Wednesday January 25th, Fox aired a preview pilot episode of their new television show Touch. I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the show. The commercials didn’t clearly convey if the show was spiritual, religious, based in Math or simply about a mute, autistic boy. The show ended up mixing all of those aspects together to create an amazingly compelling and entertaining series permiere.
The patters of the world, patterns that exist in nature that a select few are able to see and recognize. The patters are mathematical and are everywhere: the way branches branch off of trees, the spiral of a seashell or the sections of a pineapple. Patterns surround us whether they are real and tangible or philosophical and spiritual, like patters of life and destiny. Viewers are flooded with images of these patterns as the show’s autistic child, Jake Bohn (David Mazonz), explains how he sees the world. The voice over in the opening and closing of the show are the only time we hear Jake speak for beyond being autistic, he has never said a word in his life. Jake lives with his father, Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) who found himself a single parent after losing his wife ten years ago. Attempting to support a son that shows no form of affection, Jake won’t even let his father make physical contact with him, Matric is having trouble simple communicating with his son. Jake is obsessed with numbers, filling pages and notebooks with numbers. Fighting to keep his son from being taken by CPS, Martin begins to see patterns in the numbers. With a little help from a man named Arthur DeWitt (Danny Glover) Martin realizes two important things about his son.
The first is that Jake is trying to communicate with Martin. The numbers are patterns and the patters (made up of cell phone numbers, dates, times and more) need to be followed to stop a catastrophe. As Martin follows the numberical problems he begins to see the extraordinary way that Jake sees the world. Jake has the ability to see patterns that only few can see. Instead of just seeing numbers, Jake sees “the past, the present and the future.” How Jake has this abiilty is not yet known and is not all that importtant. What is important is that Martin’s son is finally trying to and able to communicate with him.
Continuing with the patters of the world, the show features a number of side characters and stories that revolve around a single, lost cell phone. The phone is first found by Marin and then travels from America to Ireland to Japan to Baghdad. As it travels, it is found by different people and eventually connects their lives. The phone manages to make people famous, keep dead memories alive and even save lives. It is truly jascinating to follow the phone and to see how something so simple can bring people together and make connections across continents.
I can say without a doubt that this is the most promising season premiere of the season. The complex mystery and plot that the writers managed to create and resolve in a single episode was astonishing. Beyond that the writers opened up a number of long term plot lines and mysteries that will carry on throughout the show. The acting and character development were great, especially for a pilot episode. The show ushers viewers through extreme emotion with ease, moving from sadness to joy and frustration to tingling awe. My only fear is that the show will not be able to keep up the pace it has set. When the first season officially starts in March (not fair that they made me wait that long) I am going to expect a lot from it because I now how much it has to offer. This first episode earns a 9.5 out of 19 from me. If you’re interested in the show at all, I strongly urge you to find a way to watch the premiere episode.