

Roswell, New Mexico, ITV2 review - they've landed! | reviews, news & interviews

Roswell, New Mexico, ITV2 review - they've landed!

Roswell, New Mexico, ITV2 review - they've landed!

Schlock meets sci-fi in soapy desert drama

Paranormal activity: Liz (Jeanine Mason) and Isobel (Lily Cowles)

It fell out of the sky in the summer of 1947, and crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. UFO-logists and conspiracy fanatics insist it was an alien spacecraft, but the US Air Force says it was a meteorological balloon.

For the purposes of this entertaining, if slight, new US drama series (on ITV2), the object was a flying saucer, and unknown to the locals, unearthly survivors from the crash have been living among them ever since. The secrets of the past begin to unravel when Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) returns to this “sleepy cowboy town” and starts re-establishing contact with her old friends, who include ex-boyfriend turned cop Max Evans (Nathan Parsons), his sister Isobel and their friend Michael.

Liz has been living in Denver, working in “experimental regenerative medicine” – you can’t help feeling that’s going to come in handy at some point – but her funding has been pulled “because someone needs money for a wall” (hmm, who could she mean?). When Liz is shot through the heart in a drive-by shooting at her father’s Crashdown Cafe, yet miraculously survives thanks to Max’s amazing healing skills, she begins to suspect there’s something she hasn’t been told. Especially when she finds Max has left a glowing, luminous handprint on her chest.

It’s as if a group of adult characters have got marooned in a teen drama, since they’re all permanently hung up on events that happened more than a decade earlier. In particular the road-accident death of Liz’s sister Rosa continues to cast a pall of resentment and hate over the town, since it also killed some of her friends, but the full murky story has yet to emerge. Meanwhile Homeland Security, personified by the stern and robotic Master Sergeant Manes (Trevor St John, pictured right), are running some kind of hush-hush research project into the alien incursion.

In an attempt to keep up with the news headlines, the show lobs in references to anti-Mexican racism, Trumpian politics, gay relationships and deplorable patriarchal attitudes, but it’s best enjoyed as schlocky escapism, souped up with a blast of extra-terrestrial weirdness whenever the narrative is in danger of dozing off. Watch the skies!

There's a blast of extra-terrestrial weirdness whenever the narrative threatens to doze off


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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