Interview with Lisa Scott (Producer) on The Tourist
The Series Start on BBC1 on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 9pm
It will run for six episodes with each dropping on the iPlayer after they have aired
In the U.S. the series is set to air on HBO Max, but there is no release date yet
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Why did you want to be involved in this project and what was your reaction to first reading the script?
I was very excited about Jack and Harry Williams, who I had previously met when our two shows had come up in competition together for a best drama series, and so I was very excited to hear that they were the writers behind this project. I’ve been a great fan of their work, so when I read the script, it delivered everything that I thought it would. It’s different, it’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s a big epic story. It’s a story of redemption and it’s everything that I would want to watch when I sit down to watch drama, and I’m hoping that the audiences will come along on the same ride too.
Tell us more about some of the stunts
There’s the initial stunt where he is chased by a very large truck and he’s in a very small car – that was logistically challenging because we had to use two units of filming. It took probably 3 and a half weeks to shoot over a vast array of area, but I think the end product is really exciting and I hope the audiences really enjoy the adrenaline ride that is the opening sequence of The Tourist.
Logistically, trying to create stunts of this size in the outback was very challenging for production and the art department because they had to build on locations. So it’s four and a half hours from the major centre where, if you’ve forgotten a bit of timber, it’s a long way to go! Although we have been using resources in the country who have been really supportive to the production so that’s been wonderful. I mean the problem with filming out there is trying to get people to come out. You can’t say you just forgot the crew member; you have to be logistically very well organised. So the team were really on their toes in terms of making sure we were well supported to ensure we achieved what we were aiming to do.
What can audiences expect from the series?
I think audiences will be excited to see a fast, action paced drama in a world that many people haven’t seen before, the outback of South Australia, set in the beautiful Flinders ranges which is something I’m really excited to showcase to the world. There will also be a story of redemption, there will be tears, there will be laughter, there is a lot of humour in this story as well. I think that it will really suck you in and you’ll want to really follow the journey of The Man as he discovers who he is. The two supporting characters of Luci and Helen are wonderful too, they really tidy up and make it a really tight drama.
Tell us about the casting process and the incredible actors bringing these roles to life. What do they bring to the roles?
The casting process was extensive. We did a lot of work looking for The Man until we landed on our wonderful lead of Jamie Dornan. There was a lot of negotiation between the UK and Australia to support this huge cast, I think we have 72 speaking roles. We had a UK casting director, Gary Davy, and Australian casting directors, Ann Fay and Leigh Pickford to bring the series to life.
Danielle Macdonald is wonderful in the role of Helen; she brings such pathos and such emotion, and I think the audiences are really going to respond well to her. Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci is a wonderful actor, she is such a powerhouse in the role of Luci because we don’t really know a lot about Luci and as we discover more about The Man, we discover more about Luci along the way.
It was very important for Chris Sweeney, the director of the first episodes, that we cast comedians in smaller roles so that they could handle the humour in the scripts along with the pathos of the drama. So, we have Greg Larsen playing the role of Ethan Crumb, who is Helen’s husband, Brett Blake, who is a gift shop employee. We have the Umbilical Brothers, David Collins and Shane Dundas. It was important to have them in the show as our outback tour operators. So I think that the audience will really enjoy seeing those little cameos and it also gives us a different flavour to the show and is a really good way to play the humour.
The scope and scale of this show is huge, can you tell us more about that and the experience of making the ambition a reality?
The joy of doing a co-production with the BBC, HBO Max and Stan is that you have more resources. As a producer, that’s a gift. So we can push it really hard to get as much scope and scale into the production as possible. Having all these partners on board enabled us to have a longer shoot, which meant we could get more coverage, have bigger stunts, travel bigger distances. So really, it’s a producer’s dream to have the resources to create an epic drama such as The Tourist.
Source BBC One
December 28, 2021 4:00am ET by BBC One