8 reasons why Netflix's The Tourist should be your next crime show binge watch

Netflix just dropped the second season of The Tourist. Here are some reasons to check out this wild international thriller.

The Tourist. Photograph by Ian Routledge/Two Brothers Pictures.
The Tourist. Photograph by Ian Routledge/Two Brothers Pictures. /

Netflix just dropped the second season of The Tourist to continue the surprisingly successful series. Here are eight reasons why you should check out this wild crime dramedy.

Debuting in 2022 for the BBC and Max, The Tourist focuses on a man (Jamie Dornan) who wakes up after a car crash in Australia with total amnesia. Adopting the name of Elliot Stanley, he tries to uncover his past, aided by local cop Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald). As he finds himself hunted by various crooks and other forces, “The Man” slowly realizes he wasn’t that nice a guy in the past he can’t remember. 

Max dropped the show after its first season but thankfully, Netflix stepped in to renew it. With two seasons now in, here’s a few reasons why The Tourist should be a must-watch for any crime show fans. 

1. The Tourist lead is compelling

Playing a guy who has no memory of his past is tough, but Dornan pulls it off nicely. As Elliot, he’s often in the dark when someone from his past comes calling, and his “blank slate” gives him a chance to be the audience surrogate, asking just what is going on.

But it gets deeper as Elliot comes to learn more about his past and how terrible a guy he really was. The later episodes have him openly wrestling with the realization he was a ruthless criminal or, even worse if he deserves a shot at redemption. Dornan’s performance is central to the show, and it alone makes it worth watching. 

The Tourist. Danielle Macdonald as Helen Chambers in episode 201 of The Tourist. Credit: Steffan Hill/Netflix. 2023 © TWO BROTHERS PICTURES/Netflix /

2. Helen is a fantastic match

As Helen, Macdonald is a great match for Dornan. She’s a woman long used to being overlooked both as a cop and by her would-be husband, not a drop-dead gorgeous lady but still some great grit to her. Her chemistry with Elliot is wonderful to watch as they bond, and she feels both an attraction and a connection to him.

At the same time, as she learns more about what he’s done, Helen can’t help wondering if she’s falling for a monster. Still, the relationship between the pair is a central part of the show, and watching them fall for each other is terrific. 

3. The side characters can be wicked

While Dornan and Macdonald are the central characters, the supporting cast is also good. Season 1 has Billy Nixon, a genial guy who’s also a brutal killer; Luci, a mysterious con woman with major ties to Elliot’s past; Lachlan Rogers, the put-upon detective with his share of secrets; and Kosta who emerges as the real threat whose relationship to a friend has unusual turns.

Season 2 amps it up with characters in a brutal Irish family feud and a quirky local detective whose home life is beyond bizarre. As the title indicates, Elliot is a tourist among these weird locals who spark the show up more.

4. The twists are truly shocking

The Tourist loves to throw out unexpected turns, but they’re never just for the sake of a shock. They all make sense in the storyline yet are compelling nonetheless. A seemingly quiet character reveals their dark side. A mild-mannered minor character steps up into some major actions. One character is revealed to not even be real. And there are revelations about Elliot’s past that come as a shock to him.

It gets bigger in Season 2, and fittingly, the final scene of the season has one more revelation, changing everything we thought we knew about the show. The series never ceases to amaze viewers by pulling the rug out from under them. 

5. The Outback setting helps 

Set in Australia helps the series as the stark vistas are a good metaphor for Elliot’s blank slate status. They’re dusty, remote, and often home to some serious showdowns against bad guys. The fact the Irish Elliot is clearly out of his element helps as Australia has a unique vibe that adds to the thrills.

It's a rugged and dangerous land, so the natural setting for the violent clashes that occur. Much of the land can be magical and mysterious, which fits the storyline, and the powerful visuals add impact. It’s a great setting that works to the finale and why going Down Under helps a show stand out. 

The Tourist. (L to R) Danielle Macdonald as Helen Chambers and Jamie Dornan as Elliot in episode 201 of The Tourist. Credit: Steffan Hill/Netflix. 2023 © TWO BROTHERS PICTURES/Netflix /

6. The Ireland shift for The Tourist Season 2 works well

Season 2 changes things up with Elliot and Heather heading to Ireland. The change in locale means a new mood, now cloudier, murky and dour. That perfectly fits the storyline as a family feud has turned into an open war with the pair caught in the middle.

It also offers major revelations on Elliot’s past, including his family connections. Rather than change the show up too much, the move to Ireland was a fantastic way for the show to amp up the stakes. 

7. Ethan is hilarious 

With so much drama, dark events and thrills, the show needs some levity. Enter Ethan Krum (Greg Larsen), Helen’s early boyfriend. This goofball doesn’t quite get what an annoying jerk he is (he literally mansplains “mansplaining” to her), yet he brings some good laughs to things.

It gets better in The Tourist Season 2 when he goes on a quest to win Helen back, leading to an unlikely team-up with Elliot. That’s followed by him making another weird friendship as Ethan’s bumbling antics provide much-needed humor to the series. 

8. It’s not too long

With just 12 episodes total, the series moves at a wonderfully brisk pace. It doesn’t drag things out too much, enough time for the plots to develop but not enough to meander aimlessly. Each episode is packed with enough storytelling for three or four episodes of a standard network drama.

On Netflix, it’s a fun short binge that can be done on a weekend and still leave you wanting more. Put that length together with the compelling leading man and the deep mysteries and The Tourist is a Netflix hit that hopefully continues to tour for a while.

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The Tourist is streaming on Netflix.