The Tourist Is The Big New Year's Day Drama – Here's What You Need To Know

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Over the Christmas period, we’ve been treated to prestige dramas like The Girl Before and A Very British Scandal, and as the festive season draws to a close, the BBC has one last present in store in the form of The Tourist – and what’s even better is that it’s set to last us all through January.

As the new six-part thriller starring Jamie Dornan launches on New Year’s Day, here’s everything we can tell you about it...

What is The Tourist about?

Jamie Dornan leads the cast of The Tourist (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Jamie Dornan leads the cast of The Tourist (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

The Tourist tells the story of a mysterious man and his journey to find his identity – in the most literal sense.

It all begins with a man in the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, where he is being pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road.

When he later wakes in hospital, he has no idea who he is or why someone was trying to kill him.

With merciless figures from his past still pursuing him, The Man has a search for answers that propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback – will he unlock the secrets of his identify before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?

The BBC says the show is “shocking, surprising, funny and brutal turns”, and while the action is high-stakes, it is punctuated with “off-beat comedy” and “enigmatic characters”.

Who is in the cast of The Tourist?

Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades Of Grey, The Fall) stars as the enigmatic lead character, known as The Man. The actor describes him as “desperate, confused, alone, angry, and complicated” who goes on a “darkly comic journey of self-discovery”.

“But there’s definitely love going on here,” Jamie adds. “There’s fear, hate, revenge, remorse – it’s all in there.”

Jamie Dornan plays The Man (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Jamie Dornan plays The Man (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Danielle MacDonald(Patti Cake$, Dumplin’) plays Helen Chambers, a probationary constable in the Cooper Springs police force who is sent to check in on The Man and promises to help figure out who he is, despite it not being her job.

“Instantly, there’s this beautiful connection, he trusts her straight away,” Danielle explains. “That trust just builds and grows and I really love their relationship, they go through every spectrum of everything, there is nothing that they don’t do in this.”

Danielle MacDonald plays Helen (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Danielle MacDonald plays Helen (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Shalom Brune-Franklin (Line Of Duty, Our Girl) plays Luci Miller, a waitress working in a diner in the middle of nowhere.

“She has such a complex relationship with The Man, and I think that she is such an amazing character to play,” Shalom reveals. “She’s also so headstrong, interesting, and mysterious.”

Shalom Brune-Franklin plays Luci (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Shalom Brune-Franklin plays Luci (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Luci is hiding a past that will become clearer as the series goes on – a past that places her at the centre of some very dangerous situations…

Damon Herriman (Justified, Mindhunter) plays DI Lachlan Rogers, a highly-regarded, no-bullshit officer who leads Major Crime for the state police.

“Lachlan’s life changes a lot bit,” Damon explains. “He’s one of the good guys and is really faced with quite a dilemma part way through the series where he has a sliding doors moment in terms of making a pretty big decision, actually a number of big decisions, which are going to change his life in a big way.”

Damon Herriman plays DI Lachlan (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Damon Herriman plays DI Lachlan (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Alex Dimitriades (The Heartbreak Kid, Heartbreak High) plays Kosta Panigris, a wealthy and powerful businessman, whose business hides darker dealings. Neither his capacity for brutality nor his intelligence should be underestimated.

Alex Dimitriades plays Kosta (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Alex Dimitriades plays Kosta (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Lady Dynamite, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) plays Billy Nixon, an American man who runs a trucking distribution company on the outskirts of Cooper Springs, whose appearance and cool-tempered voice hide his sinister mind.

“Billy is not a nice guy,” Ólafur warns. “I mean, let’s just put it this way, none of the characters would like to see him. It’s usually not good news when you see Billy.”

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson plays Billy (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson plays Billy (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

Kamil Ellis (Nowhere Boys, SeaChange) plays Sergeant Lammon, an easy-going cop whose personable, small-town attitude to policing is at odds with the serious detectives from Major Crimes that he’s suddenly forced to work with.

Kamil Ellis (left) plays Sergeant Lammon (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)
Kamil Ellis (left) plays Sergeant Lammon (Photo: BBC/Two Brothers Pictures/Ian Routledge)

What else should I know about The Tourist?

The six-part series has been written and executive produced by Harry and Jack Williams, who are behind other hit shows including The Missing, Baptiste, Liar, Cheat and Angela Black.

“Our goal was to try and do something different,” Jack says of The Tourist. “We’ve written a lot of thrillers, but we felt that in writing this, we wanted to challenge ourselves and do something tonal, structural, and cinematic. Everything grew from that.”

When is The Tourist on?

The Tourist begins on New Year’s Day at 9pm on BBC One, with the second instalment following on Sunday 2 January at 9pm.

Episodes thereafter will air weekly on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

All episodes will also be available to stream immediately on iPlayer after the first airs.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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