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Touch (FOX) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
On January 25th, FOX aired a special preview for their new science fiction drama ‘Touch’. The series marks Kiefer Sutherland’s (‘24’) return to television, and also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw (‘Undercovers’), Danny Glover (‘Lethal Weapon’) and David Mazouz. The regular airings of ‘Touch’ will commence on Monday, March 19th at 9/8c.
Update: FOX has moved 'Touch' to Thursdays, delaying the worldwide premiere for three days. The show will now premiere on Thursday, March 22nd, 9/8c.
‘Touch’ is a series that tries to show us how all of our lives are interconnected in some way. It accomplishes this by taking the lives of several people from all around the world, have us follow them and, in the end, see all of their lives influencing and getting connected with each other. At the very center of these people stands Jacob ‘Jake’ Bohm (Mazouz), a mute 10-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, who spends most of his time writing out numbers and playing with old cell phones.
One day, Jake climbs a cell phone tower and Child Services insist to have him stay in an institution for a two-week evaluation. Jake’s mother died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and his father Martin Bohm (Sutherland) has been raising Jake on his own ever since. Not being able to communicate with his son, and now on the verge of Jake being taken away from him, Martin is at wit’s end.
Then, Martin finds out that the phone numbers that Jake has been writing down were actually the winning lottery numbers for the next day. He visits a professor (Glover) who knows exactly what is going on without Martin telling him. In an oracular monologue, the professor points out to Martin that Jake is trying to reach out to him with his numbers, and that he can see how everything is connected and, thereby, predict the future.
Social worker Clea (Mbatha-Raw) is at first favoring Jake’s institutionalization and tries to convince Martin that that’s best for both of them. During the observation, she gets a number from Jake which she recognises as the phone number of her mother, with whom she hasn’t been in touch for years. Then, suddenly, her mother calls.
Both Martin and Clea are now convinced that Jake has the special ability to see how everything comes together like in a perfect mathematical structure, such as the Fibbonaci sequence. The number 318 keeps appearing everywhere, and they finally realize that it means 3/18, or March 18th, today’s date.
Starting with a race against the clock, all stories featured on the show come together perfectly. Also, Jake gives his father a new phone number, and the call Martin makes with that number heralds the next episode.
This is for sure the weirdest show I have been watching in a while. That, however, doesn’t make it any less intriguing. ‘Touch’ is a very ambitious series that tries to show us our place in the bigger picture, and while the slightest bit tedious at the beginning, it can be a real tearjerker while doing so. At the same time, though, it can be classified as feel-good television, because the end of the pilot gives you this strange euphoric feeling.
I do have some questions that I asked myself while I was watching the show, though. For instance, what is the role of the professor who talks like an oracle and knows exactly what is going on? Are there more of these children who can see the logic? Also, isn’t it strange that Martin and Clea are immediately ready to accept that Jake can predict the future? And lastly, why was that guy at the gas station so aggressive? Even after we find out he is not just a random guy, it still makes no sense to me, apart from the fact that it was needed for the final unfolding of the story line.
Also, I have one particular fear for ‘Touch’, and that is that it turns into this procedural show where Jake turns into a living version of the machine from ‘Person Of Interest’, spitting out numbers of people who are in danger. If that happens, it might crush my faith in screenwriters for good.
Overall, ‘Touch’ is a very ambitious show that actually delivers in the second half of the pilot, just before it starts to annoy you. While there are some points that appear a little odd, it is a very intriguing show, so I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely tuning in when it premieres in March.
What do you think of 'Touch'?
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