Touch (TV series)

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A 2012 series produced by Tim Kring and starring Kiefer Sutherland.

Since Martin Bohm's wife died in the September 11 New York attacks, he's been raising mute number- obsessed son Jacob as best he can. Jacob has a strange ability to see complex patterns in the world, and does his best to help people who need to connect one another for the better. Upon finding his son's ability, Martin tries to help, but since Jacob mostly communicates through scrawling numbers, wandering off into crowds, and apparently making a nuisance of himself, it's not easy for him to work out what he's doing, or why.

In addition to Martin's struggles with his son, the show has several characters who seem to be wound up in the patterns Jacob sees, such as two teenagers in occupied Iraq trying to achieve fame in the war-torn country and the fireman who attempted to save Martin's wife, trying to make up for his failure.

Not to be confused with the manga Touch.

Tropes used in Touch (TV series) include:
  • 555: Averted. Every number used is formatted like a real-life phone number.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jake presents like an autistic, but we're never specifically told that. Lampshaded by Martin, who claims that doctors were never able to diagnose Jake's disorder
  • Arc Number: Each episode has a different Arc Number which Martin must follow. For example, the pilot episode has 318, which is both the time at which Martin encounters a former firefighter and inadvertently fights with (causing him to miss his train) AND the number on the bus whose passengers said ex-firefighter saves because he happened to miss his train.
    • There seems to be an arc number for every episode, given how Jake sees things in numbers. However, the arc numbers seem to be becoming more than just numbers, but also symbols and names associated with the numbers.
    • Something about Room 6 has definitely caught Jake's attention. It looks like somebody is in there, despite a statement from the institute's director saying otherwise - though whether that's a lie or something far more sinister remains to be seen.
      • It turns out the room was where Amelia, a child who has abilities similar to Jake, was being kept by the sinister organization that's trying to exploit her and Jake's abilities.
    • The Arc Numbers are revealed to all be part of a sequence that governs the connection between people's lives.
  • The Atoner: Many of the characters have this as their main motive, particularly Randall, a fireman who ended up leaving Martin's wife behind when trying to carry her out of one of the World Trade Center buildings.
  • Berserk Button: Insulting Jake, for Martin. Unfortunately, his ability to act on it is compromised, given that he's not Jack Bauer.
  • Call Back: The finale of Season One has a lot of these towards the first several episodes, such as a Fibonacci spiral and the return of Arnie, the Invisible Prince, and Randall.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The cell phone in the pilot.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Too many to count.
  • Chinese Mythology: Jake narrates about the string of the gods.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Lyov the dog escaping from his enclosure in Episode 2
  • Cute Mute: Jake. He speaks only in narration.
  • Driven to Suicide: The pawn shop owner, Arnie, in the first episode.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Russian Mafia in Episode 2 has his son Pavel. He is clearly affected when his son asks his father if he hurts people for a living.
  • Evolutionary Levels: The Teller institute website says mutism might be an evolutionary step.
  • Failure Knight: The "Invisible Prince".
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The plot circling around the cell phone.
  • Gold Burier: Martin refuses to take money from his wife's wealthy family.
  • Hates Being Touched: Jake. Martin recommends the CPS worker not touch him unless she wants to "spend the next three hours peeling him off the ceiling." He hugs Martin when they begin to understand each other.
    • In the first episode, Martin is forced to scoop Jake up and carry him to a taxi to escape another man who figured out Martin was tricking him. Jake screams and writhes the whole way, and the first thing Martin says to him after tossing him in the taxi is, "I'm sorry, Jake, I had to! I'm sorry!"
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Starting to look that way.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Jake knows exactly how long he's been alive, to the hour.
  • The Mafiya: The Russian mob boss from Episode 2
  • Matchmaker Crush: Natalie gets a version of this, trying to reunite two people who have already met but who have been separated. It becomes clearly fairly early on that she's fallen in love with Paolo, the man in the pair, but she still soldiers on to reunite him with Celeste. she is unsuccessful in reuniting Paolo and Celeste, but in the intervening time Paolo has discovered her videos about her quest to do so and fallen in love with her.
  • Meaningful Name: Bohm, arguably. David Bohm was a physicist who came up with the Hidden Variable interpretation of quantum physics, which sort of fits the premise of the show.
  • Missing Mom: Died on 9/11.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural
  • Obfuscating Disability: Jake obviously understands more about the world than his surface actions might indicate
  • Pride: Martin had all money from his wife and her family put into a trust for Jake to stop them from thinking him a Gold Digger.
  • Red String of Fate: Jake references a Chinese variant where your red string is attached to everyone you will affect in your life.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the pilot. Understandable, given that the pilot aired two months before the first episode.
  • The Spock: Jake shows traits of this.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Orange soda for Jake. It keeps showing up elsewhere, too.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Jake regularly wanders away, climbs phone towers (!), and takes apart phones.
  • The Voiceless: Jake, unless he's screaming.
  • The War on Terror: Martin lost his wife on 9/11.
  • Wham! Line: The first thing Amelia says during her recorded interview with Teller, though it isn't so much the line itself as what the line implies: That people with Jake's abilities are, in fact, capable of speech.
  • Why Did It Have To Be Heights?: Martin is acrophobic.
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Martin used to be a highly paid reporter, but now works various menial jobs.