Conventional wisdom says that given the current climate in America, now would not be the ideal time to launch a TV show about government conspiracies and secret agents. But the brainchild behind ABC's sublime espionage saga Alias (debuting Sunday at 9 pm/ET) begs to differ.

"I believe that stories of morality, stories of good versus evil, and stories about a hero are things that people could use right now," the show's creator-executive producer, J.J. Abrams (Felicity), tells TV Guide Online. "Alias is about a young woman [Jennifer Garner] who herself is a victim of violence. She's a very smart, strong-willed, ultimately vulnerable young woman who is actively fighting against evil forces to make her life and the country a better place.

"In some ways," adds Abrams, "I think Alias is even more pertinent now than it was before — though that was never the intention when it began."

Unlike CBS's The Agency and Fox's 24 — both of which have made content adjustments in response to the Sept. 11 attacks — Abrams points out that his CIA-themed thriller is "very much fiction, very much a comic book... Our shows are very specific to the bad guys in the world of Alias. We're sort of in our own universe."

Still, there was one instance where art came a little too close to imitating life. "In a future episode, someone was going to disrupt the World Trade Organization meeting the way they did in Seattle, and there was a bomb in the story," he explains. "I didn't want 'bomb' and 'World Trade' to be in the same story, so we changed the group. It just bothered me that it was so close."