June 1 sees the premiere of ABC's new science-fiction series, The Whispers, but the show itself remains a big mystery: what's it about?
Although we know the basics, there's really not a lot to go on. We know that the series deals with a common "imaginary" friend of children across the U.S. and that this "imaginary" friend has the children doing some dastardly things because, well, it's not that imaginary.
But what else is there? Why should we watch this show? Here are five things you need to know before the premiere episode.
ABC based the series on a Ray Bradbury short story
The Whispers takes its cue from a Ray Bradbury short story called "Zero Hour" that appeared in 1951's The Illustrated Man, a series of 18 sci-fi stories by the author. The anthology of short stories dealt with technology's psychological effects on mankind. Although each story in the novel is separate, a common narrator connects them. Known as "The Illustrated Man," this narrator is a former extremely tattooed carnival freak show act. Each tattoo tells a different story: the stories in the book.
In "Zero Hour," children become obsessed with a game they call "Invasion." Of course, as so often is the case, the children's parents dismiss the game until an actual invasion occurs.
It could be about aliens
Although we don't know if the writers of The Whispers plan on going with the original Bradbury story, if they do, an alien invasion will feature heavily in the show. We haven't really seen a good alien story on TV in some time (at least since Falling Skies), so a new sort of alien invasion, through children, could prove interesting. Of course, there's no guarantee that the imaginary friend is an alien, specifically since the show is only loosely based on Bradbury's story, but that's part of the fun in watching: we don't really know what it is.
The series stars Lily Rabe
American Horror Story fans know Lily Rabe through various incarnations of characters she's played throughout that series. However, Rabe is front and center in The Whispers as an FBI investigator in The Whispers, and we're guessing her role brings a sort of X-Files feel to the show. Rabe's character, though, is a child psychologist, and that means she'll be the first to see that something is amiss with these children and their "imaginary" friend.
Also, we should mention that Heroes' and Gotham's Milo Ventimiglia is also in the series.
Stephen Spielberg is an executive producer of the series
Stephen Spielberg is one of the guys that put the sci-fi in sci-fi movies and TV, so having him on board as an executive producer gives the series serious sci-fi cred. Spielberg, however, isn't alone: one of the other executive producers of The Whispers is Zack Estrin who has worked on series such as Charmed, Tru Calling, The River and Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.
It has creepy children doing very bad things
Anytime you have kids on a science fiction show, things get interesting because most tropes have little kids always being incredibly creepy. Throw in imaginary friends having kids doing things like killing their mothers (as seen in a sneak peek of the first episode of The Whispers) and you've got a real edge to the story. Because kids are so innocent, when they do such evil things, it's always uncomfortable to watch, but also makes for good television viewing because we can't turn away.
The Whispers premieres June 1 at 10 p.m.
[Photo Credit: ABC]