Touch: Pilot Review

Jake Baum doesn’t speak, hates to be touched, obsesses over numbers and patterns and doesn’t communicate at all. His dad is struggling to take care of him. But then Jake predicts some winning lottery numbers and from there all sorts of weird stuff follows.

It’s all a bit much to be honest. The direction and writing aren’t doing it any favours, it has that of over the top tone to the whole thing. It’s like reading something where every other sentence has been highlighted because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT. There’s endless waffle about destiny and patterns, and making connections and it just made me feel rather tired. It’s structured like a procedural, but each step is built around leaps of faith rather than science or detection.

Alongside the main father-son plot is a weird sub-plot type thing following a lost mobile phone as it gets ‘skipped’ around the world, hijacked by people trying to create viral videos and eventually reaching a pretty dramatic ending. There was a brief connection to the main characters at the start, but it never came back full circle again, so I’m not sure whether that is just a trick they’ll use in the pilot, or if it’s going to be a recurring theme. But again each connection just felt very forced and artificial. Also maybe I’m missing the magic, but my key thoughts during the whole plot were – “How are they charging the battery?” and “Wow – those roaming charges are going to horrific!”

I can’t say that it was a complete failure, Kiefer Sutherland is charming enough, going out of his way to not be Jack Bauer by being afraid of heights, getting himself beaten up and shutting his finger in a door all within the first 10 minutes. He has to carry the show pretty much by himself, emoting for both him and his son and he chews his way through the terrible dialogue quite admirably. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the way things came together at the end didn’t give me a satisfying sense of completion, but overall it all just felt very manufactured and artificial. Maybe later episodes will settle down a bit but fundamentally ‘incredible connections’ aren’t so incredible when you can’t forget you’re watching a television show.

Touch starts on Sky 1 “in March”.

Other reviews
CliqueClack – And I’ll be sappy for a moment and admit that as TV shows can sometimes get dark, violent, depressing, or all of the above, it’s neat to have a show that makes me think about the positive, and come away with a hopeful feeling inside.

TV Fanatic – I’m not sure where this series will lead. Jake’s special sight could take us to the future, the past or simply another view of our connection to one another – but I’m intrigued by the spirituality as much as the science and I look forward to watching episode two.

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  1. May 15th, 2012
    Trackback from : Narrative Devices
  2. September 4th, 2012
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