Roswell is an American science fiction television series developed, produced, and co-written by Jason Katims. The series debuted on October 6, 1999 on The WB and moved to UPN for the third season. The last episode aired May 14, 2002. The series pilot is based on the Roswell High young adult book series, written by Melinda Metz and edited by Laura J. Burns, who became staff writers for the television series.
Roswell is set in Roswell, New Mexico, site of the 1947 UFO crash popularly known as The Roswell Incident. Four teenagers are depicted as aliens who appear to be human. Central to the plot are Max and Isabel Evans, Michael Guerin and Tess Harding, who survived the Roswell crash to hatch from incubation pods in 1989, with the appearance of six-year-old humans, but secretly aware of their true origins.
The relationships between the extraterrestrials and their human companions are a central theme, particularly between leading characters Max Evans and Liz Parker. The three seasons follow the extraterrestrials as they attempt to avoid being discovered by the FBI and the local sheriff. In addition, as time passes the characters learn more about their alien powers. They also attempt to figure out a way to get back to their home planet.
The background plot suggests that the four were sent to Earth as cloned replacements for the royalty of Antar, an alien planet. Their counterparts died in a war, and the "Royal Four" were meant to one day return to Antar to save their race.