*Although the pilot aired in full nearly two months ago in what FOX called “a preview,” tonight marks the official series premiere of “Touch,” a supernatural drama starring “24” vet Kiefer Sutherland and “Undercovers” alum Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
As reported before the show’s initial Jan. 25 broadcast, Mbatha-Raw plays Clea Hopkins, a social worker who must evaluate the relationship between 11-year-old autistic boy Jake (David Mazouz) and his father Martin (Sutherland). Jake’s autism renders him mute; he only communicates through intricate numeric computations. His father soon discovers that Jake uses those numbers to uncover global catastrophic events that will happen in the future, and Martin feels obligated to try and stop them from happening – by any means necessary.
“In this day and age of Internet and social network sites, cell phones and international travel, I think we’re more connected than ever before, on one level,” the Oxford, born Mbatha-Raw tells EURweb exclusively. “But that personal human connection, which is really what is at the crux of ‘Touch’ – that relationship between Martin and his son and his inability to communicate with his own son – is crippling for him and so emotionally difficult to deal with. How do you deal with a child that doesn’t talk, and yet seems to have these special savant-like gifts for numbers?
“My character comes into the fray as the social worker brought in to assess Martin and Jake, because it appears [Martin] is not an adequate father; initially the child keeps going missing. So she comes on board to see whether the state needs to intervene for the child’s best interest.”
Mbatha-Raw, whose name means “our pride” in the Xhosa language of her South African father, had been acting in British television shows for six years before she landed her first American gig in 2010, NBC’s spy drama “Undercovers,” alongside Boris Kodjoe.
Below, the actress talks about her journey in show business, which includes a fortuitous flight delay at Heathrow Airport two years ago that changed her outlook on everything.
Below, the trailer for “Touch,” premiering (again) Thursday at 9 p.m. on FOX.