Do you miss the comfort of thinking for a split second that every helicopter flying over Los Angeles contained Jack Bauer? Yeah, so do we. “24” star Kiefer Sutherland is about to return to television in the new show “Touch.” We’re getting an early look at the show on Wednesday, January 25th on Fox, though the official premiere isn’t until March. We got a chance to chat with Sutherland during a conference call about the show.
Sutherland plays a single father who’s son Jake (David Mazouz) — diagnosed for much of his life as severely autistic — is revealed to
have a special, near-superhuman ability to identify and manipulate patterns in the universe that appear to most of us to be random events.
Sutherland tells us how he got the gig. “It was funny. I was doing a play in New York on Broadway. I had a film that I knew I was going to go do and so I read “Touch” almost reluctantly. I don’t think I was completely ready to go back to television yet. I was enjoying some of the different opportunities that I had had. I think it was around page 30, I remember going, ‘Oh, …,’ or I guess something you could print, …, which I just knew I would be so remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity that “Touch” was. I identified with him out of the gate.”
He says this character is different than Jack Bauer, but says there are things that ring true for both of them. “Jack Bauer would be faced with unbelievable circumstances in the course of a day and he would never win completely. He’s never going to have the quintessential relationship of a father and a son. And yet he perseveres and that’s a great kind of character statement and so I identified with him greatly on that and I think as a parent as well just the sense of responsibility combined with not knowing what to do all the time. Even though this is again a heightened experience, I think every parent feels that.”
Sutherland says he thinks that the world may actually work the way “Touch” says it does. He thinks everything might be connected. “Can one focus on every single moment of their life in this way? No, of course not, but anything as simple as someone who is late for a bus one day, all of a sudden they’re not on the bus. They’re taking up other space. They either had to get a taxi and that affects the taxi driver’s life. So yes I do believe that there is a cause and effect and a ripple effect upon everything everybody does and they have positive consequences and negative consequences.”
He says that his father, the legendary Donald Sutherland might appear in upcoming episodes. “I certainly have conveyed to Tim Kring, our writer, that my father is someone who I would very, very much like to work with,” he says. “My father knows of this piece and I certainly have talked to him about it. We certainly do not have a script or a story or anything like that, but it certainly is open.”
They tell you in Hollywood never to work with animals or kids. Kiefer begs to differ. He talks about working with his young co-star David Mazouz who plays his son Jake. “He’s an amazing young actor and he’s an amazing young man. He does something that is really I don’t–I think it would be impossible to try and teach an actor to do. He has very limited physical response to anything that I do. He doesn’t talk and yet I can feel his presence even if he’s not looking at me. I can always sense that he’s listening and I think that comes across to the viewer as well. That’s a real gift.”
“Touch” will air it’s first episode on Wednesday, January 25th. The official series premiere is March 19th.