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Rebus (TV series)

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7.5/10 TV

Created by  Ian Rankin
No. of series  4
First episode date  26 April 2000
Networks  ITV, STV, UTV
7.5/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime drama
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No. of episodes  14 (list of episodes)
Final episode date  7 December 2007
Rebus (TV series) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbtvbanners474182p474182
Starring  John Hannah Ken Stott Gayanne Potter Claire Price Sara Stewart Jennifer Black Ron Donachie Ewan Stewart Jenny Ryan
Cast  Ken Stott, John Hannah, Sara Stewart, Gary Lamont

Rebus is the title of the detective drama TV series based on the Inspector Rebus novels by the Scottish author Ian Rankin set in and around Edinburgh. The series was produced by STV Productions (previously known as "SMG Productions") for the ITV network.


Four series have been aired; series 1 starred John Hannah and was made for STV by his own production company, Clerkenwell Films. A new cast featuring Ken Stott as DI John Rebus was introduced for the second and subsequent series (which went into production in 2005, made in-house by STV).


  • John Hannah - DI John Rebus (Series 1)
  • Ken Stott - DI John Rebus (Series 2-4)
  • Gayanne Potter - DS Siobhan Clarke (Series 1)
  • Claire Price - DS Siobhan Clarke (Series 2-4)
  • Sara Stewart - DCI Gill Templer (Series 1)
  • Jennifer Black - DCI Gill Templer (Series 2-4)
  • Ron Donachie - DC Jack Gunner (Series 3-4) (Donachie played Rebus in the BBC Radio adaptations)
  • Ewan Stewart - DI Jack Morton (Series 1)
  • Jenny Ryan - WPC Logan (Series 1)
  • Series 1 (2000-2004)

    The fourth and final episode was originally due for broadcast on September 20, 2001, but following terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, was indefinitely postponed, and did not air until some four years later during a re-run of the series on ITV3, having never been aired on ITV1.

    Series 4 (2007)

    "The First Stone" is the first and only story to be featured throughout the series which is not based upon a full Rebus novel, rather a novella from a collection of short stories. "Knots and Crosses" was due to be broadcast on October 19, 2007, but was postponed for reasons unknown. It was eventually broadcast on December 7, 2007.

    Differences between the Hannah and Stott eras

    The first four episodes, starring John Hannah, are very different in both format and style. Hannah's portrayal of Rankin's world-weary detective was questioned by many who knew the books, as he did not physically match their image of John Rebus; Hannah himself has said he felt forced into the role, having been executive producer, when his own choice for the role, Peter Mullan, was rejected by STV. However his interpretation of the inspector is acknowledged to be deeper than the later productions, using narration to expand the viewers insight into the characters thoughts, or to reveal background information, (which never occurs in Ken Stott's appearances). The earlier stories also retained the darkness of the novels and were more faithful to the original storylines, while the longer run times meant they could be less ruthless with Rankin's many asides and sub-plots.

    Series revival

    In February 2008, ITV announced that it had cancelled the drama series, amid reports that Ken Stott had told producers he did not want to continue in the role of Rebus. ITV indicated that "one-off specials are a possibility for the future."

    In April 2011, it was reported that Rebus could make a return to television. A spokeswoman for STV confirmed a comeback was on the cards: "We fully intend to bring Rebus back in the future. There are no firm plans yet, but it will return."

    However, Ian Rankin has announced since that he has purchased the rights back to the TV series and that he will not bring Rebus back in the format it has been presented previously, having not been a fan of the 45 minute format of the last series. Whether a new Rebus series will be made is unknown.

    DVD releases

    All 5 series have been released on DVD in the UK through various companies.

    In Region 1, Koch Vision released the first two series on DVD on 10 January 2006. Series 3-5 were released by Acorn Media between 2006 - 2008.

    In 2008 Delta released series one and two on a Region 0, 4 disc DVD boxset.


    Rebus (TV series) Wikipedia

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