Review: Season Two of Jamie Dornan’s The Tourist

Jamie Dornan as Elliot Stanley
Jamie Dornan as Elliot Stanley (Steffan Hill/BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)
The Tourist, BBC 1 and iPlayer

Season two of The Tourist heads to Ireland and it feels like when the cast of Coronation Street get a holiday and the story line moves to the Emerald Isle for a week.

It inevitably involves trad music, pubs and stray dogs.

Last January season one of The Tourist opened in a dusty town in the Australian outback where our own Jamie Dornan (Elliot Stanley) couldn’t remember who he was after waking up from a car crash.

Elliot is perplexed when he comes round in a remote hospital bed and has no documents, no luggage and no phone.

We know he’s a wrong ‘un though, however gorgeous.

Our fears are quickly confirmed when the local cafe (his first port of call after the hospital) blows up shortly after he leaves.

Read More: Top 10 television shows of 2023

TV Review: Platform 7 is not for Christmas

Since then we’ve been finding out more about Stanley and his involvement in nefarious activity, while various people follow him around Australian trying to kill him.

The comparisons to a famous movie trilogy are obvious here.

Stanley escapes and hides from his captors on an Irish island
Stanley escapes and hides from his captors on an Irish island (Steffan Hill/BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

By now Stanley is in a relationship with the naive small town Australian cop, Helen (Danielle Macdonald), who tried to help him and they decide to return to his native soil.

His luck doesn’t improve however, and he’s kidnapped by a gang of masked men almost as soon as he arrives.

It turns out the gang are from a rival criminal family to Stanley but that just confuses him more because he still can’t shake the amnesia.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers are torturing him psychologically. This includes a dead pig with a key inside, throwing a fake grenade into his room and offering him a way out if he cuts off his own legs.

Stanley remains cool throughout, insisting that’s he’s ready for any punishment he deserves if only somebody would tell him who the hell he is.

Helen (DANIELLE MACDONALD) (Steffan Hill/BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

“I’m ready to answer for all the things I’ve done,” he tells the kidnappers.

It’s all a bit far-fetched and continues the theme from season one of unbelievability.

While the torture continues on a remote island off the mainland, Helen is beside herself with worry and calls the Gardai.

At one stage, Stanley escapes from captivity and manages to ring Helen but with the bad signal they get confused as to whether he’s in Ireland or on an island.

Naturally, Helen hooks up with an oddball member of An Garda Siochana, Ruairi Slater (Conor MacNeill), and together they try to find her boyfriend.

Along the way, Helen witnesses a murder by Stanley’s presumed mother, who stabs a man from the rival family in the eye.

But by the time Helen gets Garda Slater to turn up, the body has been removed and the area cleaned up.

Garda Ruairi (CONOR MACNEILL) (Steffan Hill/BBC/Two Brothers/Steffan Hill)

Helen is also still getting calls from her ex-boyfriend in Australia who’s transformed himself into a wannabe influencer and reviews his in-flight meal (or bread roll to be precise) on TikTok on the plane to Ireland.

Garda Slater has a life-size doll at home, whom he speaks to as if he’s in a relationship with her.

Despite borrowing the main premise of the Bourne trilogy, the Tourist isn’t designed to be a high-speed action movie.

Presumably it’s written as black humour and the ridiculous goings-ons are meant to leave us viewers biting the couch cushions. But what do I know.

Apparently, season one was the BBC’s most watched drama of 2023 and there’s already talk about season three.

Seems plenty of people find The Tourist hilarious.