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Kiefer Sutherland makes a welcome return to TV in ‘Touch’

Mart(Kiefer Sutherlright) tries understhis sJake (David Mazouz) “Touch” Fox.

Martin (Kiefer Sutherland, right) tries to understand his son Jake (David Mazouz) in “Touch” on Fox.

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‘TOUCH’ ★★★

8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday on WFLD-Channel 32. Will move to its regular 8 p.m. Monday time slot March 19.

Updated: February 26, 2012 8:03AM

In this age of unprecedented global connectivity, along comes a series about humans being more connected than we could ever imagine.

“Touch” operates on the mind-blowing premise that people around the world are linked to one another and their lives intersect — with potentially major repercussions — as a result of numeric patterns. These patterns are indecipherable to most of us but not to Jake, a seemingly autistic 10-year-old boy.

“It’s my job to keep track of those numbers, to make the connections for those who need to find each other, the ones whose lives need to touch,” Jake says in a voiceover in the powerful pilot for Fox’s new drama.

Other than a few voiceovers, Jake doesn’t speak. He doesn’t like to be touched, either. All of this makes it difficult for him to have a connection with the person who wants it most: his father.

Kiefer Sutherland plays Jake’s devoted dad, Martin Bohm, who lost his stockbroker wife in the Sept. 11 attacks.

As Bohm begins to see the importance of his son’s “gift,” he becomes more like the lathered-up, terrorist-chasing character Sutherland played in “24,” which is fine by me. Welcome back, Jack!

Created by Tim Kring, “Touch” comes from the same man who gave us “Heroes,” a sci-fi drama about ordinary people with superhuman abilities. The NBC show started out strong but lost its way after a couple of seasons.

Like “Heroes,” “Touch” also makes a great first impression. It can be a tad hokey at times, and the word “farfetched” is bound to show up in more than one review. But overall, the first episode delivers a suspenseful ride around the world, peppered with some tear-jerking moments.

The bar has been set high. Here’s hoping “Touch” continues to reach it.

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