26 January 2012

First Thoughts: TOUCH with Keifer Sutherland

Six billion, nine-hundred and nineteen million, three-hundred and seventy-seven thousand of us live on this tiny planet, and only a few of us can see the connections. The patterns, like a magical design, are hidden in plain sight…you just have to know where to look. After my life of 10 years, 5 months, 17 days and 14 hours…in all that time…I’ve never said a single word.   

Having read the name Tim Kring attached to the project Kiefer Sutherland was doing for his big TV return after 24 left me unimpressed the first time I found out about it.

See, I haven't really forgiven the guy for botching up Heroes. That show's premise became too big, even for the one who created it. I think I read that one time when he was trying to say where he had gone wrong with it.

But watching Touch's pilot today, I think I'm ready to give Tim Kring a chance and reconsider putting him back to my list of best-loved TV writers and creators. Or would that be too quick?

The pilot starts off with different people who obviously aren't connected. But by the end of it, something fascinating and interesting happens. I was completely impressed by the unraveling and said this on Twitter:

The heart of this show is Kiefer Sutherland's character Martin and his 11-year old son Jake, who has a behavorial disorder and who is extremely fascinated by numbers.

I don't doubt Keifer's brilliance as an actor. I followed eight seasons of 24 with most of its storylines almost unbelievably tortuos, because as Jack Bauer, he convinced me he can truly save the world. He was the ultimate TV hero.

In Touch, he plays a more sensitive character, as the father of a child who has not spoken since birth and who has no social skills whatsover. And Keifer does this thing with his eyes...if you've noticed. He squints and blinks and uses this to convey what his character is feeling.

I also don't have any misgivings about the lead female actresss, Gugu Mbtha-Raw, who plays Jake's social worker. This is what I had to say about her:

Immediately, I connected with her Clea.

Danny Glover is also part of this series and although his scene in the pilot was short, his character is clearly vital to the secrets Jake holds.

It goes without saying that this show picked the right people for their parts. They are not the weak links, as far as I can tell.

And the story isn't weak either, because like I said, the pilot was impressive and delivered almost seamlessly. So, if Tim Kring will be able to sustain this kind of writing --- and it is pretty tight and orderly --- he may slide back into my list real soon.

Touch ran a special preview tonight on Fox but the show won't actually start running until March, for 13 episodes. The series is also going to be carried over on many cable.tv channels worldwide.

Here's the teaser: