Monday, 2 July 2012

TV: Touch (S1) (7/10)

Heroes creator Tim Kring brings Kiefer Sutherland back to the small screen in Touch, another ambitiously global and far-reaching series bearing all the hallmarks of a Kring production.

Touch tells the story of 9/11 widower struggling to raise his 11 year old son Jake, a mute introverted boy gifted with numbers. Jake is placed in supervisory care just as his father, Martin (Sutherland), realises that Jake's repetitive numbered scribblings are an attempt to communicate with him. During each episode Martin follows his son's instructions and 'follows the numbers' all the while trying to protect his son from sinister forces after him for their own gain.

The writers struggle to really portray what it actually is that Jake is capable of seeing and why he needs his father to correct things in the world through 'butterfly effect' actions to stop the pain he feels. The butterfly effect and red thread theory (that those who impact on others in the world by the butterfly effect are connected by an invisible red thread that must never break) are explored throughout the series, and each episode begins and ends with Jake narrating philosophy and theory.

However, by focusing on global as well as character specific issues to illustrate the complexity of the science, the number of single episode characters is high and it can be difficult to care about random characters in Iraq, Brazil or China on a one-off basis.

The season premiere was a fantastic start to the show, however the coincidences, or not as the case may be, do become to be slightly predictable as the season continues. Towards the end of the season, this predictability is balanced by the story arc of Martin trying to investigate who his after Jake and what for.

Sutherland plays the troubled father with great sincerity and care although his character becomes annoyingly anxious as he is led into predicament after predicament by Jake. The one way dialogue also began to grate slightly towards the end of the season. Danny Glover played an interesting character and I felt it was a shame he didn't make it as a regular character. Credit must also go to 11 year old David Mazouz for his portrayal of Jake.

The season ends strongly and it looks as though Martin and Jake have found a new ally in their search for answers. The show has been renewed for a second season and it will be interesting how the Kring moves the action along given the events of the season finale (let's hope it is better than season two of Heroes).

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