Just like Liz Parker in the pilot, Roswell has a second life … well, kind of.
Majandra Delfino (who played Maria DeLuca in The WB show) and Brendan Fehr (who played Michael Guerin) are teaming up for Baron and Toluca, a show they’re calling a “spiritual successor” of Roswell. And EW has your first look!
The exclusive promo above — which features some “naughty words,” Fehr warns — introduces the main characters: Jake Baron (Fehr) and Toluca Mendez (Delfino), former teen actors from an alien sci-fi show. (Sound familiar?) The premise of B+T is that when reunited as adults, the two are forced to work together to solve a paranormal mystery in New Mexico that’s threatening to kill both of them. Just as Maria and Michael had a love-hate-love relationship, so do Baron and Toluca.
Delfino and Fehr have been slowly working on this project for a few years but are now ready to introduce it to the world, sell, and create it. EW caught up with the duo to talk about how this show came about, what we can expect from it, and how fans can make sure it turns into a reality.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start at the beginning — where did this idea come from?
MAJANDRA DELFINO: Because Brendan and I worked so well together, I always had this idea that we could do a sort of meta-take on what we’re calling a “spiritual successor” of Roswell. It’s not Roswell, but it’s taking those elements and playing with it in a little tongue-in-cheek way that gives us the opportunity to be back together on screen and play out that dynamic that everyone loves so much.
And what spurred you to do this in earnest?
MD: My original thought had been that the inciting incident between our characters would happen at a Comic-Con-type festival. Then Brendan and I and the rest of the Roswell cast were invited to the ATX Television Festival in Austin [in 2014]. We were there in the setting I had imagined and I was like, “This would be so awesome.” I mean, we did not really have a paranormal experience [Laughs] — but when we got there, I was stunned with how many people were there to see us and still just so in love with not just Roswell, but also with our characters, Michael and Maria, and their dynamic that it gave me the fuel to keep writing. I always, always wrote it with Brendan in mind, but never really said anything.
BRENDAN FEHR: She was working on this for like three years…
MD: Yeah, he had no idea. [Laughs] As I’m literally about to finish the final draft of this thing, I get a call from Brendan…
BF: There was — I wouldn’t want to call it unfinished business because I didn’t want to rehash anything — but there was so much gas left in the tank for me and her to do something really fun. So I called her on a whim and said, “We have to do something together.” And she’s like, “Funny you say that…” because she had been writing this script for a number of years. She sent the script over about a week later, and I fell in love with it.
Why did this kind of project feel right for your collaboration?
BF: We wanted to do something that we would love and inevitably, in a great way, what we love, we think the fans of us will love as well. In this sense, it kind of goes hand in hand, so it was a beautiful marriage of, this would be fun for us. We decided to see if we could create this grassroots campaign to do this on our own.
MD: There are so many Roswell fans, and it seems like they just multiply because of streaming. You find them saying these things that really echo the same sentiments that Brendan and I have about the dynamic between us and Michael and Maria. What made them special was sort of independent of even the show. [I wanted to] see this, too, because I love the same things they’re loving. This might be this incredibly mutually beneficial and entertaining thing for all of us.
Tell us about Baron and Toluca.
MD: Brendan and I love the idea of having the sort of thing that’s missing these days: that X-Files-y, paranormal team. Although in our case, we’re not professionals. We’re not in the FBI on this show by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a meta kind of thing that happens to them where they’re now forced to work together because their life depends on it, and they couldn’t be more annoyed by that. It really captures that love-hate that Brendan and I do so well. … That’s why the promo is the way it is because it’s kind of inviting the audience to come with us on this new frontier that will feel slightly familiar. It will feel nostalgic as Brendan said, but be its own thing.
BF: I laugh every time I watch it. … There’s a difference between trying to rehash something and trying to capture some nostalgia.
MD: I feel like this is so much more of a fresh take on what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill reboot. [I wanted it to] be completely original and great for people who have never seen Roswell and couldn’t give two you-know-whats about Michael and Maria. That was the intention: to get my father-in-law who has no clue about any of that to watch it and dig it.
Is your vision for more of a mini-series, or do you want a show that could run on forever like a Bones?
MD: I mean I do! I don’t know if Brendan is going to want to jump ship and I’m going to have to replace him with Colin Hanks? [Laughs] But, no, my vision for it is a proper series. Not 22 episodes a year — I want to be able to take our time and make something that’s binge-worthy. [That is why] I love the idea of a Netflix or a Hulu or an Amazon.
BF: Obviously we would consider a network, but I think for this thing to breathe and unfold the way we envision it, it does require Netflix or one of those cable channels that allows things to really unfold… like Game of Thrones. Well, I’m not going to compare ourselves to that because we haven’t shot anything.
MD: We are just like Game of Thrones. [Laughs]
What makes Netflix, specifically, a good fit?
BF: They’ll get what this needs to be. [Look at] their Gilmore Girls revival — and again, this isn’t a Roswell revival — and their Full House reboot — and again, this isn’t a Roswell reboot.
MD: Those examples show that they honor the things that they have in their catalog; and among us, at least, they have the best reputation for letting you do your own thing. That’s really want we want to do: Do our own thing.
Since it’s your personal project, just how meta, tongue-in-cheek will you get with your references?
MD: It’s going to be chock-full of Easter eggs. We’re going to get away with so many Easter eggs that it’s questionably illegal.
BF: Obviously big things: Baron and Toluca. Even in the promo, we have a bunch, from the Jetta to 285 South.
MD: I don’t want to make promises, but we definitely have some casting ideas. Ideally, every episode will have someone doing something that’s very appropriate to who they were on Roswell. For the fans, and for Brendan and I personally, there’s going to be a lot of those nuggets.
BF: It’s fun for us because we’re like — what can we fit in here that’s really obscure that people will love?
MD: Yeah, it’s our favorite thing. That’s what inspired the whole thing to begin with. It’s like a love letter to our fans, and I want to get that letter right.
So what’s next?
BF: I’m not going to take no for an answer. This thing is going to happen.
MD: Both you and I never say things like that. I think that’s what’s interesting — we’re like, this will definitely happen.
What can fans do to help?
BF: They’re tweeting. We have a “Netflix for B+T” hashtag that they created; they’re sending in tea and honey. That’s what we need: We need that ground support to show that there are people out there who would watch.