The Whispers: With Imaginary Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? (Summer Preview)

Ingela Ratledge
Bob D'Amico/ABC

The Whispers

With imaginary friends like these, who needs enemies? On ABC's chilling new drama The Whispers—inspired by Ray Bradbury's sci-fi short story "Zero Hour" and executive produced by Steven Spielberg—an invisible force named Drill has begun secretly buddying up to children, convincing them to be his playmate. Unfortunately for the future of humankind, he's not exactly keen on lighthearted rounds of Candy Land. When Drill recruits his little pals, many of whom just happen to be the offspring of government officials, the games end in bloodshed…and worse. But exactly who and what is this mysterious entity, and what's his ultimate objective? Here's an introduction to the central players of the creepy series.

Bob D'Amico/ABC

LILY RABE
Where You've Seen Her FX's American Horror Story
She Plays Claire Bennigan, a recently widowed single mom to Henry (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf) and gifted FBI child specialist who's been on a time-out from the agency to lick her various wounds. (Her late husband's military plane went down in flames—and so did Claire's extramarital affair with her colleague Wes.) When she's called back to work on a peculiar new case, the investigation eventually leads her to Drill and a whole lotta jeopardy. Says Rabe, "Everything precious to her will be threatened."
Extraterrestrial Activity? "Claire will be on the front lines going up against Drill, and she wouldn't have it any other way," says Rabe. She'll also have to battle her out-of-this-world attraction to Wes as they find themselves side by side again: "They both love their families, but the connection between them is very intense and alive."


Bob D'Amico/ABC

BARRY SLOANE
Where You've Seen him ABC's Revenge
He Plays Wes Lawrence, who fled the FBI for a high-ranking post at the Department of Defense after his indiscretion with Claire was exposed. "His priorities as a husband and father have been a little askew lately, but he's trying to set things right. And ultimately, he loves his country," says Sloane.
Extraterrestrial Activity? In the premiere, Wes is sent on a mission to the Sahara Desert, where he encounters a massive object that is inexplicably glowing. Meanwhile, back home in D.C., his kiddo, Minx (Kylie Rogers), is having—gulp—surreptitious playdates with Drill. "As anybody would, he goes into this scenario with a logical mind," Sloane says. "But by the fourth episode, it will be revealed what the hell this thing is, and Wes has no choice but to get on board and rearrange his whole belief system."


Bob D'Amico/ABC

KRISTEN CONNOLLY
Where You've Seen Her Netflix's House of Cards and the horror film Cabin in the Woods
She Plays Lena Lawrence, Wes's estranged wife. "There's a lot of hurt and frustration there, but she's hopeful about her marriage," says Connolly. Alas, holding down the fort becomes a lot trickier for the stay-at-home mom once Drill sets his sights on their young daughter. "It doesn't take Lena long to realize that something's a bit off, but piecing together what she is actually dealing with—and how to talk to other people about it—is a struggle."
Extraterrestrial Activity? Lena may lack combat training and a top-level security clearance, but never count out a mama bear who's been provoked. "When it comes to protecting her child, she will get her hands dirty," promises Connolly. "She doesn't stay in the house worrying the whole time!"


Bob D'Amico/ABC

DEREK WEBSTER
Where You've Seen Him NBC's Revolution, Harry's Law, and The Night Shift
He Plays Jessup Rollins, a freshly divorced and deeply rigid FBI agent who—much to his dismay—has just been partnered with Claire. "He's antisocial and follows the letter of the law, whereas Claire is all about instinct and feeling, so they're exact opposites," Webster says. (And not of the they're-secretly-dying-to-jump-each-other's-bones variety, in case you were wondering.) "This job is all that he has, and he likes things lined up neat and tidy."
Extraterrestrial Activity? He's in for a rude awakening, because Drill doesn't do neat and tidy. Around the midpoint of the season, "Jessup will finally see something going on that he can't deny," Webster teases, "and it's going to get personal for him in a very surprising way. This show has a mix of nice, intimate moments and moments when we're running, screaming for our lives."


Bob D'Amico/ABC

MILO VENTIMIGLIA
Where You've Seen Him The CW's Gilmore Girls, NBC's
Heroes, and, most recently, Gotham
He Plays John Doe, a bearded, ranting, heavily tattooed, wild-eyed weirdo who's suffering from a particularly unsavory brand of amnesia. "He's the kind of guy you would cross the street to avoid," Ventimiglia says. "He has no recollection of who he is, and troubling things are happening to him that he can't explain."
Extraterrestrial Activity? By the end of the pilot, we'll get a major clue about his identity—and his link to the other characters. Whether he's friend or foe, however, remains to be seen. "Viewers are going to question that. And then when things do come to light, they're much different than you imagined," says Ventimiglia with Yoda-esque opacity. "He's complex to describe because he's everything and nothing."

The Whispers, Premieres Monday, June 1, 10/9c, ABC

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