Sometimes it’s not a reboot of an original show that the fans want. Baron and Toluca is proving just how determined a fandom can be to get what they want.
Recently, Brandon Scott at Sci-Fi Bloggers wrote an article covering adaptations — and why so many aren’t fan favorites. The article was mostly centred on book-to-movie adaptations, but the main issue that Brandon absolutely nailed and remains relevant across the board was, “to make audiences happy, to make the book lovers satisfied, arguably the most important aspect is to represent the books as they are.”
The same can be said for re-imaginings and reboots of older TV Shows. Often times, reboots have a hard time picking up original fans as a dedicated audience; mainly due to the expectations the fans have, usually followed by their disappointment that occurs thereafter. It’s a fine line between completely mirroring the former original show, and creating an entirely new one that merely shares the same title. And as Scott said, to keep the fans satisfied, most of the time you need to represent the books (or the original show) as they are. Generating the magic, the chemistry and the essence of a show is what captures the hearts of fans — and to do that, a reboot isn’t always the answer.
Roswell, a classic teen sci-fi drama TV series centred on aliens living in plain sight, was adapted from Melinda Metz’s ‘Roswell High’ series and aired between 1999–2002. It had a huge fandom and cult following, which single-handedly saved the series from cancellation not once, but twice. By sending thousands upon thousands of Tabasco sauce (a favorite dietary requirement of the aliens on the show) bottles to the WB network, Roswell fans were able to convince the WB to produce a second season — and then a third season with new network UPN.
The Roswell fanbase, though 21 years older and wiser now, still remain loyal to the original Roswell show and cast. So you can imagine their absolute glee when Majandra Delfino and Brendan Fehr, co-stars from the original show, announced they were in discussions for a ‘spiritual successor’ to their fans’ beloved Roswell. The only catch — they needed their fans to help make it a reality.
Fehr and Delfino played teens Michael Guerin and Maria DeLuca in Roswell — an alien hybrid boy and human girl, whose natural chemistry nearly set the screen alight and had us grasping for the nearest fire extinguisher. They often bickered and humorously fought, but their affection for each other was undeniable and earned them the relationship nickname ‘Candy’ (m&m — geddit?).
The premise for their new sci-fi drama series Baron and Toluca (B+T) is pure genius. Jake Baron and Toluca Mendez, ex co-stars from a teen sci-fi drama series (sounding familiar…) and exes in real life (and in real real life), find themselves reunited in a familiar part of New Mexico — much to the delight of one and chagrin of the other. Their love-hate relationship has seen them move down different paths in life, but when they experience a blackout and and a real-life alien abduction, they must set aside their bickering and team up to unravel the eerie abductions that threaten to take them for good.
“After Roswell got cancelled, we felt that nothing on TV captured the distinct magic of the show. That sparked an idea. An obsession really. We went to work with the idea of paying homage to that particular sci-fi genre and the distinct chemistry of Michael and Maria.
From there B+T was born. Not a reboot. Not a prequel. But a spiritual successor to a show we all loved so much. A new, original sci-fi drama that will warm the hearts of our fans of yesteryear and capture the hearts of brand new ones,” explains Fehr.
It should be clarified again that Baron and Toluca is not a reboot or reimagining. It is a new series being dubbed a “spiritual successor” to Roswell. Or as it is often referred to; a love letter to the fans. The chemistry that sizzled between Fehr and Delfino in Roswell is still evident 21 years on in B+T, and the easter eggs (subtle nods to the original series) placed throughout the two teaser-trailers have their fans hooked.
The trailers are published, the script is written, and now Fehr and Delfino are currently crowd-funding to produce a full-length pilot episode via an Indiegogo campaign. Baron and Toluca has already smashed over 75% of its set goal in under a week. The fans aren’t sleeping, we’re not sure if they’re eating — all we know is that they are tirelessly campaigning to make B+T a reality.
Baron and Toluca is set to be a fan favorite, and the words ‘reboot’ and ‘adaptation’ are nowhere in sight. Sometimes to re-hook an audience and keep the fans happy, it’s not a reboot that is needed. It’s the representation of the original actors and a nod to their undeniable chemistry, combined with a really freakin’ cool idea.
Crowd-funding is now well and truly the new Tabasco. Go take a look for yourself — you can find Baron and Toluca’s Indiegogo page here.
~ By Hailey Rodger