Rebus | Ian Rankin adaptation to air on the BBC

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Ian Rankin’s iconic detective Rebus is heading back to the small screen. Here’s what we know about the new series…

Ian Rankin’s Rebus is one of the most successful characters in contemporary fiction. Appearing in over 24 novels since 1987, with the 25th, Midnight & Blue, set to be published in October, and over a dozen short stories, Rankin’s dour detective has made an indelible impression on readers the world over.

It wasn’t long before he made his way to the screen. The first iteration starred John Hannah, who played the role for one series in 2000 to 2001. Hannah was unpopular with fans of the books, and he quit the role soon after.

For three series, Ken Stott stepped into the role of the detective. His portrayal was extremely popular, and he became inextricably linked with the role, so much so it has taken well over a decade for a new version to be made.

The new series of Rebus will be a prequel which focuses on the detective in his younger years, as he rises up the ranks in Edinburgh. The synopsis reads as follows:

Set in Edinburgh, the six-part series reimagines John Rebus as a younger Detective Sergeant drawn into a violent criminal conflict that turns personal when his brother Michael, a former soldier, crosses the line into criminality. Rebus finds himself torn between protecting his brother and enforcing the law to bring Michael to justice. This epic series explores family, morality and class through an emotionally-charged story, set against the Scottish landmarks that Rankin’s readers know so well. Filming took place in Glasgow and Edinburgh last year.

Richard Rankin (no relation to author Ian) stars as Rebus, alongside Lucie Shorthouse, Brian Ferguson, Amy Manson, Neshla Caplan, Noof Ousellam, Stuart Bowman, Caroline Lee Johnson, Sean Buchanan, Thoren Ferguson and Michelle Duncan.

Gregory Burke, who previously wrote Scottish drama Six Four, wrote all six episodes, which were directed by Niall MacCormick and Fiona Walton.

Ian Rankin said of the new series, “I’m thrilled that Rebus is coming to the BBC. A great cast and a compelling story – I really can’t wait for viewers to see it”, while Burke said that “It has been a huge privilege to work on a new show with Ian Rankin’s iconic character at its centre, and I couldn’t be more delighted that it is to be broadcast on the BBC”.

Rebus will air om BBC One in the spring, we’ll keep you updated as we hear more.

BBC Media Centre

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