General Differences

Roswell High by Melinda MetzJason Katims' Roswell
Max has blonde hair.Max has black hair.
Michael has an alien brother named Trevor who grew up on their home planet and comes to Earth through a wormhole.Michael is an orphan, whose only family is Max and Isabel, though they aren't blood-relations.
Liz Ortecho has a dead sister who overdosed on drugs.Liz Parker is an only child.
Sherriff Valenti is an evil government agent in charge of Project Clean Slate.Sheriff Jim Valenti ends up helping the aliens escape from the FBI Special Unit.
Alex Manes comes from a large military family with multiple brothers. He is the only one of the teens to visit the aliens' home planet.Alex Whitman lives with his dad and is an only child. Alex helps alien Tess Harding to decode an alien book, but Tess 'accidentally' murders him to keep it a secret.
A fourth alien named Adam grows up under the guard of Project Clean Slate.Adam is not in the tv series, but a fourth alien named Tess Harding grows up on the run from the FBI Special Unit.
Cameron, a spy for Valenti, falls in love with Michael.Cameron is not in the tv series, but Courtney, a member of the Skins' rebellion, falls in love with Michael.
The home planet, which is never named, has a collective consciousness--a psychic internet of all the beings on the planet.Antar, the home planet, has royalty and political fighting. They four alien teens are reincarnations of the royal family.
The Kindred is a rebellion on the home planet against the collective consciousness. A war is taking place between the Skins and Antarians back on the aliens' home planet.
The aliens have two powerful energy sources called the Stones of Midnight. These stones can focus energy in very specific and powerful manners.The aliens have something called the Granilith, which is a great source of power. It allows a Max from the future to come back in time, and it also serves as a way for the aliens to return to Antar.
The aliens must enter an akino at maturity. The aliens react strangely to alcohol.
The UFO museum is owned by the adult alien survivor of the crash, Ray Iburg. When Ray dies, Michael inherits the UFO museum and decides to live there.The human Brody Davis buys the UFO museum from its previous owner, Milton. Brody thinks he was abducted by aliens, but really an alien named Larek had been using his body to communicate with the aliens on Earth.
Isabel falls in love with an "evil/misunderstood" alien named Nikolas.Max falls in love with an "evil/misunderstood" alien named Tess.
The Crashdown is a cafe the Ortecho's own; Liz Ortecho and her family live down the block. The Crashdown is a cafe the Parker's own; Liz Parker and her family live in a loft above it.
Michael is captured and experimented on by Sheriff Valenti of Project Clean Slate. Max is captured and experimented on by Agent Pierce of the FBI Special Unit.
The Crashdown uniforms are Star-Trek themed. Liz and Maria eventually persuade Mr. Ortecho into changing the uniforms to a Men In Black theme of black pants and sunglasses.The Crashdown uniforms are light blue dresses with alien-head aprons. They also wear silver alien antennae headbands.


In the book series, the teen aliens come from an unnamed planet and are stranded on Earth when their parents' ship crashes. In the television series, the teen aliens are reincarnations of the Royal Family of Antar. After a battle, their essences were mixed with human DNA, and the teen aliens are actually hybrids who were sent to Earth to survive the war.

Roswell High by Melinda Metz
The home planet, which is never called by name, is home to a race of beings that exist within a collective consciousness. At adolescence, each alien must go through an akino, a painful experience that only ends when they join the collective. Since the collective consciousness takes away an alien's privacy and individuality, a rebellion has formed on the home planet called the Kindred. Members of the Kindred, led by Elsevan DuPris want to destroy the collective and outlaw unfair laws, such as only being allowed to have one child. When DuPris is taken prisoner by the collective consciousness, he is placed on a spaceship for transport. The ship crashes on Earth in the human year 1947, in a town called Roswell. DuPris escapes, but he stays on Earth hoping to find the Stone of Midnight, an energy source that was misplaced during the crash. The only other adult survivor of the crash, Ray Iburg, manages to hide four incubation pods in the desert. He tries to go back for the fifth pod, but the ship and pod are already in the custody of Project Clean Slate. On the run from being captured himself, Ray is not around when the pods open--allowing Michael, Isabel, Max, and Nikolas--who look like regular human children--to wander out into the desert. Nikolas and Michael are placed in foster care, but Nikolas grows up outside of Roswell. Max and Isabel are adopted by the Evans, and grow up in Roswell with Michael as one of their best friends. The last pod, in the hands of Clean Slate, hatches a boy named Adam, who grows up underground in the Clean Slate compound.

Jason Katims' Roswell
On planet Antar, Zan and his wife Ava ruled over a system of five planets. Rath, Zan's second in command was betrothed to Zan's sister, Vilandra. As a group, they made the "Royal Four." An alien named Kivar fell in love with Vilandra, and she helped him to betray Zan. As a result, Kivar took over Antar and betrayed Vilandra (either accidently or on purpose) by killing the "Royal Four". Zan's people, unaware of Vilandra's part in Kivar's take-over, mixed the essences of Zan, Ava, Vilandra, and Rath with human DNA and sent the "Royal Four" to Earth where they would be safe until they could return home. As the ship neared Earth, something went wrong and the ship crashed. Two protectors of the "Royal Four", who would take the names Nasedo and Langley, survived. On the run from the government, Langley was forced to run and Nasedo just barely managed to put the incubation pods of the "Royal Four" in a safe cave before being captured himself. Years later, after escaping from the FBI Special Unit, Nasedo came back to the pods, but only found Ava, who he would later give the name Tess. The other three had hatched earlier and, with no memories of their past lives, took on the names Max, Isabel, and Michael. The three aliens grew up, living semi-normal human lives in Roswell, New Mexico, with no idea where they were from or why they were on Earth.


In the book series, the powers are very much based on psychic and emotional connections between the aliens and those around them. While they can manipulate molecular structure, most of their powers deal directly with connecting to others, combining emotional energy, and manifesting that energy into physical power. In the television series, the powers are more unique to each individual alien, and while the aliens can still connect with one another, their powers are more physical than emotional.

Roswell High by Melinda Metz

  • Each alien has the ability to feel the emotions of the other aliens around them; they are always connected to each other, but they usually choose to tune these emotions out.

  • Each alien has the ability to see auras. Both humans and aliens alike have an aura, but only aliens can see this manifestation of the person's essence. Humans can see auras and senses scents only when they are connected with aliens.

  • Each alien can manipulate molecular structures by nudging molecules with their minds. This ability also allows the aliens to shapeshift by reforming the molecules of their bodies, and to teleport by choosing to reform their molecules in a new location.

  • Each alien has the ability to "connect" with another alien or human. When a connection is made, the two beings can share each other's thoughts and emotions. When connected, they can also boost their energy or increase their power.

  • Each alien can enter the dream plane, a place just outside of consciousness where they have the ability to view or enter people's dreams. Only requiring two hours of sleep a night, this is a favorite past time of the teen aliens, who often visit humans in their dreams.

    Jason Katims' Roswell

  • Like in the book series, each alien has the ability to "connect" with another alien or human. When a connection is made, the two beings can share each other's thoughts and emotions.

  • Each alien can also manipulate molecular structures, but unlike in the book series, this does not allow them the power of shapeshifting or teleportation.

  • Max can raise a green energy shield to protect himself. He also has the ability to heal with his hands--his friends assume he is the only one with this power. Towards the end of the series, though, Michael manages to heal Isabel, after she is shot and Max is thought dead.

  • Isabel is the only alien with the ability to dreamwalk. Like in the book series, she can view or enter the dreams of humans and aliens.

  • Michael has the ability to exert great amounts of energy.

  • Tess, who is not in the book series, has the ability to mind-warp, or make others see things that aren't really happening.

  • Nasedo, who is not in the book series, has the ability to shapeshift, or change his physical appearance.

  • Government

    Roswell High by Melinda Metz - Earth
    In the book series, the government creates an agency called "Project Clean Slate." Sheriff Valenti, the head of this secret organization, studies and hunts aliens. Having captured the ship and the incubation pod of Adam from the '47 crash, Clean Slate studied and experimented on Adam all his life. When alien Michael Guerin is captured by Clean Slate, the teens help Michael and Adam to escape. During the rescue, the Clean Slate compound is burned to the ground and Sheriff Valenti is killed.

    Jason Katims' Roswell - Earth
    In the television series, the government has an "FBI Special Unit" dedicated to hunting aliens. Over the years this organization has many different leaders, many of whom are killed by Nasedo, one of the alien adult survivors of the crash. Eventually, the current leader, Agent Pierce, captures Max and studies him in a white room. Sheriff Valenti, who suspects Max to be an alien, decides to help save Max and his friends from being tortured by the Special Unit. After his escape, Max asks Nasedo to shut down the unit for good by shapeshifting into the now dead Agent Pierce and dismantling the unit from within. Though the Special Unit is no longer around, a special branch of the United States Air Force still has a team of special agents investigating the '47 crash and the aliens living in Roswell.

    Roswell High by Melinda Metz - Home Planet
    In the book series, the home planet is governed by the collective consciousness, a "psychic internet" of all its members, both alive and dead. When an alien reaches maturity, he enters an akino, a painful sickness that only ends when one joins the collective. The Kindred, a rebellion led by Elsevan DuPris, has formed against the collective consciousness because some of the aliens feel that it takes away their individuality and that it is too controlling. Also, under the collective's rule, parents are only allowed to have one birthing cycle, so siblings are extremely rare.

    Jason Katims' Roswell - Planet Antar
    In a system of five planets, Zan and Ava, King and Queen of Antar, ruled over the rest. When Zan's sister, Vilandra, betrayed him for her love for Kivar, a war broke out between the Skins and the Antarians. The leaders of the five planets are interested in finding the Royal Four, who were sent to Earth and made into alien-human hybrids along with a powerful energy source called the Granilith.


    Roswell High by Melinda Metz
    • Sheriff Valenti, head of Project Clean Slate, is intent on tracking down and studying the aliens.

    • Elsevan DuPris, an evil alien rebel from the home planet will do anything to steal the Stones of Midnight and destroy the collective consciousness.

    • The collective consciousness turns out to be an authoritative entity that denies the aliens their individuality and privacy. It also imposes a deadly sickness to force its members to join and denies couples from having more than one child.

    Jason Katims' Roswell
    • Agent Pierce, head of the FBI Special Unit, is intent on tracking down and studying the aliens. Sheriff Valenti, along with Agent Topolsky, turn out to be on the teen aliens' side and help battle Agent Pierce.

    • Isabel's boyfriend Grant turns out to be possessed by a "ridiculous alien jelly-fish thing", which arose from complications with mixing human and alien DNA together to create the hybrids back in 1947.

    • The Skins are an alien race that are at war with the Antarians. Congresswoman Whittaker is a Skin, who attacks Isabel on her birthday. Before her death, Whittaker reveals that Isabel's former self, Vilandra, fell in love with Skin leader Kivar and betrayed her family. Nasedo and Tess Harding turn out to have been working with the Skins all along, havng made a deal with their leader Kivar in 1947.

    • The US Air Force continues to hunt down alien life, even after the FBI Special Unit is shut down.

    • Meris, a rich heiress, tracks down Max because she believes him to be a healer. She forces Max to restore her old man Clayton to youth.


    Roswell High by Melinda MetzJason Katims' Roswell
    Max Evans falls in love with Liz Ortecho and only has eyes for her. To try and keep her safe, he tells Liz they can't be together but, in the end, Max realizes that they have little control over danger and should spend as much time together as possible. When he becomes too involved with the collective consciousness, however, Liz is forced to break up with him until the collective is shattered and Max is freed.Max falls in love with Liz Parker and only has eyes for her. However, a Max comes from the future to warn Liz that they can't be together or the world will end; so Liz breaks up with Max. Max then becomes entangled with fellow alien Tess Harding, who used to be his wife in another life. Max fathers a child with Tess, but she betrays him and steals their child to return to the home planet. After saving his son, Max repairs his broken relationship with Liz and marries her in the last episode.
    Liz Ortecho breaks up with Kyle Valenti and falls in love with Max after he saves her life. When Max tells her their relationship is too dangerous, Liz goes out with Jerry Ciferelli. It doesn't work out and Max and Liz realize they belong together. However, as Max becomes more involved with the collective consciousness, Liz begins to take a small interest in newcomer alien Adam. After the consciousness is shattered, Liz's full attention is back on Max.Liz Parker falls in love with Max. When he comes from the future to warn her about the end of the world, she is forced to make Max fall out of love with her by pretending to sleep with Kyle Valenti. After flirting with Maria's cousin, Sean, for a short while, Liz and Max get back together and end up marrying.
    Michael Guerin has trouble letting anyone in to see him for who he really is. He enjoys spending time with Maria during their casual late night movie dates, but he doesn't know how to respond when she tells him that she loves him. Confused by his feelings for Isabel Evans and Cameron Winger, Michael slowly comes to the conclusion that Maria is the love of his life.Michael, like in the books, is very closed off and finds romance difficult. He tries a human relationship with Maria, but after he kills Agent Pierce, he fears he's no longer safe and breaks up with her. Though he's still harping on Maria, Michael starts taking an interest in a girl named Courtney, an alien Skin who ends up giving her life to save Michael. After it all, Michael eventually realizes he belongs with Maria and he finds a way to make it work.
    Maria has a huge crush on Michael and tries everything she can think of to get his attention. Finally, towards the end of the series, Michael realizes that they belong together.Maria and Michael try a relationship for a while but Michael breaks up with her after he kills Agent Pierce. Maria flirts with her old band friend Billy for a brief time before getting back together with Michael.
    Alex Manes, despite his dork status, somehow manages to get in a relationship with popular cheerleader Isabel Evans. She eventually, however, breaks up with him in a terrible and harsh way. Then Alex, who has become buff and gorgeous from a wormhole, dates head cheerleader Stacey, which makes Isabel jealous. Isabel and Alex talk things over but decide to be just friends.Alex Whitman tries his hardest to get with Isabel Evans, the beautiful blonde of Roswell High. They date for a little while, but break up when Isabel's attention is more concerned with a man named Grant. Alex finally manages to catch her attention again, but unfortunately, Alex is killed by the alien Tess Harding.
    Isabel falls in love with Nikolas Branson, a bad-boy alien who ends up getting himself killed by the government. Isabel is heartbroken and rebounds with Alex Manes. After harshly breaking up with Alex, Isabel starts to take a small interest in Michael before finally setting her romantic sights on Michael's brother, Trevor.Isabel tries a relationship with Alex and it doesn't work out very well. Then, she falls in love with Greg, who ends up dying from an evil alien jelly-fish thing. Just as Alex and Isabel are about to get back together, Alex is murdered, which leaves Isabel crushed. After some time, Isabel ends up marrying Jesse Ramierez, a lawyer who works with her dad, whom she has only been dating for a few months. Isabel and Jesse get to know each other after they are married--and Jesse is in for a surprise when he finds out she's an alien. Despite feeling betrayed, Jesse's love for Isabel is strong and they manage to work things out.
    Kyle Valenti still has a thing for Liz even after she dumps him. He's very jealous of her relationship with Max. Kyle, however, eventually ends up in an aslyum babbling about aliens.Kyle Valenti is jealous when Liz breaks up with him to be with Max. After learning that Max is an alien, however, Kyle finds Buddha and decides to be just friends with Liz. When Tess Harding comes to live with the Valenti's, Kyle starts to see her as perhaps more than a friend, but when Tess betrays them all, Kyle wants nothing to do with her. Kyle briefly wonders about Isabel in a romantic way but it's clear that her interests lie elsewhere.


    Melinda Metz and Laura Burns, who are the masterminds behind the books, also helped with writing some episodes of Roswell.

    In the United States, the television show was merely called Roswell. In the UK and other countries, it was known as Roswell High.