The opening sequence of “The Tourist” bears a hanging resemblance to “Duel,” the 1971 ABC TV film starring Dennis Weaver as a businessman terrorized by a tanker truck chasing him via the Mojave Desert — and attempting to kill him for causes unknown.
But that’s the place the similarities finish.
A couple of minutes into “The Tourist,” a six-episode sequence premiering Tuesday (March 1) on HBO Max, a British man (Jamie Dornan) engages in a high-speed sport of cat-and-mouse with a trucker in the Australian Outback. The massive rig runs his automotive off the highway and practically kills him, and he wakes up in a distant hospital with no thought who he’s our how he obtained there.
That units the wheels (pun meant) in movement for “The Tourist,” as The Man, as he’s referred to as — his actual identification is disclosed in the ultimate minutes of Episode 2 — tries to piece collectively his historical past, beginning with a scrap of paper he finds in his pocket that leads him to a far-flung diner, an explosion there that’s meant to kill him, an ex-girlfriend, Luci Miller (Shalom Brune-Franklin), he doesn’t keep in mind — however who has her personal causes for serving to him — and a person who’s buried alive in an underground oil drum to whom The Man is in some way related. There are a number of shifting elements right here, with gears that mesh easily.
“The Tourist” begins with that bang and doesn’t let up and, in one other departure from “Duel,” it has its share of low-key humor and quirky characters. There’s the probationary regulation officer, Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald), working her first case, who’s getting married in 9 weeks to Ethan Krum (Greg Larsen) and is attempting to reduce weight and never “love the lard” as society tells her; the truck driver, a burly, bearded American named Billy Nixon (Ólafour Darris Ólaffson); and DI Lachlan Rogers (Damon Herriman, “Mindhunter,” “Perpetual Grace, Ltd.”), who’s despatched by main crimes to examine — and has well being problems with which I gained’t go into right here.
Each hour-long episode ends with a giant reveal main instantly into the following installment, which retains the motion going at a pleasant clip because the thriller slowly begins to unwind and we be taught extra about The Man — who just isn’t as harmless as he seems to be … if solely he might keep in mind why.
The sequence has a first-rate pedigree — it was written by Jack and Harry Williams (“The Missing,” “Baptiste,” “Liar”), and co-star Shalom Brune-Franklin will probably be acquainted to followers of the BBC’s “Line of Duty” as DC Chloe Bishop (Season 6). Dornan, in fact, wants no introduction. “The Tourist,” which premiered in January on BBC One and in Australia on Stan, was shot on location in numerous areas of the continent (together with Adelaide and the South Australian city of Peterborough) and you can nearly really feel the Outback desert grit and mud entering into your garments.
It’s a journey down a winding highway that’s value your time.