The tangled skein of Touch

Kiefer Sutherland’s new show is an evocative surprise.

Touch promised to be a truly special experience beginning with the first episode, and has not disapointed.

Indeed, Sutherland’s performance is incredible as Martin Bohm, the single father of a young man, Jake, with incredible abilities.

Kiefer is a great dramatic actor, and always has been. His talents were wasted as action-oriented Jack Bauer on 24, despite it being a show he created himself.

In Touch, Kiefer is finally able to demonstrate his full cinematic range – from loving father to powerful guardian and from action hero to talented investigator.

His character’s varied skillset may be a bit hard to explain, but there is nothing lacking in his depiction.

Each episode is a braided story about fate and connections. Bohm must follow the enigmatic clues his son gives to him in the form of numbers and symbols, and by being in a certain place at a certain time, he’s able to do the right thing – either to save someone or make someone’s life better.

There are also other characters in each episode, who are unconnected or only tangentially linked to the story at hand. The actions of each character in the braided stories for a particular episode are all connected into a single final, powerful result, with some elements carrying over from episode to episode.

The myth-arc is a story of the numbers themselves. Danny Glover plays a scientist and psychiatric patient who sees numbers similar to those Jake writes in his notebook. Interestingly enough, the sequence  originated with another psychiatric patient years ago, someone to whom something terrible, and as yet unknown, has happened. The numbers, along with the mysterious girl, form a compelling back-story to the otherwise very soft fantastic elements – serving to make the world an engaging and evocative place. A fantasy land, where concepts like Karma and fate and destiny are real, meaning, it’s a universe where everything happens for a reason, almost according to a divine plan. 

This allows the writers to create stories and connections that are strongly dramatic and surprisingly evocative. The stories are riveting and emotional, and that, combined with the great performances and high production values, make it one of the more interesting shows on television right now, even if the genre elements are a bit light.

Touch airs Monday nights on Fox.