Resident Alien: TV series draws on Native culture

An alien crashes on Earth and hides in a remote Colorado mountain town; after assuming the identity of the town doctor, his nefarious mission is threatened when he realizes one of the townspeople, a 9-year-old boy, can see his true alien form.
courtesy Universal/NBC Studios

It brings me great pleasure to announce a new television series: Resident Alien. Resident Alien is based on a comic book from the ’60s. The jest of the story is this – an alien comes to Earth to destroy the planet, and crashes just north of the Ute reservation in Colorado. The alien takes a human form which happens to be a doctor who treats the Ute people in the clinic. 

In this movie, my dear friend Valerie Taliman’s daughter, Tazbah Rose Chavez, a citizen of the Navajo Nation is one of the native writers hired to ensure authentic representation of the Native characters and storylines. Taliman is the retired editor of Indian Country Today newspaper. I also assisted as the Ute cultural consultant since this alien crashes north of the Ute reservation. Also appearing is native actor Gary Farmer who has appeared in many native films. 

At the beginning of shooting, Tazbah Chavez would ask her mother Valerie Taliman questions about Ute and other tribal cultural beliefs in regard to traditions and customs. I would forward answers via phone to Tazbah and the producers. It was soon realized by Universal/NBC studio to extend the search for a qualified person to assist with the TV series by also contacting two other native cultural consultants for an interview in Indian Country. I was awarded the contract due to my knowledge of other tribal beliefs and as a Ute practitioner. 

Resident Alien was picked up for a second season last year. The more people watching this show will ensure a third season. You can watch Resident Alien on DirecTV channel #244 at 8 p.m. (MST.) If you missed last week’s show, you can download the “Syfy App” and watch what you missed.

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