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BBC, Stan order outback thriller

BBC drama chief Piers Wenger at C21’s Content London event in December

UK pubcaster the BBC and Australian streamer Stan have co-commissioned a mystery-thriller from the producers of Fleabag in which a British tourist fights for his life in the outback.

Created and written by Two Brothers Pictures’ Harry and Jack Williams, The Tourist (6×60’) will be filmed in South Australia with the support of the South Australian Film Corp.

The plot follows a British man who is pursued by a vast tank truck that tries to drive him off the road. With echoes of Steven Spielberg’s Duel, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues and The Man later wakes in hospital, hurt but suffering from amnesia.

Pursued by figures from his past, his search for answers takes him through the outback and on to Singapore and Bali.

Lisa Scott (The Hunting, Pine Gap) will produce for Two Brothers Pictures and her new company Highview Productions.

Chris Sweeney, whose credits include Liar, the ITV/Sundance TV thriller co-created by the Williams brothers, and BBC/Showtime comedy-drama Back to Life, will direct.

In a joint statement, Harry and Jack Williams said: “The Tourist is a departure from anything we’ve written before. It isn’t an easy show to categorise, 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.”

BBC drama controller Piers Wenger said: “The Tourist has one of the boldest and most brain-twistingly brilliant conceits that thriller fans will have experienced in a long time.”

David Pisoni, South Australia’s minister for innovation and skills, hailed the show as the biggest-budgeted TV series ever to shoot in the state, injecting millions into the regional economy.

Stan chief content officer Nick Forward added: “The Tourist is a unique story and we’re delighted to be partnering with BBC1, Two Brothers Pictures and the SAFC on this project.”

Filming will begin later this year and casting will be announced soon. Two Brothers Pictures’ parent All3Media International will handle sales in the rest of the world.

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