‘The Tourist’ Season 1 Review: An Irishman with Amnesia in the Outback

The Tourist. (L to R) Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci and Jamie Dornan as Elliot in episode 103 of The Tourist. Credit: Ian Routledge/Netflix. 2024 © TWO BROTHERS PICTURES/Netflix
The Tourist. (L to R) Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci and Jamie Dornan as Elliot in episode 103 of The Tourist. Image courtesy of Netflix.

With a compelling story centered around self-discovery, season 1 of The Tourist is the next thing you should put on your watchlist. The Tourist is an Australian thriller series centered around a man (played by Jamie Dornan) who wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. It made the licensing rounds, first premiering on the BBC, then HBO Max, and now Netflix. Dornan’s character has no idea who he is, and he is on a journey to find out who that and everyone he meets. The Irishman was forced off the road, left for dead, and woke up in a rural Australian hospital. He’s stuck in the Australian Outback and must put the pieces of his history back together. 

An exploding diner and questions of identity in season 1 of The Tourist

While in the hospital, the man (Dornan) meets a local cop in training Helen (Danielle Macdonald), who takes a special interest in his case. He soon finds out that his name is Elliot. While lying in his hospital bed, he discovers a note in his pocket telling him to go to a diner in Burnt Ridge at a particular time. He goes to the diner and meets Luci (Shalom Brune-Franklin), and as they both leave the diner, it explodes!

So now Elliot has no choice but to use all the clues at his disposal to uncover his identity before he dies. If it sounds dramatic, it’s because it is – Elliott could literally die. There are people out to kill him, and he has no idea why! But he has to figure it out soon before his past catches up with him. Helen soon becomes his partner to try and learn more about his identity. With Luci and Helen’s aid, Elliot has to retrace his steps, figure out who he is, where he’s from, and what the hell is going on?

The Tourist. (L to R) Geneviève Lemon as Sue and Jamie Dornan as Elliot in episode 101 of The Tourist. Credit: Ian Routledge/Netflix. 2024 © TWO BROTHERS PICTURES/Netflix
The Tourist. (L to R) Geneviève Lemon as Sue and Jamie Dornan as Elliot in episode 101 of The Tourist. Image courtesy of Netflix.

The audience is on the same journey as Dornan’s character in The Tourist

My favorite part of these kinds of shows is that the audience is going on this journey with the protagonist. It can be hard if the mystery seems too convoluted, but this show perfectly mixes everyday situations that lend to the show’s humor and help move the story along. 

With offbeat comedy and hints of surrealism, season 1 of The Tourist has a thrilling central plot and an intriguing story. The show has a lot of twists, and it is accompanied by well-balanced dark humor throughout the series. It can be hard to craft a show that’s meant to simultaneously be a thriller, mystery, and funny. There aren’t many shows that can uphold that balance while combining real-life experience with a philosophical touch.

Throughout the show, Elliot is on a journey of self-discovery, and we get small glimpses and moments of his previous life as he begins to remember things. The Tourist has this great ability to be clever with the writing and tone while bringing a consistent waterfall of thrills that make it an exhilarating joy ride. It’s quirky at times, too, but the actors do an impressive job of adapting to the series’ ridiculous situations, which contributes to the show’s unique appeal. 

We learn more and more about Elliot’s character as the show continues, and we realize that he may not be a good person. But I feel like that was a bit obvious because a big, burly, murderous cowboy wouldn’t go stalking around the Australian outback for a complete angel. I admire how the show digs a bit deeper into the different relationships on the show. 

A unique appeal in The Tourist borne from a compelling and charismatic cast

With Macdonald’s cop in training Helen, we see and learn she is a plus-size woman in a weight loss program with her fiance. But her fiance is constantly putting her down and saying degrading things to hurt her self confidence. As she spends more time helping Elliot, she feels more sure of herself and sees that she is more than her weight. I also appreciate Helen’s character and think her chemistry with Elliott brings more depth to The Tourist. Danielle Macdonald brings authenticity to the show, which helps the more emotional moments. 

The Tourist Season 1 Still. Image courtesy of Netflix.
The Tourist Season 1 Still. Image courtesy of Netflix.

I would also like to commend Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays Luci Miller on the show. As you continue to watch the show, you will notice that the tone does shift into darker and more violent territory. Uncovering Elliot’s past and what he’s running away from introduces new and shady characters. Luci seems to be at the eye of the hurricane, and her dry wit and spry attitude lends to the mystery elements of the show. She’s a dark horse with multitudes and turns out to be (spoiler alert) Elliot’s ex! I loved Shalom’s performance in the show. You can instantly see how they connect with one another in the diner, and they have such a sexy dynamic. Luci is clever, beautiful, and witty, and her ability to be so mysterious and magnetic at the same time makes her one of my favorites from the show. 

Jamie Dornan absolutely shines in this role. Many readers may know him from the Fifty Shades franchise, but this show is far from that. The character of Elliot is complex and it had to be a challenge to explore the depth of an amnesiac character who is trying to rediscover his identity. To be lost in a country that is not your home, unable to feel comfortable in your own body, and not knowing who you can trust. This is a journey of self-discovery, a monumental task of uncovering the depths of your character, even if what you find out is not very pretty; Dornan rises to the occasion. His performance as Elliot shows a versatility that many actors do not possess, and he successfully anchors a compelling story with his grounded and often funny portrayal of Elliot. 

Australian gothic themes in The Tourist

There is also the balancing act of Australian gothic themes in The Tourist. A couple of sequences highlight the potentially dark nature of Elliot’s past, his connection to Luci, and why he’s in Australia to begin with. The introduction of violence in the show heightens the danger of finding out the truth. There seems to be a streak of bad luck to those who cross Elliot’s path as we uncover more about the mystery of his life before the accident. 

There aren’t many thrillers that have a distinct value in both gore and quirkiness. Season 1 of The Tourist masterfully entertains the audience with a unique experience that will keep you laughing and asking questions. This show has incredible characters, a story that dips into gothic undertones with dark humor and a tantalizing mystery. The genre combination is one of a kind and I highly recommend that you check out The Tourist on Netflix. 

Season 1 and Season 2 of The Tourist are now streaming on Netflix.

Have you watched The Tourist yet? What did you think? Let us know by connecting with us on X @MoviesWeTexted.

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