The Tourist is better as a black comedy than an action thriller

Jamie Dornan as the Man in The Tourist. He's wearing a grey t-shirt with a red heart, standing by a petrol pump in the Australian outback.

Watching The Tourist, you get the sense that it maybe wasn’t marketed particularly well.

The six-part thriller is BBC One’s prestige New Year’s Day drama for 2022, debuting in the same slot occupied by shows like The Serpent, Dracula, and Luther in previous years. To all intents and purposes, it was pitched as quite a serious affair – images were released of Jamie Dornan all bearded and brooding, trailers emphasised the intense action that kicks the whole thing off, and the official synopsis described it as “a story of self-discovery with a ticking time-bomb underneath”, full of “shocking, surprising, and brutal turns”.

It comes as a bit of a surprise then that the series is actually really, really funny.

My review of The Tourist for National World. Gotta admit, I wasn’t particularly enthused about this show at first – but it really clicked for me the moment I realised it was funny. Danielle Macdonald as Helen is a particular delight.

You can find more of my writing about television here, and follow me on twitter @morelandwriter.

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