CliqueClack TV

Touch reaches out and … well, you know

Kiefer Sutherland makes a welcome return to the FOX network with this intriguing new series. Are you ready to unravel the mystery?

- Season 1, Episode 1 - "Pilot"

From the pilot of 24, I was a huge fan; it remains one of my favorite television series of all time. Understandably, the show also made me an admirer of Kiefer Sutherland. Most of his filmography is sitting on a shelf in my office. So when I heard that he was making a return to TV a mere two seasons after Jack Bauer disappeared to parts unknown, and doing it on FOX, my reaction was two-fold: excitement, and curiosity.

How great was it that I’d get to watch him every week once again? But at the same time, after how long and hard he worked for eight seasons, why was he coming back and not taking a well-deserved vacation somewhere tropical?

The pilot of Touch answered both those questions for me.

If you had any doubt, Sutherland’s performance proved that his award-winning run as Bauer was no one-hit wonder. Struggling single father Martin Bohm wasn’t going to be busting any heads (in fact, he got slugged in the stomach), but within the hour I felt the same compassion for him that I had for my favorite CTU agent. I understood and sympathized with his frustrations and fears as he tried to raise his mute and brilliant son Jake (David Mazouz), and deal with pleasantly-not-stereotypical social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). Sutherland is clearly the star, but there’s an intriguing quartet of main characters here, including an all-too-brief appearance by Danny Glover dispensing wisdom.

I’m also intrigued by the premise of Touch. The idea that everything’s connected probably won’t sit well with everyone, and others might not want to bother with trying to put all the pieces together, but for me it’s a huge playing field. When we spotted the number 318 on the back of a school bus in one of the show’s opening scenes, who could have guessed it would lead to Martin making the firefighter who found his wife in the World Trade Center (Titus Welliver, who in a moment of hilarity also appeared on CSI an hour later) miss his train, and therefore be around to save that same busload of school kids? Who was the complete stranger that Martin called at the end of the episode? (I don’t know, but it sounded like he was voiced by Sutherland’s 24 castmate Jude Ciccolella.) There’s tons of potential here, and I’m hopeful that the show will make the most of it.

And I’ll be sappy for a moment and admit that as TV shows can sometimes get dark, violent, depressing, or all of the above, it’s neat to have a show that makes me think about the positive, and come away with a hopeful feeling inside.

FOX had a great midseason arrival last year with The Chicago Code, and if this show is everything it could be, the network has scored another winner with Touch. When it comes to longevity, let’s hope that this show avoids Chicago Code‘s cruel fate, and becomes Kiefer Sutherland’s next 24.

Photo Credit: FOX

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | News | Touch | TV Shows |

4 Responses to “Touch reaches out and … well, you know”

January 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM

I think Martin called the firefighter, Titus Welliver?!?! Thats what he sound like anyway.

Does Titus Welliver going to be a regular on the show?

January 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Show was intriguing. And I agree, it was strange watching “Jack Bauer” look human.

January 28, 2012 at 3:02 AM

The whole traveling cell phone didn’t even need Sutherland or the kid. Anyone could have simply found the phone at the airport and tucked it into someone’s bag, thinking it had fallen out of it. And that was my favorite portion of the show.

But, if we’re all so deeply connected, why didn’t the other dozen phones have similar stories? Or the half-dozen or so the terrorists had available for timers? We could have a whole season of television based on those two boxes of cell phones.

So, is the kid predicting things, or causing them?

The social worker’s phone rings showing the number the kid had just displayed. But the mother isn’t there, and I don’t think we ever found out what the call was, did we? The social worker never called it back. She almost made it sound like her mother was dead (“I haven’t thought of that number in a while.”). It’s only point was to convince the social worker the kid had something. That’s pretty weak, and strongly suggests intervention instead of prediction.

Also, the firefighter’s lottery numbers don’t win until the day the kid handles the ticket? Prediction, or cause? I can’t buy it was just a coincidence. The connection was already there via the wife.

And the whole 318 thing was too contrived for me — it stood for the date, the time, the bus number? Unless something or someone is CAUSING the coincidence?

If the kid focuses on 412 in the future, will it be something to do with flight 412, taking off at 4:12 PM on April 12th, with 412 passengers?

January 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I do love Touch, and it says a lot that in last week’s conference call with Kiefer, he said he wasn’t particularly ready to return to a weekly series, but felt that the show and premise was too good to pass up. He didn’t want to turn on the TV and see a great show that he could have been a part of and declined. Can’t wait for more.

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