Fox's Touch returns tonight a very different series. The mystical drama, which stars Kiefer Sutherland as a widower who realizes his emotionally challenged son Jakes possesses the ability to perceive the hidden patterns that connect everyone, shifts settings with its second season, shaking up the status quo even as the show comes into its own.
"We start the season off very much where we left off the season at the end of Season 1 so that if you watched the season finale we will pick directly up from that and continue the story that we were telling at the end of the season," creator Tim Kring (Heroes) said during a recent conference call with reporters. "In many ways everything changes from the first season to the second season in that we took the entire storyline and took it from New York City to Los Angeles, and that entire world and all the characters that were in that world are starting pretty much fresh in the second season."
For those who need a refresher, the first season ended with the introduction of Maria Bello as the mother of the mysterious Amelia. Both Kring and executive producer Carol Barbee promise that this story, as well as some others, will end up being serialized in nature.
"There are three main stories that are all serialized in their own way, and they’re all barreling towards one another so that there comes a point where they all intersect, and that’s where the major thrust of the action is," Barbee explained during the call. "We have a character who is one of the special people like Jake but he’s bent on tracking them down and doing harm to them so we’re watching that happen and seeing who he is able to get to and who he’s not, and obviously he’s coming for Jake."
There are several new additions to the cast that Kring and Barbee are excited about, including Said Taghmaoui, Lukas Haas, Saxon Sharbino, Francis Fisher, D.B. Sweeney, Leland Orser, Bodhi Elfman and Calvin Norburh. They teased that Season 2 will feel much darker in tone, partly because of Taghmaoui's storyline and partly because of the details about Aster Corp. Expect that mythology to really be explored, especially when it comes to the 36 chosen ones and some other Easter eggs.
That said, Barbee promised there will still be plenty of stories about the connections between people that were such a focal point of the first half of Season 1. She thinks they have struck a nice balance between the two styles of storytelling now that they've entered Season 2.
As for the relationship between Martin (Sutherland) and Jake (David Mazouz), Kring teased, "In the second season we’re going to play with that idea of their ability to communicate with each other a lot, and so I think people who felt maybe frustrated that there was little communication are going to feel a lot less frustrated by the ways in which Jake communicates to his father without speaking are going to really increase this season."
Touch was the first show Sutherland appeared in following 24, but Kring said he hasn't felt any added pressure to differentiate Martin Bohm from Jack Bauer. He said the stories, and Sutherland's acting abilities, are enough to accomplish that for him.
"I think it’s an advantage to have somebody who has that in his wheelhouse and this character was always designed to be an every man who was put in extraordinary circumstances and forced to become much more of an action kind a guy than Jack Bauer ever was," Kring said. "In other words, Jack Bauer his backstory was much less of an ordinary guy; he was sort of built to be that guy. This guy was not built to be that guy."
Touch returns tonight with a special two-part episode at 8 ET/PT on Fox.