TOUCH Connects with “Noosphere Rising”

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Episode 1.07 “Noosphere Rising”

[photos: Isabella Vosmikova/FOX]

If you haven’t been watching Touch, the new show from showrunner Tim Kring (Heroes, Crossing Jordan), now’s the time to catch up on this strong performer currently airing Thursdays at 9:00 PM on Fox.

Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) is struggling to maintain custody of his autistic son, Jake (David Mazouz) who can see the connections between people and events through patterns and numbers, his only method of communication. Martin’s learning how to understand and trust what his son is trying to tell him, and in the process helps save the lives of total strangers through their seemingly coincidental interconnectedness.

Kring is doing with Touch what he was unable to do with Heroes: Give viewers a sense of hope, show that we’re all connected in invisible ways, and have a rotating cast of minor characters. Each week showcases two or three new characters and their storylines, which have their climax in the last act as we see how they’re linked, all thanks to Jake’s ability to see the patterns. These minor characters cycle out with each episode, although some occasionally make cameo appearances in other episodes, carrying through yet another little connection.

The main characters are Martin and Jake, of course, but we’ve also seen social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and former professor Arthur Teller (Danny Glover, whom I adore) throughout the first six episodes. Each week we’ve learned a little more about what makes them tick, which is the necessary backbone of a show that spends the rest of its time on seemingly random events.

Now we’re at the halfway point in this midseason series of thirteen episodes with “Noosphere Rising.” The definition of “noosphere” is essentially the human collective consciousness, the sphere of thought especially as it relates to evolution and world changes. Heady stuff, but completely in line with the entire point of Touch.

As things continue to shift and change, Martin is following the clues even deeper into the mystery of the “Amelia Sequence” of numbers and beyond, which one of the characters describes as “the mind of God,” a numeric combination that describes probabilities of the past, present and future.

A subplot that has been introduced very subtly here and there is that certain people want Jake because of his ability to see these patterns. If you could use his knowledge to predict the future, wouldn’t you be tempted use it to win the lottery, cheat at cards, or worse? Exactly. That’s the danger, and I happen to know that at least two characters in close proximity to Jake do not have his best interests in mind.

The complexity of the storytelling ranges from loose connections to intricate webs of intrigue, something not easy to accomplish and which is missing from most network shows. This is intelligent programming with a heart. The driving force behind this show is hope and faith, not necessarily of a religious type, but of faith in the universal consciousness and each other as human beings. It’s a relief to see this type of show not only get made, but succeed.

The numbers indicate that viewership is hovering steadily around the 8 million mark, and Touch has been coming in second or third in its slot, more than double the viewers of the next show down the list which is around 4.5 million. No season two order has been made yet, but considering that Fox is renewing shows with far, far lower ratings that cost about the same to make, I’m confident Touch will be picked up.

Thank the noosphere for that.

[Official Show Site at Fox]

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