Casting is spot on, but...
R. Clark | northern Illinois | 08/20/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ken Stott looks the part of Rebus more than John Hannah, and Claire Price DEFINITELY looks the part of Siobhan more than Gayanne Potter. The supporting cast is equally effective, and the stories (Ian Rankin's The Falls and Fleshmarket Close) are translated to the screen reasonably well.
Still, things are definitely lacking here. Gone was every ounce of Rebus' ongoing personal narrative, and the stories are much weaker for it. Gone also was that sense of self-destructiveness that is so very Rebus. These two stories have been reduced to simply average British mysteries. Not bad by any means, but no where near as gripping as Hannah's Rebus. If you're looking for Ian Rankin's stories to come alive on the screen, pick up John Hannah's Rebus."
Police Drama set in Scotland
Seen Them All | SoCal Desert | 05/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Set in Scotland this is a BBC television series starring John Hannah as an Edinburgh Homicide Detective. Well written and very well acted. Shows the seedy side of Scotland the tourists don't see. The Scottish accents are hard to understand at times but the story lines more than make up for it. Highly Recommended..!!.......Additional Comment: when I did this review there was no photo of the set posted so I made a mistake....here's the correction....the original "REBUS" starred John Hannah and is more "gritty and realistic" than the later versions starring Ken Stott as "Rebus". Both are the same character with two different actors and filmed at different times....both are good but the "original" with John Hannah I believe is better. Sorry for the confusion."
It's A Keeper
Stephanie DePue | Carolina Beach, NC USA | 05/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Rebus," is another superb British crime drama/police procedural television series, based on the work of best selling Scottish author Ian Rankin. We've been seeing this series on BBC America, though it is not a British Broadcasting Corporation production; rather one by Independent Television (ITV). The series is set in the beautiful tourist city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, as are the author's works; however, in this production, as in the books on which it's based, we see the beautiful tourist city only in passing, on our way to such menacing high-rise subsidized housing, council housing as the British call it, as "Knoxland,"where the action takes place.
Rankin's first Rebus novel, "Knots & Crosses," was published in 1987, to great critical acclaim. He was accredited with helping to create "tartan noir,"a Scottish take on the usual mystery; tougher, bloodier, more nasty-minded, and delivered with that sardonic Scots humor. Since then, he's won the prestigious "Edgar," and become the United Kingdom's best selling mystery author; his works have been translated into 22 languages. Luckily for us all, he's published quite a bit, so that the TV series has his actual works on which to be based.
The novels used for Set 1 have been adapted for TV by Daniel Boyle (AKA Danny Boyle), greatly talented Celtic writer/director, who's written such series as "Hamish Macbeth," "Inspector Morse," and "Taggart," and has given us such movies as "Trainspotting," and "Twenty-Eight Days Later." He conveys the tension and atmosphere of the originals admirably; gives us many plot twists and turns, and the ironic local wit. Location photography in the city of Edinburgh is excellent, giving us its damp, cold, foggy ambiance. Disk 1, "The Falls," concerns a really unhappy high profile family. It gives us the Glasgow-born Sharon Small, who plays Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, loyal sidekick in the "Inspector Lynley" mystery series, as Miranda Masterson, Rebus's current love interest. Disk 2, "Fleshmarket Close,"concerns recent immigrants to the U.K., and native-born racist bias against them.
This production has been happily recast from the previous series that starred Scottish actor John Hannah. In his place, we have Ken Stott, a much-admired TV actor, as Detective Inspector Rebus. And let me be the first to say that, pleasant as I find it to look at Hannah, he may have been too slightly-built to play a police officer, and too pretty to play a hard-bitten, hard-drinking eccentric man. Stott is a revelation, bringing great gravitas to the brooding cop. Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke has also been recast, with Claire Price; so has Detective Chief Superintendent Gill Templer, a former lover of Rebus's, with Jennifer Black. And there's a further very welcome development indeed: the addition of subtitles. If you love British mysteries, and aren't familiar with this series, it's time to get acquainted with it. And I think you'll find it's a keeper.