By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
"Touch" is the kind of series better seen than described. Particularly when one of the chief describers, show creator Tim Kring ("Heroes"), puts out descriptions like the one that came with the review DVD, announcing that this work represents his fascination with "the theme of interconnectivity and global consciousness" and the attempt to put a positive message out into the world that we are more connected to each other than we ever knew.
Blood-freezing stuff. It's a relief to report that the aforementioned claptrap bears no resemblance to the high quality and tone of "Touch," whose preview episode shows every sign of a series likely to hold audiences in thrall. That's in part because of its complex story, and in part despite it.
But above all because of Kiefer Sutherland. He's the clarifying force that brings all the disparate aspects of this complicated storytelling together—that informs the whole mess with his wonderfully earthbound presence. No small feat. Mr. Sutherland plays Martin Bohm, widower and father of 10-year-old Jake (David Mazouz), an autistic child incapable of speech. Not, however, an ordinary autistic child, but one with the special power to perceive, through numbers, patterns in the world whose analysis will allow people on the far corners of the earth to make vital connections. In the preview episode (the series begins in March) the connections include a boy in Baghdad desperate to get money for a new family stove, a British man in search of vital personal material on his cellphone, the winner of a lottery in New York, and more. Still, it's Mr. Sutherland's portrayal of the father—unyielding in his effort to break through to his mute child and grasp what he's trying to say with his numbers—that is the heart of this story, the power likely to sustain this promising enterprise.