Some shows take awhile to find their groove and some take more than one watch to garner interest. But there’s absolutely nothing not to like about Touch, the new drama from Heroes mastermind Tim Kring. Globally stimulating, the series quite literally travels the world focusing on the circumstances of different individuals and stringing together moments that eventually come full circle – an interesting and fascinating concept that’s buoyed by beautiful cinematic shots, emotional moments, and excellent writing.
Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) is a widowed father struggling to connect with his son Jake (David Mazouz), a distant and withdrawn eleven year old who has the ability to predict events before they happen. Jake’s communication with the world comes via complicated patterns and numbers and Martin, along with social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) attempts to forge a relationship with his son by understanding his behavior – all while working to hold his family together in the wake of his wife’s death.
A show of this caliber relies on a strong cast to sell its story and fortunately, that’s not a problem. Far removed from the intense and highly stressed Jack Bauer, leading man Kiefer Sutherland exhibits a different kind of intensity as he searches desperately for a loophole that will allow him to find common ground with his son. Respectively, David Mazouz is brilliantly enchanting as Jake. In a role that could very well be relegated to background work, he brings a quiet yet strong presence to the table, making his character a focal point of the show despite the fact that he doesn’t speak throughout the entire hour (aside from a voice over.)
As social worker Clea Hopkins, Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a strong performance, showing believable chemistry against Sutherland’s character by juxtaposing his extremeness with a calm but firm presence. The pilot also features stand-out performances from Danny Glover, Titus Welliver and Karen David. While explaining too much about the nature of their roles would give away potentially spoiler heavy information, suffice to say that they all work themselves into the context of the show quite effortlessly, seamlessly fitting into their respective characters in a way that moves the story forward and keeps you involved.
From a creative standpoint, there are many ways the “child with special abilities/single father” cliché could be dealt with but Touch presents it to us with the intriguing and mind bending concept of connection and destiny – what is it that causes us to meet certain people? What moments in our lives are defined by chance? Through the eyes of a father and son, we see the consequences and results of these connections (both good and bad) and by the end of the hour, the show has set up a wonderfully woven story that leaves you on the edge of your seat wanting more.
Watch a special premiere of Touch airing Wednesday, January 25th at 9pm on FOX and then tune in when the series begins its regular run on Monday, March 19th.