Character Differences

Though the majority of the television characters begin from similar starting points as those in the book series, many of the characters, such as the Valentis, are developed very differently. In addition, the descriptions provided for the book characters' appearances conflict greatly with the actors chosen to represent them. For example, in the books Max is blonde with killer baby blues, whereas in the television show he is a mysterious dark-haired mystery man from an exotic location. The images of the television actors are listed below; if book art is available, it will be shown to the right.


Emilie de Ravin
as Tess Harding
Adam is not in the television show.

Adam is not in the television show, but like Tess Harding, Adam was also in an incubation pod from the crash, but did not join up with Max, Michael, and Isabel until much later in the series.Very little is the same about Tess and Adam. Adam is a sweet, innocent child-like character, who grew up a prisoner of Project Clean Slate. Tess, on the other hand, is a lonely alien who grew up on the run from the FBI and ends up betraying Max.

Lucinda Baker

Though a main character in the book series, Lucinda is not introduced in the television show.

Nikolas Branson

Spence Decker
as Kivar
Nikolas is not in the television show.

Nikolas Branson is not a character in the television show, but remnants of his character are portrayed through the television character Kivar. Still very different characters--what with Nikolas being a troubled teenager and Kivar being a ruthless king--both Nikolas and Kivar are forbidden romances for Isabel Evans.

Maria DeLuca

Majandra Delfino
as Maria DeLuca
In the books, Maria is short with very curly blonde hair. In the show, Maria constantly changes her hair length.

In the first episode of Roswell, Maria's character is very close to her character in the book series. She is very much into aroma therapy and has a fun and crazy side to her. As the television show develops, however, Maria's character becomes more serious and a little more independent. In the show, Maria lives with her mother and does not have a brother or a cat; her mom, Amy DeLuca, makes a living by providing tourist traps with alien-themed goodies. In the show, Amy also dates Sheriff Jim Valenti, much to Maria's dismay. With a love for music, and a constant change in her hair style, Maria struggles to find her identity on the show. In contrast, book Maria is a softer character who maintains a constant personality and provides humor at the same time. She, like her counterpart, falls in love with Michael, and while tv Maria's relationship is rocky, book Maria's relationship with Michael is sweet, even if slow to get started.

Elsevan DuPris

David Conrad
as Agent Daniel Pierce
Elsevan DuPris is not in the television show.

Elsevan DuPris is not introduced to the television show. As one of the main villains in the book series, evil alien DuPris holds similar traits to human FBI Agent Pierce, who captures and tortures Max.

Isabel Evans

Katherine Heigl
as Isabel Evans
Just like in the books, Isabel has long blonde hair. In season three, however, Isabel cuts her hair short and dyes it brown.

Isabel's character in the television series is much more complex than her character in the book series. In the books, Isabel is a popular girl who loves getting what she wants. A true "ice princess," Isabel pretends not to care what others think of her and hates to show her vulnerability. With a need to clean or organize whenever she is nervous, book Isabel has many layers and a good heart--once she is willing to let someone in. The character Isabel in the tv series builds on these traits and takes them to another level. While Isabel does not organize obsessively in the television show, she does have a need for everything to be perfect (and, as a result, she has gained the nickname the "Christmas Nazi"). In the television series, Isabel is not the popularity queen that she is in the books. Tv Isabel is also more cautious with her powers than book Isabel and isn't as prone to letting out her "wild side". Still a little cold, tv Isabel shuts people out from her true feelings. Nevertheless, Isabel's growth throughout the show's three seasons is remarkable. By season three, Isabel is a highly independent married woman who stands up for what she believes in, while still maintaining relationships with her friends and family. She grows up from the self-centered girl she had been in the books to a balanced and sincere woman in the tv show.

Max Evans

Jason Behr
as Max Evans
In the books, Max has blonde hair and deep blue eyes.

In the books, he is called "Mr. Responsibility". In the tv show, he is "Fearless Leader." Max Evans, in both the books and the show, pulls the group of teens together and helps direct plans. In the books, however, Max is less of a leader since his leadership skills derive from his desperate need to keep his family from falling apart. He is the only balance between his rash and impulsive sister and his distrustful alien friend. In the show, Max is the reincarnation of his previous self, Zan--the king of his home planet, Antar. Despite these differences, the character of Max Evans is very similar in both the books and the show. Max is withdrawn and afraid of revealing his true self. He tries hard to do what's right, but is quiet and shy, only being the powerful leader he needs to be when he has to.

Michael Guerin

Brendan Fehr
as Michael Guerin
In the books, Michael has jet black spiked-up hair. In the tv show, Michael's hair gets longer and longer.

Michael's character in the show is very different from his character in the book series. In the books, Michael is a troubled foster child who is afraid to open up. He wants to find a way home and his whole world revolves around Isabel and Max--the only family he has. In the show, Michael has a similar starting point for his character but is developed in a completely different direction. In the show, Michael is rash and impulsive. He doesn't know how to use his powers and often gets himself into trouble. In the books, Michael keeps his powers mostly to himself and allows himself a moment to think before acting out. Book Michael struggles to find his home, but has a great sense of humor and a sweet side that shows itself more often than not. On the contrary, tv Michael hardly ever lets his guard down and constantly acts out. He is also more self-centered and aggressive. Michael from the books will fight when he is needed, but he doesn't instigate fights when they can be avoided--instead, book Michael is better at avoiding stressful situations rather than confronting them.

Ray Iburg

Desmond Askew
as Brody Davis
Ray Iburg is not in the television show.

As the alien owner of the UFO museum, Ray Iburg is similar to the human Brody Davis, who purchases the UFO Museum from a man named Milton. Yet, if anyone shows the same traits as Ray Iburg, it would be Larek or Nasedo. Ray is the adult survivor of the Roswell crash and offers valuable information and safety to the teens. In the show, Nasedo is the adult alien survivor, but he turns out to be working with the teens' enemies. Larek, an alien who had never come to Earth but who uses Brody's body to communiate, offers the teens advice, as well.

Alex Manes

Colin Hanks
as Alex Whitman
In the books, Alex has red hair and a lean body. By the end of the book series, he takes on a muscular build.

Alex, in both the show and the television series, offers humor and a good sense of reality. With the last name Whitman in the tv series, Alex's home life is very different. He doesn't have a military father or tons of brothers. Still, Alex is good with computers in both the books and the show. In the books, he has a website. In the show, his skills are taken to the next level and Alex is able to hack into FBI files and decode alien languages. While Alex Manes learns about the aliens in book one, Alex Whitman doesn't find out until the middle of the first season. In both the books and the show, Alex is love sick for Isabel. A little more geeky in the books, Alex has his fair share of "dork-a-lert" moments in the show as well. Still, when Alex's friends need him, he is always there to pull through.

Liz Ortecho

Shiri Appleby
as Liz Parker
In the books, Liz is Spanish and has long black hair that smells of jasmine.

In the show, Liz's last name is Parker and she lives at the Crashdown Cafe instead of down the block from it. She is not Spanish and she never had a sister who overdosed on drugs. As a result, Liz's personality is different. In the books, Liz has a deep need to be perfect for her parents. In the show, Liz is still a straight-A student who likes to have control--but her motives are not quite the same. Nevertheless, the character of Liz is very similar in the books and the show. She is a little more silly and willing to let her hair down than she is in the show, where she seems more concerned, worried, and practical.


Though a main character in the book series, Trevor is not introduced in the television show.

Kyle Valenti

Nick Wechsler
as Kyle Valenti
No clear description is given of Kyle in the books.

In the books, he is a jerk. In the show, Kyle is a friendly jock. The two characters are complete opposites. In the show, Liz breaks up with Kyle after falling for Max, whereas in the books, Liz breaks up with Kyle because he's a terrible boyfriend. In the show, Kyle is hurt and confused by the breakup and struggles to understand why both Liz and his father, Sherifff Valenti, are lying to him. Eventually, tv Kyle learns the secret about the aliens, and then, after finding Buddha, Kyle helps keep their secret and befriends the teens. Kyle offers humor and an interesting side story about father-son relationships in the show; in the books, his character is more stock than developed.

Sheriff Valenti

William Sadler
as Sheriff Jim Valenti
In the books, Sheriff Valenti always wears dark sunglasses that make his eyes impossible to see.

In the books, Sheriff Valenti reveals to Liz that he is the head of a secret government organization called Project Clean Slate. He is, in fact, one of the villains of the series--a ruthless and cold person. In the show, Sheriff Jim Valenti does hunt the teens, but after finding out their secret, he doesn't turn them in to the FBI; instead, he helps them to escape. The Valenti in the books may have the same name as the Valenti in the show, but their characters are completely different. Book Valenti, who captures Michael Guerin and experiments on him, is most like Agent Pierce in the show, the man who captures and experiments on Max. Sheriff Jim Valenti is much more developed in the television show and his side story is interesting and complex, whereas his character in the books, like his son's, is more flat.

Cameron Winger

Sara Downing
as Courtney Banks
Cameron Winger is not in the television show.

Though a main character in the book series, Cameron is not introduced in the television show. Still, like Courtney Banks, Cameron is a love interest for Michael that has a darker side to her. As a spy hired by Sheriff Valenti to get information from Michael, Cameron eventually falls in love with Michael and helps him to escape from Valenti. Similarly, Courtney is a member of the Skins, an alien race at war with Michael's people, but she ends up falling in love with Michael and giving her life to save him.