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."