The Tourist is a different take on the amnesia story. An unnamed man (Jamie Dornan) is driving down the road in the Australian outback when a giant truck chases him down and forces him off the road. When he wakes up in the hospital he doesn’t know anything about himself. He doesn’t remember that someone tried to kill him or who he is.
Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald), a mere probationary Constable, comes to interview him about the wreck. She’s the lowest person on the totem pole in her police department. When higher ups finally come along to take over the case later in the season, she can’t let go of it. She sticks with The Man throughout the season and tries to help him.
Helen has an a**hole boyfriend (Greg Larsen) at home who treats her badly. He belittles her constantly. At first, Helen is just trying to learn what The Man’s identity is. Later she continues to help him. The boyfriend objects to all of it.
The Man follows the clue in a note in his pants pocket about being in a certain place at a certain time. It’s a diner in the middle of the outback. When he goes there he meets the waitress Luci (Shalom Brune-Franklin). As they are walking out of the diner together, it blows up.
Helen is running about the outback interviewing people who might have a clue about what happened in the accident and some info about who The Man is. One of the people she talks to is a big bear of a man in a cowboy hat, Billy (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson). We know, but Helen doesn’t, that he was the guy driving the truck and caused the wreck.
After a few more attempts on his life, The Man realizes someone wants him dead. He learns his name (spoiler alert, it’s Elliot) and starts piecing together bits of his past. With help from Luci and Helen, he’s back and forth in the outback looking for clues.
Kostas (Alex Dimitriade) shows up late in the season. He wants Elliot. A detective, DI Rogers (Damon Herriman), is chasing Elliot. Lots of cops chase him because innocent people in his vicinity die when he happens along.
Every episode has a small reveal and a nice surprise at the end. The twists and turns of the story keep you interested. The way Elliot’s past is only partially unraveled also keeps the story engaging and surprising. There was humor, action, romance, dusty outback vistas, and plenty of interesting minor characters.
Jamie Dornan and Danielle Macdonald were both excellent in this. The Tourist has a second season, which is not available on Netflix yet. (Soon, I hope.) The second season moves to Ireland. Danielle Macdonald remains in the cast. I consider that a very good thing. The second season also has some women directors, which season 1 failed to have.
If you watched this one, I’d love to know what you thought of it. Are you looking forward to season 2?