Thanks to richardken1 for sending this in…

Deanna Cheney / FYI

For most movie aficionados fantasy is much more enjoyable when it is believable. That’s why the production specialists with “Roswell” the television series are actively working to infuse the fledgling show with a higher grade of realism.

The creative handiwork of Jason Katims (My So Called Life) and David Nutter (X-Files), “Roswell” is a teen drama now entering its second season on FOX. Filmed largely at Paramount Studios, it falls to set specialists Susan Benjamin and Claudia Alves to create a sense of authenticity not just for the talented ensemble of actors but for viewers who tune in each week.

Following a visit to Roswell this past June, Benjamin and Alves contacted Roswellites to collect items and artifacts that can be utilized as props in the 2000/2001 series shows of “Roswell”. FYI Magazine’s 2000 regional recreation guide, which features a souvenir guide to this year’s UFO festival, is but one artifact collected.

“We’d like to have your paper available around the series’ fictional town of Roswell and at the cafe where the shows characters hang out,” said Alves who noted that sometimes art simply imitates life. “Susan picked up several copies of your summer visitor guide when she toured Roswell with cast members recently and brought several back to the set. We think it will make a perfect addition to what we’re trying to do here.”

Using FYI and the Roswell Civic Center as reference sources, items obtained in the recent collection process range from paintings to posters to historical photos to alien icons.

Eileen Banks said she received a call from Benjamin who was interested in purchasing art from local artisans for the show. “She asked me to send her photos or prints which represented some of the work in The Gallery and she made her selections from there.”

According to Banks, works of Pati Lu Hayes, Billy Horne Hunter, Doris Taylor, and Richard Cibak were purchased by the television series and included watercolors, pastels, wood carvings, oil paintings, and charcoal drawings. In all, nine pieces were purchased at a ticket price of $1,625.

Laurie Jerge of the Roswell Parks and Recreation Department also is rounding up representative items for “Roswell”.

“We’re pulling together posters which represent some of the community’s best events like Party on the Pecos, Chile Cheese and others so they can put them up in the store windows and walls on the show. The packet will be sent up as soon as we get this year’s Robert Goddard Days festival poster ready,” Jerge said, enthusiastic about her part in contributing to the enhanced realism of the show while furthering Roswell’s popular identity.

Sharon Jaskiewicz, a director of the Historical Society also supplied “Roswell” with some 20 photographs depicting life in the Pecos Valley from the turn of the century to about 1950. Images of Roswell Main Street, c. 1914, Chisum’s Longhouse, Roswell Junior High, the Roswell Fire Department, c. 1890, an Artesian Well, the Elk’s Lodge and more were sent up along with photos of Roswell leaders James Hinkle and Bill Owen, the current Mayor of Roswell.

With 13 new show currently under production and the back nine still in the hands of writers, producers tell FYI Magazine this season is a critical year for gaining ratings and industry approval. With some discussion being held as to whether or not to renew the series, a slew of calls and letters received from an anxious public gave “Roswell” a second chance, Entertainment Tonight recently reported.

A fictionalized account of the Roswell Incident, the purported crash of an unidentified flying object and its occupants near here in 1947, “Roswell” provides viewers with elements of drama, romance, adventure, and espionage. The lead characters, Max, Isabel, and Michael, are descendants of the extraterrestrials who survived the crash, recently emerged from space alien incubation. While trying to blend in and live quietly among their classmates at W. Roswell High, the game is afoot between the threesome, the government, and the town sheriff when Max calls attention to himself by miraculously curing a girl who was hit by a stray bullet. Max has been in love with Liz since childhood, supplying the storyline with an interstellar Romeo and Juliet sequence. Future episodes of “Roswell” will continue to evolve around the star-crossed odyssey of the youth and their attempts at survival in a world not there own.

“Roswell” can be seen Monday nights this fall. FYI

Ed. note: FYI’s summer recreation guide to SENM was co-published with the Alamogordo Daily News.

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