Imagine a hero who knows less than the viewer about his own story! In The Tourist, a British series presented at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival and broadcast this Monday at 9:10 p.m. on France 2, Jamie Dorman plays the role of a bearded and muscular Irishman, who drives quietly on the desert roads of the Australian outback, when a semi-trailer chases him and ends up sending him into the ditch. The man wakes up in the hospital of a small town completely amnesiac without knowing who he is, nor why someone wants him dead. The starting point for a thrilling, hilarious and exotic story, created by Harry Williams and Jack Williams, the producers of flea bag and the creators of Missing, who made a hit across the Channel.
“We wanted to do something that would be a kind of existential thriller, explains Harry Williams that 20 minutes met at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival. The central question at the heart of the series is “who am I?” When he wakes up in the hospital, the amnesiac meets Helen Chambers, a young police officer in training, in charge of the investigation and determined to help him find his identity. “I’m your only friend,” she tells him.
A self-discovery road trip
An arduous task with the only track, a piece of paper on which are scribbled the place and the date of an appointment in a boui-boui. On the spot, the amnesiac will acquire a certainty: someone wants him dead. Here’s to the thrilling. The beginning of a road-trip “to discover oneself” for the two heroes. “She doesn’t know who she is either, she’s not with the right guy… And these two improbable people, who don’t know who they are, somehow know who the other is”, analyzes the screenwriter and producer .
A haunting and hilarious thriller
The series is filmed “in a landscape so vast and so empty that one can easily get lost in it. The landscapes of the Australian outback give the whole series a slightly strange western atmosphere. “It’s kind of familiar, and yet it’s not Arizona, or exactly the dusty landscapes of the Coen brothers’ films. English is spoken there, but it is a very unusual region where mystery hovers”. So much for the change of scenery.
If the Australian outback holds a bit of No Country for Old Men, Helen Chambers surprisingly evokes Marge Gunderson, the heroine of the film Fargo. “There are a lot of conscious references. Duel of Steven Spielberg, the films of the Coen brothers, and many other things. We tried to merge all this in a coherent way! It’s hard to do something that I hope is a little emotional, a little exciting, and at the same time makes people laugh. Whether Fargo is so good, it’s because it manages to do thriller and comedy, and it does it in a tongue-in-cheek way. It was a big reference. » Tinted with black humor, The Tourist, in the style of the Cohen brothers’ masterpieces, becomes more and more crazy and atypical as the plot unfolds.