Saturday, October 27, 2012

Touch: The Complete First Season DVD Review

 Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Martin Bohm is a widower and single father who is haunted by an inability to connect to his emotionally challenged 11-year-old son Jake. But when Martin discovers that Jake can predict events before they happen, everything changes.  When I think Kiefer Sutherland, I think of "24’s" Jack Bauer. When I hear that raspy voice, I expect him to be taking down a terrorist cell, not trying to connect with a young boy.  Even though this is a very different show than "24" I still really enjoyed the unique story-line and characters.  It is hard to put Jack Bauer out of my mind though!

Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) is a former reporter who lost his wife Sarah on 9/11. Martin is left with a young son Jake (David Mazouz), who is mute and has emotional problems. Jake has never spoken to his father, or anyone else.  Struggling to care for Jake, Martin has changed jobs often and begins the season as a baggage handler. Jake has a connection to numbers and electronics, specifically cell phones. Jake writes numbers over and over and his father is ecstatic to realize that his son is finally communicating. Martin works hard to unravel the mysteries that come from small details that are important to Jake. It appears as though Jake sees connections between everything and everyone in the universe that most people cannot see. Jake is constantly struggling to put people back on their correct course. 

When the threads that connect us are pulled too tight it is as though it pains Jake. With each passing day, Martin realizes that Jake’s signs are important and he must follow Jake’s leads wherever they may take him. In doing so, Jake saves lives and learns that the smallest acts can have enormous effects.  Social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) first wants to protect Jake from his father, but is soon Martin’s ally. She sees the changes in Jake and realizes that his father is a positive influence. Professor Arthur Teller (Danny Glover) who has seen people like Jake before. His “calling” is to help those like Jake and help set things right. Teller saw the set of numbers, he calls the Amelia Sequence, during a stroke. The numbers are important in many ways and change many lives.

I was pleasantly surprised by "Touch".  It reminds me of creator Tim Kring's previous show "Heroes" as each of the stories shows how the characters are all inter-connected in some fashion.  We see how even the most trivial events can start a chain reaction that has larger ramifications.  I’m not usually one for dramas but this show has some unique aspects to it. It certainly makes you think about your own life and what the simplest choices mean to the rest of the world. Kiefer Sutherland is fantastic as always but all the actors give great performances – even the guest stars that only appear in one episode.

Video (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"Touch" is presented on DVD with a wide-screen 1.78:1 ratio. The show looks ok on DVD with no major complaints, except that it’s not on Blu- ray.  Some of the darker interior shots could be sharper but clarity is good overall.  Colors look pretty good and the black levels aren't as dark as I would like but they are decent.

Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"Touch" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with optional French Surround Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. For DVD the sound is pretty good. Every raspy whisper of Kiefer Sutherland’s voice is clear and intelligible.

Special Features (3 out of 5 stars)

The special features are good, but there aren't many of them and they don't last very long.
  • Fate’s Equations – A behind the scenes look at the show with show creator Tim Kring and star Kiefer Sutherland who along with the rest of the cast talk about the red string theory of quantum connection.  We also hear the cast talk about their characters and the story-line of the show.
  • Deleted Scenes – There's twelve deleted and extended scenes that can be found across all three discs.  All of them don't really add much to the show and were wisely cut.
  • Touch the World – An featurette focusing on all the individual stories and locations that are connected in the world of Touch.

Final Thoughts (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

"Touch" has some very poignant stories. As a viewer it makes you think about how the smallest changes in your day or normal routine could dramatically affect the course of your life. Kiefer Sutherland plays the caring father as well as he played a spy. A few episodes into it, I forgot he was Jack Bauer and became immersed in the story arch. It’s a shame the season is only 11 episodes and didn't get the full 20-22 episode order that a season usually gets to develop their characters.

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