Compiled by Joan Pickering
*This [annotated version of the] guide is unofficial, unauthorized and is in no way connected to The WB (or its affiliates), UPN (or its affiliates), Jason Katims Productions (or its affiliates) nor Melinda Metz and Pocket Books. It is my own personal interpretation of the show and it's characters. You may print this guide for personal use only.
The time is 1999. Three 16 year old sophomores, attending West Roswell High School, in Roswell, New Mexico, are more than what they seem. These three, Max Evans, Isabel Evans and Michael Guerin, are actually aliens from another planet. They do not know where they are from or who they really are. They emerged from incubator-like pods, in the form of six-year-old humans, in 1989. They have no idea when they arrived. They may have been part of the 1947 reported crash or part of an unreported crash in 1989. Max and Isabel found each other first. Wandering around naked in the desert outside Roswell, they eventually found Michael. Max and Isabel took to each other right away but Michael was less trusting and when a car approached he stepped away. Therefore, Diane and Phillip Evans only discovered Max and Isabel, whom they later adopted. Michael did not see Max and Isabel again for three years. They have learned over these last ten years that they have special abilities or powers that humans do not. They can manipulate molecular structure (change an item's color or shape, heal bones and tissue (which leaves a temporary silver hand print on the body) dissolve metal, unlock doors without keys, etc.), dreamwalk (visit people in their dreams), receive visions by holding objects connected to the vision, send telepathic visions to others of their own thoughts and use telekinesis (move objects with their minds); they do not all have the same proficiency with these powers. They do not know if their human appearance is natural or if their genetic material was manipulated. They do know that they have the same emotions as humans and are going through the same confusing changes as human teenagers.
When Max witnesses the accidental shooting of Liz Parker at the Crashdown Café (a girl he has secretly loved since childhood), he instinctively goes to her aid, using his healing powers to remove all traces of the bullet and wound. Max's act of selflessness changes his, Isabel's and Michael's world forever and completely, as they now have to elude investigations by Sheriff Valenti and the FBI. When Liz asks Max why he risked so much to save her, his response "It was you." sets the tone for the whole series.
This is a love story but it also is a story about the journey of discovery. Max, Isabel and Michael are on a quest to discover their past and we, the audience, are invited along to watch as they learn who they are, where they are from, and how to deal with their alienation as teenagers and as aliens.
Max Evans: Max is a natural leader, to whom the others turn for advice and guidance. He is very methodical and likes to think things through. He is a bright, conscientious and dedicated student. He has few, if any, friends besides Isabel and Michael, loves his parents, and is fairly content with his life in Roswell. He seems to be the most proficient with the aliens' special powers (he is the best at healing). He knows Liz is his soul mate but the uncertainties in his life (how long he will live, where he will live (will he have the opportunity to return to his home planet), can he consummate a relationship with a human, etc.) cause him to hesitate in involving her in his life, thinking it would be unfair to her.
Isabel Evans: Isabel has two sides to her personality which are polar opposites. To the outside world she is an elitist snob who hangs out only with the "in" crowd, wouldn't be caught dead doing a "service oriented" job and is only interested in the latest fashions. In private, she deeply loves her family (her parents, Max and Michael) and is a caring, loving individual who will stick by you through thick and thin. She is very bright and does well in school but would not be considered an overachiever. She would like to be a supermodel but her career placement profile says she should choose a care-giver field. She mainly uses her powers for recreational purposes and enjoys dreamwalking. When she walks into Alex's dream she learns how he feels about her and is pleasantly surprised. Isabel loved her life in Roswell and is very upset that her little world has been disrupted. She partially blames Liz for this disruption and, although she considers her an ally she has not yet bonded with her as a friend.
Michael Guerin: Michael is a loner; a rebel with a cause. He never had a trusting nature and being raised by an alcoholic, uncaring foster father (Hank) did not alleviate this problem. He is very impulsive and often acts without thinking things through. Michael hates his life in Roswell and is looking for any excuse to leave and find something better. Out of the three, he is the one who most wants to find a way home, wherever his "real" home may be. He wants Max and Isabel to join him but he will do it alone if he has to. Michael had no other friends besides Max and Isabel. When he meets Maria, he starts having feelings for a human that he never had before, which he finds confusing and unsettling. Michael desperately needs Maria's approval but at the same time fears her ability to penetrate his stonewall facade. Although he is very bright, he is a very poor student. Of the three, Michael has the least control over his powers; they are very erratic and sometimes backfire. He has the most success with receiving visions when holding objects with a story to tell. Michael was emancipated and is now totally responsible for his own livelihood and his actions.
Liz Parker: Liz is similar to Max in that she is very methodical and likes to be in control of every situation. She keeps a journal in which she chronicles her daily life. She is an excellent student and hopes to be head of molecular biology research at Harvard someday. She lives above and works before and after school in the Crashdown Café, which is owned and operated by her parents and is the local hang-out. When Max saves her life and she learns his secret, her world starts to spiral out of control. Everything has changed but it also feels as if her life is just beginning and she wants Max to play a major part in her new life. She too knows that Max is her soul mate and is willing to wait for him to resolve his uncertainties.
Maria DeLuca: Liz Parker's best friend and co-worker at the Crashdown Café and the second human to learn the aliens' secret. Maria is funny, flaky and quirky and provides much of the comic relief for the show, but she also is clever and knows how to think on her feet. Her solution for most problems involves herbs or some "new age" mysticism. Maria is a very passionate individual who is not afraid to speak her mind. Her relationship with Michael is a textbook case of opposites attracting. When they are together, sparks fly; both the bickering kind and the romantic. When Michael's fears cause him to push her back she responds with an "I'm Teflon babe" attitude, as if the hurt just slides right off, which in reality it doesn't. So, when Michael does something sweet and endearing, she once more gets "sucked into the alien abyss".
Alex Whitman: Best friend to both Liz and Maria and the last human to learn"the secret". Alex is sweet, caring and funny (he also provides comic relief for the show) but might be considered a borderline nerd. His sense of humor and musical ability (plays bass guitar in his own alternative rock band) keep him from crossing that line. He worships Isabel, but he would not have been considered mature, nor sophisticated, enough to be accepted within her social circle. He is reveling in the fact that he is now a part of her family circle and hopes someday she will consider him as more than just a friend. Alex s career placement profile, and his interrogatory nature, indicate he should be a psychologist.
Jim Valenti: Town sheriff. Jim is a dedicated, second generation, law-enforcement officer. His suspicions that Max is an alien jeopardize his reputation and his obsession with finding the truth consumes so much of his time that he has very little left for his son, Kyle. Jim is learning that he is following in the footsteps of his father in more ways than by just becoming the sheriff and it worries him. He also must come to terms with the fact that if he does find proof that Max is an alien, what then? Max is just a boy and has done no one any harm, why should he be persecuted? When Jim is not pursuing "the truth" he is romantically pursing Amy DeLuca, whom he once arrested, many years ago, for civil disobedience during her hippie protester days because she was "cute".
Kyle Valenti: Ex-boyfriend of Liz and son of the town sheriff. Kyle is an all-American high school jock who would like to play left field for the Houston Astros but whose career placement profile says he should go into law enforcement. His life changes when he first loses Liz, then his father, to Max. Kyle was hurt and confused by Liz's sudden abandonment. He sometimes displays old-fashioned values and saw himself as Liz's protector. Because of his father's interest in Max, Kyle also thought that Max was a danger to Liz and that he needed to come to her rescue. He is now trying to adjust to his new role of friend. Both Kyle's over-protectiveness and attempts at friendship have provided comic relief for the show.
Amy DeLuca: Many of Maria's new age philosophies come from her mother, Amy, a former hippie. Amy is a single mother who does many odd jobs to support herself and Maria. So far we have learned that she makes and sells alien cocktail stirrers, alien blow up dolls and pies, organizes alien take-down wrestling matches for the UFO conventions and sells herbs in her shop. Her romantic involvement with Sheriff Valenti is unsettling to her daughter Maria. Does he really care for Amy or is he just using her to find out what she knows about Max, Isabel and Michael? Amy has had many failed relationships in the past (including Maria's father) and Maria does not want to see her get hurt again.
Diane & Phillip Evans: They found Max and Isabel, wandering around the desert (after they emerged from the pods) and later adopted them. Diane has seen Max do things that appear paranormal but when she asked him to explain his special abilities he became so upset she dropped the questioning. Phillip, a lawyer, assisted Michael in his emancipation.
Nancy & Jeffrey Parker: Parents of Liz and owners of the Crashdown Café . Like many parents of teenagers, they are feeling as though they are losing touch with their daughter as she spreads her wings and steps into womanhood and independence.
Jim Valenti Sr: Former sheriff of Roswell. His obsession with finding out the truth about the alleged UFO crash in 1947 eventually cost him his job and his family. He is currently living in a sanitarium and his mind has a tendency to wander. Jim Jr had not visited his father in years but recent events have brought up memories of his past and he now has a fuller understanding of what his father went through and is more easily able to bond with him. With Jim Valenti Sr's help, Jim Valenti Jr is uncovering the truth of what happened in the past and learning that it is connected with the present.
River Dog: Elder Native American from the Mesaliko Reservation outside of town who, when he was just a boy, saved the life of another alien living in the area back in 1959. He called the alien Nasedo, which means visitor. He has not seen Nasedo since 1959 and, because he saw a man named Atherton die at the hands of Nasedo, he is uncertain whether his intentions are good or evil but he decides to help Max, Isabel and Michael find him anyway. He shows Max a message on a cave wall, left behind by Nasedo and, when Michael comes down with the same illness that almost killed Nasedo, River Dog heals him using the crystal rocks Nasedo also left behind.
Milton: Owner of the UFO Center museum and Max's boss. Milton is a UFO/paranormal fanatic and has an archive of information on all things extraterrestrial (most of which he can recite off the top of his head). He dreams of someday meeting an alien face-to-face and has no idea he works beside one everyday. Milton provides a great deal of the comic relief on the show.
Kathleen Topolsky: Undercover FBI agent who posed as a Roswell High School guidance counselor to gather information about Max, Isabel and Michael. Her cover was blown by Sheriff Valenti and Alex Whitman.
Owen Blackwood: Town Deputy and Native American from the Mesaliko Reservation outside of town.
Hank: Michael's alcoholic foster father who only kept Michael around for the monthly check. He told the sheriff he was leaving town without Michael but was actually killed by a shapeshifter.
Shapeshifter: Alien who has the ability to change his/her shape at will, and as needed. Also has the ability to kill and is responsible for the death of Hank. This alien may have left cryptic clues for Max, Michael and Isabel, but has not made direct contact with them. Because of his/her shapeshifting abilities, he/she was able to hide the death of Hank from the authorities. It is unknown if this shapeshifter is Nasedo and/or is also responsible for the deaths of at least two other people: James Atherton and Sheila Hubble and whether his/her intentions are good or evil. Does he/she hold the key to Max's, Isabel's and Michael's past? Only time will tell.