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Review: TOUCH 1.1 - Pilot

Sunday, 29 January 2012

I can’t say that I was as excited about new Sci-fi drama Touch as I was about Alcatraz but comparing the first episodes and what I have seen of Alcatraz up to now maybe I should have been more excited about this than I was, the pilot to Touch aired on Fox Wednesday 25th January 2012. However, the actual show doesn’t start till March so there is going to be a bit of a wait for that second episode but, based on this very impressive pilot I would say that there is plenty to get excited about in Tim Krings Touch.

The story of Touch follows Martin Bohm (Keifer Sutherland) and his son Jake (David Mazouz), Bohm is a former top journalist who’s wife was killed in the 9/11 attacks on New York leaving him to bring up his Autistic/mute son Jake who is 11 years old but has never spoke a word to anyone in his life. Jake is obsessed by numbers and seemingly
he can connect the dots of the universe, his mathematics allow him to see things that other people simply don’t meaning that he can predict what is going to happen in the future.

It would seem the show is going to follow similar attributes to that of Alcatraz and Person of Interest in that it will follow a different story every week, whilst at the same time a far thicker plot may be developing in the background. With that in mind lets talk through the characters who will be in every episode, obviously there will be Martin and his son Jake, then you have Clea (Gugu Mabatha-Raw) a social worker who is assigned to Jake’s case and pulled off a very impressive performance in this season opener. After that you have Professor DeWitt (Danny Glover) a child psychiatrist who is no doubt going to be playing a bigger part in this week on week.

The pilot introduced us to a lot of characters, all connected through a cell phone which belonged to a man who had lost his daughter, the cell went phone hopping around the globe, first making it’s way Ireland introducing us to a wannabe singer, then moving onto Tokyo where the phone was used as a social media tool to promote the wannabe Irish
singer (did you notice her YouTube hits?) before eventually ending up in Baghdad strapped to a suicide vest of a young kid who was wanting a new oven for his parents restaurant. Finally nothing to do with the cell phone was a firefighter, who was part of the main story line. The show brought all of these characters together brilliantly especially the main story of Martin and the firefighter who left him a message regarding his wife. All of these people were brought together by Jake and his obsession with numbers.

I only ever saw the first season of 24 (which I loved, don’t know why I never watched the rest) so to compare Martin Bohm to Jack Bauer is not that easy for me but I do remember that Bauer was very distant from his daughter during the first season of 24, here he is distant to start but finally figures the numbers for himself realising that although Jake won’t talk to anyone he is still communicating through the numbers, showing his father where he needs to be and when. I found this really quite heart pulling and emotional at times, especially during scenes with Martin and Jake, a father who dearly loves his son whilst he is desperately trying to understand him, at the same time Martin has his own searching to do in order to find himself, hence the various jobs he has had since giving up journalism.

I really found it nice that everyone in the story involving the mobile phone was given a happy ending, thanks to the genius of Jake, it was also touching to hear the answer phone message left by the firefighter at the end especially as him and Martin had battled throughout the episode.

Quick Notes

I love the way that Touch is narrated by David Mazouz who plays Jake in the show, very good idea, I mentioned those YouTube hits above, anyone notice that it was 1 million so many hundred thousand followed by 318, the same numbers which ran right through the main plot of the pilot?

On a first look Touch seems a lot more exciting and interesting than Alcatraz, it’s just a shame that we are going to have to wait two months before the rest of the show is rolled out, I for one will be back for more and I hope that Tim Kring and Keifer Sutherland can keep up this impressive styling whilst at the same time maintaining the slowly unravelling main plot.
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