Sunday, June 14, 2015

"The Whispers": New ABC series uses the idea of an imaginary child's playmate as a vehicle for alien influence

The Whispers” is a new series on ABC created by Soo Hugh, with Steven Spielberg as an executive producer.  The premise seems to be that an alien influence could penetrate our society by exploiting our children, baiting them with a imaginary playmates. It’s based on the book “Zero Hour” by Ray Bradbury. The series seems to be set largely in the Maryland suburbs around both Washington and Baltimore. It airs Mondays at 10 PM EDT.
I remember having such a companion as a boy.  I called him “Back”.  The day would come when I would have to “give up Back.”

So far, I’ve watched only the Pilot, titled “X Marks the Spot” (which aired on June 1, 2015), which opens where a little girl convinced her mother to climb into their treehouse (which, by the way, most property insurance companies won’t cover the liability risk of), and stand over a particular area in the floorboards.  She falls to the rocks below and has grave head injuries.  The girl tells authorities that an imaginary playmate named “Drill” coached her.

Then an FBI Agent who works as a child specialist, Claire Bennigan (Lily Rabe – are we supposed to remember Scully from “X-files”?) is called into the case, and learns of another case where a teenage boy set off a bomb that killed himself, and disfigured his mother, under this playmate’s direction.  Then there is another “odd” couple, DOD analyst Wes (Barry Sloane) and estranged wife Lena (Kristen Connolly), with daughter Minx (Kylie Rogers), who, under Drill’s influence, will start hacking DOD (which China does all the time).

The episode reaches a bit into coincidence, though, with how in handles the apparent disappearance and reported death of Claire’s husband Sean when his Air Force flight went missing in the Arctic some time back.  Another plane crashes in the Sahara, and a reappearing pilot John Doe, mentions Sean. Furthermore, a mysterious man, covered with tattoos, recovering in a hospital, seems to resemble Sean (would Claire have married an illustrated man), but speaks Arabic in his sleep.  He seems connected to the kids and to Drill.  What’s makes it more unbelievable is that Claire’s own son, a deaf-mute but budding Little League baseball player, seems to have contact with Drill, too.  Are all the hapless connections compelling, or half-baked.

The plane crash is interesting in another sense.  The pieces of the aircraft are encased in natural salt sculpture that can happen in the desert as a result of dry lightning strikes.  All of this reminds me a bit of NBC’s “”The Event”, which was a compelling series.  Aliens must be involved.  I will accept nothing less.

The official site is here

Despite the coincidences, this series is intriguing.  I may follow up.


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