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Deborah Ross

As I’ve yet to forgive those writing brothers, Harry and Jack Williams, for the dumbest thriller of 2021 (Angela Black, with Joanne Froggatt), I didn’t hold out much hope for The Tourist, but it’s darkly funny, refreshingly different and addictive. It’s set in the Australian Outback and begins with a man in a car (a terrific Jamie Dornan, right) being menaced off the road by a truck in the manner of Steven Spielberg’s Duel. Next, he comes round in hospital and can’t remember a thing, including who he is. He then has to piece it all together. He encounters someone buried alive, a sexy waitress, a big American fella in cowboy gear with murder on his mind and also probationary police officer Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald), who is spectacularly lovable yet has an awful demeaning fiancé. (Dump him, Helen!) It is preposterous. You’d think, for instance, that the local police would circulate a photograph of this unidentified man nationally. And there are substantial continuity errors. But it has wit, it has verve, it has probationary police officer Helen Chambers, and also a stuffed koala that will turn out to be important. A second series, with Dornan and Macdonald, starts shooting next month and will be set in Ireland.