Kiefer Sutherland reaches out to 'Touch' on Fox
Calling in from a location near Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Sutherland says, "Jack Bauer, as a character, is so repressed; that was his job. His job was to be able to pocket his emotions, so he could take on what was seemingly an insurmountable task.
"Martin is almost the opposite, where his emotions are very much out front. He has a very simple desire, which is to develop, as he perceives it, as normal as possible a relationship with his son. What he finds out, as soon as he starts to forget or let go of what he perceives as a normal relationship with his son and starts actually engaging with his son on his son's level, or making an effort at that, that's when the relationship just starts to grow.
"That is a very outwardly emotional process for him, so, yeah, from a character standpoint, it's a wonderful change to have that opportunity."
Bohm is the widowed father of an 11-year-old son, Jake (David Mazouz), who is emotionally challenged and refuses to allow himself to be touched, but who is obsessed with numbers and busies himself with rebuilding discarded cellphones.
Caring and thoughtful, Martin has tried everything he can think of to get through to his son, but he comes to discover that Jake has a unique ability to perceive patterns in the world unseen by most people, invisible threads that connect seemingly unrelated individuals and events.
Jake is trying to put back together pieces of a world that has become fractured, and his father is drawn into that quest, with the help of social worker Clea Hopkins (
Tim Kring (
"Somehow, in our society, we have broken that thread. My son is a misdiagnosed severely
"In the context of that, fate, what is supposed to happen, is not always good or good for a specific person. What's interesting is, in his effort to put things back the way they're supposed to be -- which is Jake's goal -- he has me doing things that are sometimes not what I would want to do. There's a kind of friction in that."
"Touch" also weaves in themes of spirituality, the sense that the lives of people, while appearing entirely separate on the surface, are woven together in ways that they may not be able to perceive but which may be understandable to a higher intelligence.
In his 1938 book "Brighton Rock," author
"There's a beautiful word, 'strangeness,' " Sutherland says. "It's too big to fathom and control, so we share that responsibility with God or a variance of the different aspects of spirituality to help us navigate that. The show looks into that as well."
It's also about the power of one.
"This show is basically saying, you have an effect at every point of every day," Sutherland says. "The way you interact within our society and the world does create ripples in the stream, and those ripples have profound effects.
"It's making me think about things in a way that I really haven't before."
And certain episodes might even have an effect on the world, through what Kring calls the "theme of interconnectivity."
"As we go forward," he says, "I would love to be able to have some of the stories that we tackle, especially some of the global issues, call attention to various issues around the world and use the power of storytelling to create some positive change out there."