When Touch launched in the UK, Throng UK’s Lynn Connolly attended a press screening hosted by BSkyB which featured a Q&A session with the star of the show, Kiefer Sutherland. As Touch premieres tonight on Ten we thought we’d republish Lynn’s thoughts on the show here.
I attended the press screening in London of the pilot episode of Kiefer Sutherland’s new TV drama, Touch, and I have to conclude, simplistically put, it looks like it could be a brilliant drama.
There’s only one caveat to that, and that is that we’re asked to accept a good deal of information in the first episode; to take a number of the fundaments of the show as a given, and therefore, I suspect if people don’t watch beyond the pilot, they might misjudge it.
The main issue that we’re asked to simply take on board is that we arrive in Martin Bohm’s life (Kiefer Sutherland) at a time when his son Jake (David Marouz) is in crisis. He’s climbing up enormous towers so he can sit and write his numbers, he’s totally mute, utterly dysfunctional, and his hard working widower dad is swamped and doesn’t know how to cope.
Ok, that’s fine, but I guess I was wondering, ‘Well what have the last five years been like? Is this all of a sudden or what?’
The next plotline I had some issue with was regarding what happens to a mobile phone. We follow this phone from the moment Martin finds it in an airport – he works there as a baggage handler – and that phone subsequently goes on a journey around the world on something of a hard to swallow premise.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you – the show debuts in Australia on April 22nd at 8:30pm on Ten – so I can’t go into too much detail about that aspect of the plot, but if you read this retrospectively after you’ve seen Touch, you’ll understand what I mean.
But that said, the phone storyline does – if a little clumsily – point out to viewers the fundamental theory behind this whole show, and that is, that we’re all connected, every one of us.
Now right there, there are any number of theories at work, such as the quantum atom theory and one which is named in the show from the get go, the red string theory which, just as it says on the tin, suggests that people are connected by an invisible thread, but it firmly connects their lives and their destinies.
I have to say at this point, I’m giving you the negatives – such as they are – because if you do read this before you watch the pilot episode, I think you should do so with the benefit of knowing that these things are all for a reason and they’re all going somewhere…
I think you’d be missing out if you ditched Touch on first sight because you’re asked to take in a lot of stuff that sometimes seems fiercely unlikely. I guess long story short, I’d say “Just give it a chance” because it’s good.
David Marouz – his name’s pronounced Davheed by the way – is haunting and compelling as Bohm’s son Jake, and as Keieer pointed out in a Q & A session about the show, he was, and is, fascinated by David’s eyes. And I agree, the boy has the eyes of an old soul, and though we only hear his character speak during narration, he conveys an awful lot of emotion with those eyes.
As to Kiefer’s role, he is, in a word, awesome. For me, he was utterly convincing from the first seconds of the show opening, and he gives it his all, all the time, and that is conveyed nicely on to the screen.
Just as an aside, he informed us at the press conference that though we hear him say a Jack Bauer-esque “Dammit!” a couple of times, his verbal weapon of choice in Touch will probably turn out to be “Jackass” as he favours it in terms of expletives.
Danny Glover made a rather fleeting visit in the pilot as a whacky psychologist Arthur, but as ever with Glover – as with Kiefer – you don’t take your eyes off the screen when he’s on it. He too was completely compelling.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays social worker Clea – whose first involvement with Martin and Jake is to take Jake into a home – and though I wasn’t as drawn to her character as I was to Sutherland, Marouz and Glover’s, nonetheless, she’s interesting, and I would suspect her input is going to get good to watch as Bohm comes to realize the full extent of his son’s ‘gift’.
And last but by no means least, Lost’s Titus Welliver is an enormous presence in Touch, and he’s right up there on my list of ‘Most Interesting Characters’. As you’ll see, he’s tied in with Martin and Jake in several ways, but one of the most fascinating was that he was with the fire services who went into the North Tower on 9/11…
Martin’s wife died on that day, and in the pilot, we get to hear a lot about her without ever seeing her of course. But again, there’s clearly a lot more to come there.
Once more, I need to be careful not to give too much away because I really don’t want to spoil Touch for you, but as was the case with Lost – or seemed to be, until the crappy ending – nothing’s a red herring where the characters back-stories are concerned, and the links are well thought out and truly interesting.
And with Titus, his character and plotline leaves you wanting to know more, and that’s why I cannot wait to see episode two. Literally cannot wait.