Close Encounters - Potential Solace

Joan Pickering

We know many of you are scratching your heads wondering why we would bring Tess into the storyline when she was the cause of so many of the problems that ensued after the network interference. The major reason is, based on information from interviews, we're pretty sure Tess was planned before the interference, therefore we feel that had the network not interfered she still would have been introduced. What they had planned for her originally we don't know (other than being another alien), but we intend to show that she could have been a positive addition, not a negative one. We are hoping these individual commentaries will assure you that, although there may be some similarities, our Tess will not be the same as the show's Tess. :-)

The following were comments I made previously in a Roswellian discussion group about the show's Tess, based on the show's storyline. Although our storyline will differ, it will give you an idea of how I would have preferred that the show had written Tess and therefore give you an idea (without spoilers) of the kind of Tess I would prefer.

My impression when they introduced Tess was that she came off as a manipulative b***h. Someone Max would never be attracted to. I think it would have been a lot more interesting if she had been portrayed as a nice, innocent, intelligent young lady (someone with similar qualities to Liz) who had spent her whole life preparing for the time she would meet her future mate, a specific person whom she had been led to believe would be expecting and waiting for her. When she discovers that her future mate was not only NOT expecting her but had found someone else, someone he had no intention of giving up, the audience would have felt her pain, would have sympathized with her; at the same time the audience would not want to lose the relationship Max and Liz had formed, so they could sympathize with Max who is now torn between doing what might be construed as his duty or following his heart, but at the same time he wouldn't want to hurt Tess, who (in my scenario of the show's storyline) did not deserve to be abandoned (emotionally). I just think it makes for a more interesting dynamic when the choices are not black and white. They tried to make her seem more sympathetic in season 2 but by then it was too late; we didn't trust her, her motives were suspect. [End of discussion comments.]

I believe that Max and Liz are soul mates and although they may face obstacles which separate them physically, and which they have to overcome to get back together, nothing can separate them emotionally, nor destroy their trust in one another. :-)

Erica Cavin

How did I hate the show's Tess? Let me count the ways. :-)

It was not an easy decision to include a character named Tess. We spent quite a long time discussing this one; we have the virtual equivalent of huge stacks of e-mail devoted to the topic. Yet despite our antipathy to the aired show's Tess, you are seeing a character called Tess in RWMHB episodes. We are doing this because we are trying to be true to what we believed was planned, and Tess was planned.

Does that mean that RWMHB's Tess must be the same person as the aired show's Tess? Of course not. As we write in our "About the Characters" section, "Any character that hasn't appeared by the end of "Sexual Healing" may not turn out to be what you expect." Without introducing any spoilers, it should already be clear that there are differences between RWMHB's Tess and the aired show's Tess. So why include her at all and why her, of all characters and plot twists, and not others?

Again, we believe that she was planned. Other things about the show seem to us to have been a response to outside pressure. The elements we see as unplanned we are not going to include. There are also plots that don't seem to follow from the first sixteen episodes; those things will not be included. Our inclusion of someone called Tess means that we see the character as one that we can write so that she follows the logic and premises that were set forth in the first sixteen episodes and in the six RWMHB episodes that we have written so far. To be very clear, one of these premises is that Max and Liz share a strong, enduring and beautiful love. To overlook that fact would be untrue to the foundation of the show.

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