Third-episode verdict: Believe (NBC/Watch)

The BarrometerA Barrometer rating of 4

In the US: Sundays, 9/8c, NBC
In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, Watch. Starts March 27th

Three episodes into the latest JJ Abrams drama to emerge from NBC and suddenly we realise that of all the shows Abrams could have emulated, he chose to go with Touch. You could just about spot it if you looked hard enough, even though the first episode was largely by-the-book Abrams formula number one, with secret organisations squabbling over a MacGuffin – in this case a kid with nebulous special powers – that our hero has to defend. True, it was a bit quirkier than normal, with a baddie worried about getting home in time for her mother’s birthday, but there was nothing hugely innovative about it.

Episode two was something of a reboot, with the writers deciding quirky was bad and essentially rewriting the motivations for the goodies and the baddies. Apart from the addition of Trieste Kelly Dunn from Banshee to the cast, perhaps the biggest surprise was how quickly the writers were willing to dish the dirt on all the mysteries the show had served up in the pilot, leaving us with just few to puzzle over, most of them involving butterflies and how our hero figures in the set-up.

Episode three continued in the same vein, answering more questions and giving us flashbacks to how it all started. But now we have the same kind of ‘everyone is interconnected’ silliness of Touch, with our hero and little girl sidekick meeting someone new each episode and fixing their problems with a bit of special power fun. And they’re being told to do it by the butterflies.

It’s still not without charms. Each episode has an obligatory heartwarming moment in which something lovely happens thanks to our less than dynamic duo. They also try to solve problems without a gun, which is novel these days.

But the central mysteries were as unexciting and derivative as I was expecting and the characters vary from insipid to irritating, without much variance. I can’t quite recommend it but if you fancy something like The Littlest Hobo but without as many dogs or a show like Touch where the kid actually gets to talk, this might be the show for you.

Rob’s rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Cancelled by the end of the season