More than fifty applicants for the roles of "Hannibal Hayes"[sic] and "Kid Curry"
Tele-Pueblo, June 1972

In spite of being broadcast at an unpopular time - three-thirty on Sunday afternoons - the amusing series "The Two Musketeers" - the terrible translation into Spanish for the perfectly acceptable original title of
"Alias Smith and Jones", is attracting a large audience, which furthermore is growing daily. Ever since it started in on the small screen, the series has not declined as might have been predicted. In fact, quite the opposite, it is doing really well, staying true to the principles that were established in the first episode, that is to say finesse, brilliance and fine comedy.

When preparations began two years ago for "Alias Smith and Jones" - I won't call it "The Two Musketeers" -, the executives of Universal Television, undeniably the most important American television film production company, responsible for "The Name of the Game", "Marcus Welby", and "Ironside", among others, were starting work on a new triumph - leaving nothing to chance. They studied each and every one of the factors which would make a series successfully attract a large audience from the first episode. From the very beginning, the first 26 scripts were conscienciously revised, over and over again, until the finesse that is one of the main attractions of this series was achieved. Secondly, and very importantly, it was decided that the series would have a much larger budget than usual, much larger for example, than series such as "Bonanza" or the vanished "High Chaparral". And finally, more than 50 hopefuls were tested for the roles of Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, the two likeable and attractive outlaws who try to go straight and get a pardon for their crimes, and who are known to the public as Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones, the names behind which they hide their true identities. Exhaustive tests were done on the young actors contracted to Universal. In the end the role of Jones went to Ben Murphy, the attractive actor whose features are very similar to those of Paul Newman in the 50's, and who had already impressed female television viewers with his brief appearances in the series "The Name of the Game". Finding the right actor to portray Smith was more complicated. As is evident, he is the central character, around whom the plot revolves, and whose personal character is also the most difficult. It could not be portrayed by just any actor, and this made the selection process all the more difficult. So it was that many gifted actors lacked the finer physical qualities of the character of Smith, something upon which the expert Universal executives insisted, knowing that the majority of the series' fans would be aged no more than twenty, and that the faces of the actors would be a very important factor to these viewers, keeping in mind that a high percentage of this public is female, or at least, so they expected. The final two candidates for the role of Smith were two actors of solid training and experience: Pete Duel and Roger Davis. In the end, Pete Duel was chosen, while Roger Davis was contracted as the narrator, and in the original version it is this actor who does the narration, talking about the main characters over the opening credits. As we will explain later, Roger moved to the other side of the camera to play, in the end, the role of Smith in front of the cameras.

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