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The Tourist viewers accuse show of ‘ripping off’ Steven Spielberg TV movie Duel

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  • Jamie Dornan
    Jamie Dornan
    Actor
  • Steven Spielberg
    Steven Spielberg
    American filmmaker

The Tourist viewers are expressing their delight at seeing Jamie Dornan back on their TV screens.

Northern Irish actor Dornan has returned in the prime time BBC mystery drama, which follows a man left with amnesia after being rammed off the road in the Australian outback.

The first episode aired on Saturday (1 January), with all six becoming available on iPlayer. The series marks Dornan’s first BBC show since Death and Nightingales, which aired on BBC Two in 2018. 

He previously appeared in BBC drama The Fall alongside Gillian Anderson from 2013 to 2016.

Following The Tourist’s broadcast, though, many couldn’t help but draw comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s Duel, which was written by Richard Matheson.

The opening scene of The Tourist sees Dornan’s character chased by a huge lorry for seemingly no rhyme or reason, which is the exact plot of Spielberg’s 1971 TV movie starring Dennis Weaver.

While some called the opening scene a homage, others complained that it was too much of a “rip off”.

“Why is opening of The Tourist a rip off of 70’s film Duel?” one viewer asked, with another adding: Well 10 minutes into The Tourist on #BBCOne & it’s an absolute dead pinch of the Steven Spielberg film Duel with Dennis Weaver!”

Jamie Dornan’s new BBC show ‘The Tourist’ is drawing strong ‘Duel’ comparisons (BBC)
Jamie Dornan’s new BBC show ‘The Tourist’ is drawing strong ‘Duel’ comparisons (BBC)

One other viewer stated: “I quite enjoyed the first episode of The Tourist, clearly the opening sequence was heavily inspired by Duel though…” with one more writing: “I hope there’s more to The Tourist than the plot of Duel.”

Others used the opportunity to praise Duel, which was Spielberg’s debut, and urge anyone who’s never seen it to seek it out.

The Independent gave The Tourist five stars, commending Dornan’s performance in particular.

Episode two airs on Sunday (2 January) at 9pm on BBC One. The entire series is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now. 

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