The ABC drama The Whispers had that great creepy trailer before it began. The trailer accomplished two specific things, just as it set out to do. It warned a certain set of viewers to stay the hell away from this terrifying premise, while it made sure that a hardier group wouldn’t possibly miss it. All The Whispers had to do was live up to that promise and premise. And it sure has. The line between adorable and apocalyptic gets walked each week on The Whispers — and it’s a tightrope, not a gulf.
The only thing scarier than what you can see is what you can’t — a fact the producers of this show take massive advantage of. And the only thing worse than a terrifying evil alien is a terrifying evil alien that targets children. Check. When Minx, Harper and Henry (brilliant child actors all) are instructed/embodied by Drill, the evil agent, they become exceptional combinations of evil and innocence that wreak havoc on emotions of their parents and potentially the world. The Whispers is Poltergeist and The Others scary. (Steven Spielberg, who co-wrote Poltergeist, is an exec producer on The Whispers.) But it’s never simple and never quite over the top despite how much they amp the threats. Instead, The Whispers is always a richly complex drama, as difficult and real-feeling as the duality of the children’s motivations. Episode 10, the perfectly named “Darkest Fears”, raises creepy scary stakes yet again — to code red — with an attempt to slay the proverbial dragon. With four episodes to go, it’s unlikely to work. The Whispers airs 10pm Mondays on ABC.