'Fleabag' Producer, BBC Reunite on Australian Mystery Thriller 'The Tourist' (Exclusive)

Fleabag Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

The six-part series centers on a Brit being pursued by mysterious figures from his past across Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The BBC is teaming up once again with writing duo Harry and Jack Williams — whose Two Brothers Pictures banner produced Phoebe Waller-Bridge's hit BBC/Amazon comedy Fleabag — on new drama The Tourist. 

The six-part mystery thriller was commissioned for BBC One and will be produced by Two Brothers in association with Australian streamer Stan — the Australian co-commissioning partner — plus High View Productions, All3media International and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Set in the Australian outback, The Tourist centers on a British man being pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat-and-mouse chase unfolds, and the man later wakes up in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive. Except he has no idea who he is. With merciless figures from his past pursuing him, The Man’s search for answers propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback.

The Tourist is described as a character-driven, mystery-packed thriller, full of shocking, surprising, funny and brutal turns. Set in a world populated by quirky, enigmatic characters, off-beat black comedy punctuates high-stakes action. The series twists and turns through the dusty outback of Australia to the frantic noise and lights of Singapore, and to the calm, luxury white-sand beaches of Bali.

At its heart, however, is a story of self-discovery with a ticking time bomb underneath: as The Man starts to uncover the mystery of who he was, he’s also forced to ask who he is now — and fast. Will he unlock the secrets of his identity before those who are trying to kill him catch up with him?

"The Tourist is a departure from anything we’ve written before," said Harry and Jack Williams, also behind hit dramas The Missing, Baptiste and The Liar. "It isn’t an easy show to categorize — so we won’t. We are, however, hugely excited to have Chris Sweeney on board as director, and to be making this for the BBC. We’re thankful for their support of this ambitious project."

Added Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama: "The Tourist has one of the boldest and most brain-twistingly brilliant conceits that thriller fans will have experienced in a long time. We are delighted to be home to this inspired and utterly original idea and can’t wait to see how Jack, Harry and the exciting team at Two Brothers will bring it to life."

Casting is currently underway on the series, with filming to begin later this year.

Christopher Aird, Two Brothers Pictures' head of drama, said: "The Tourist has a very special tone, which I think will surprise, shock and amuse by turns. We're really excited to be making this distinctive show for BBC One this year."

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser added: "It is fantastic to see acclaimed South Australian producer Lisa Scott partner with the Emmy-award winning producers of Fleabag to bring this new series to South Australia."

Said Nick Forward, chief content officer at Stan: "The Tourist is such a unique story and we’re delighted to be partnering with BBC One, Two Brothers Pictures and the SAFC on this project."

The Tourist is a Two Brothers Pictures (an All3media company) production for the BBC, in association with High View Productions, All3media international, the South Australian Film Corporation and Stan. Harry and Jack Williams will serve as exec producers alongside Sweeney (Back to Life, Liar) for Two Brothers Pictures and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. Lisa Scott (The Hunting, Pine Gap) will produce and Sweeney will direct.

International sales will be handled by All3media International.