The Whispers, which is loosely based on Ray Bradbury’s “Zero Hour,” is spooky. No one knows why or how a mysterious person/thing known as Drill has successfully convinced a bunch of children to independently decide to play his “game.”
At first, the only child we know about is Harper, who appears to suffer from some sort of mental illness that causes her to hear voices, which tell her to loosen boards in her tree house and have her mother step on them. When her mother falls through, Harper gets scared and doesn’t realize that her actions could have killed her mother.
The FBI is handed Harper’s case, partially because it appears to have been premeditated, but mostly because her father works for some government agency. Then, it’s revealed that Harper isn’t the first child to meet Drill and definitely won’t be the last. By the end of the episode, three kids are playing with Drill and one is dead because they listened to Drill. It’s frightening, especially since there is no explain for why the kids decide to keep an unknown things secret and accept its challenges even when they know its wrong.
The storyline with the kids is more interesting than that of the adults. All of the adults are puzzled and understandably scared. They’re experiencing things that there is no explanation for and they work for various government agencies, all of which are responsible for protecting the public. However, the FBI seem to be focusing too much on what they can only assume is Drill’s control of the lights. The more interesting story is that every government agent involved is completely puzzled at how a plane that everyone thought crashed in the Artic ended up in the Sahara Desert.
The Whispers is good and the show is an interesting concept. The problem is that the writers have developed too many storylines that are connected, but that isn’t always made clear. There were times I found myself drifting off for a minutes because there is no logical reason for scaring kids on a playground to be connected to an Air Force plane crash. The kids’ stories drive The Whispers, but the writers want to focus on the adults, which causes the show to be fragmented and feel stretched out.
The Whispers is based on a short story. ABC should have adapted the story as a movie. I don’t see how the story will hold anyone’s attention for a full season and it will be nearly impossible to develop the story past 13 episodes.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Allison Lips is the Founder of Wait! What’s a Dial?, a television blog that showcases the writing of millennials. Allison graduated from Rowan University in May 2013. She has a passion for TV history, especially late night and game shows. If she could go back in time, Steve Allen would still be hosting The Tonight Show. Follow her on Twitter @waitwaitsadial.