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Coming in as a mid-season replacement, TOUCH was one of the most pleasant surprises during the second half of the 2011-2012 television season. Created by Tim Kring, TOUCH mixes elements of the supernatural, science and religion into its mythos of human connection and how people are more connected to one another than they might imagine... and how nothing in our existence is truly random. Kiefer Sutherland stars in TOUCH as Martin Bohm, a former news reporter, who lost his wife during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Since the death of his wife, Martin has struggled to raise and care for his autistic son, Jake (David Mazouz), taking a series of odd jobs that will allow him to take care of Jake's special needs. Non-verbal, Jake is fascinated by numbers, as well as cell phones, and the latter is something that Martin is able to supply to his son from the airport's lost and found, thanks to his latest job as a baggage handler. Additionally, Jake's fascination with numbers is all consuming and proves to be the boy's only method of communication, which leads Martin to Professor Arthur Teller (Danny Glover), who suspects Jake is one of the truly special, those individuals who can divine the pattern of the universe, and the interconnection of people through the numbers.

Jake's repeated escapes from his special school, put's Martin's ability to care for his son into question, which results in social worker Clea Hopkins (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) being brought in to review his fitness as a parent for a special needs child. However, the review turns out to be a ruse, as Jake's abilities have caught the attention of some entity that previously "disappeared" a girl named Amelia, whom Teller was studying prior to discovering Jake. Eventually Martin comes to realized that Jake is communicating with him, via the numbers, with the boy indirectly directing his father towards those individuals that need assistance, as well as towards a greater good that touches people across the planet.

TOUCH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($50) comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features the following eleven episodes that were aired in the show’s abbreviated freshman year: Pilot, 1+1=3, Safety In Numbers, Kite Strings, Entanglement, Lost And Found, Noosphere Rising, Zone Of Exclusion, Music Of The Spheres, Tessellations, Gyre (Parts 1 & 2).

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made all eleven episodes that comprise TOUCH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The episodes look quite good on DVD, for standard definition that is. Of course, I can't help but feel that TOUCH would vastly improved by a Blu-ray release. For standard definition, everything appears relatively crisp, and the image delivers a fairly solid level of detail. Colors tend to be nicely saturated, but not excessively so. Additionally, one will find the flesh tones to be appealing. Blacks appear accurate, and the whites are completely stable. Contrast goes slightly beyond your average television production, while darker scenes produce respectable shadow detail for standard definition. The episodes generally appear very clean and free from blemishes. Digital compression artifacts keep a low profile.

All the episodes that comprise TOUCH: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. Since TOUCH is a talky drama, the sound designs for the episodes are confined to the forward soundstage much of the time- and the center channel during the talky passages. However, the sound is crisp and precise. Additionally, thanks to the 5.1 encoding, some active effect placement is spread to the outlying channels during key moments. Ambient sounds and musical fill comprise also augment the outlying channels. Fidelity is fine for a television production offered in a lossy format. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as, as well some extras. Starting things off is an Extended Pilot Episode. Two Featurettes are also included: Touch The World and Fate's Equations. Some Deleted Scenes close out the extras.

Well acted and thought provoking, TOUCH proves itself to be one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2011-2012 television season. The DVD presentations are nice, but Blu-ray would certainly be my preference. With no Blu-ray release in sight, the DVD release gets the nod.


Touch: The Complete First Season (2012)



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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