The Whis­pers Youth In Re­volt

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Leave it to Steven Spiel­berg to turn some­thing as in­nocu­ous as a child’s imag­i­nary friend into some­thing down­right spinechilling. As ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of ABC’s new genre thriller The Whis­pers, Spiel­berg, along with cre­ator/ co- ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Soo Hugh and showrun­ner Zack Estrin, ex­plore a dis­turb­ing spate of sub­ur­ban chil­dren do­ing some very dark things ( in­clud­ing at­tempted mur­der and maim­ing) at the be­hest of their in­vis­i­ble com­pan­ion Drill.

Of the creepy premise, co- Pres­i­dent of Am­blin Tele­vi­sion Dar­ryl Frank ex­plains that Spiel­berg “loved the provoca­tive idea of ‘ What would hap­pen if some­one, or some­thing, was con­trol­ling your kids and mak­ing them do bad things?’ It plays into what he does, which is the scari­est things are the things that hap­pen in your own backyard and your own house.”

An­chored by some dis­qui­et­ing per­for­mances by child ac­tors Kylie Rogers ( Minx) and Kyle Har­ri­son Bre­itkopf ( Henry), FBI child spe­cial­ist Claire Ben­ni­gan ( Lily Rabe) tries to dig into the psy­che and se­crets of th­ese creepy kids. Showrun­ner Zack Estrin ex­plains, “Th­ese kids are all cho­sen for a very spe­cific rea­son based on who they have ac­cess to. They will all have tasks that they are asked to do and ques­tions they are be­ing forced to an­swer. To us, it’s about how far will th­ese kids be taken. It’s not an evil kid of the week show. It’s a char­ac­ter drama, a thriller, a mys­tery and a genre show wrapped up into one.”

Tout­ing the strength of their mini thes­pi­ans as a huge sell­ing point when it comes to the un­set­tling tone of the se­ries, Estrin en­thuses, “The kids are a cen­tral part of the show and bring such a unique thing to tele­vi­sion. They are in­trin­sic to the plot.”

“The char­ac­ters are not at all who you thought they were at the start”

Mean­while, genre vet­eran Milo Ven­timiglia ( He­roes) is also a ma­jor player in the over­ar­ch­ing mys­tery, show­ing up in the pi­lot as a bedrag­gled am­ne­siac also drawn to th­ese child- pre­cip­i­tated events. “When you first meet John Doe in half blood­ied scrubs, he’s bearded with hair down past his chin, cov­ered in tat­toos. Things are scrawled on him. He has no knowl­edge of any­thing for sev­eral months back,” Ven­timiglia teases. “He has no idea who

Lily Rabe plays the spe­cial­ist try­ing to work out the kooky kids.

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