Rebus returns to the screen with a new face and a new city

The popular detective series Rebus, based on the novels by Ian Rankin, is coming back to the BBC with a new actor and a new location. Richard Rankin, best known for his role in Outlander, will play the iconic Scottish sleuth, who has moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow in the latest adaptation.

A fresh take on a classic character

Rebus is one of the most successful and long-running crime fiction series in the UK, with over 20 novels and several short stories published since 1987. The books follow the investigations of John Rebus, a hard-boiled and often rebellious detective inspector, who deals with various crimes and corruption in Scotland.

The character has been previously portrayed on screen by John Hannah and Ken Stott, who starred in four series each between 2000 and 2007. The new series, which will be the first UK original production from the Nordic streaming service Viaplay, will feature six episodes based on three of Rankin’s novels: Saints of the Shadow Bible, Even Dogs in the Wild, and Rather Be the Devil.

Rankin said he was delighted to see his creation return to the screen, and praised Rankin’s casting as Rebus. “He’s got the acting chops, and the right look in his eye. He’ll bring something different to the role, which will excite fans of the books and new viewers alike,” he said.

A change of scenery for Rebus

The new series will also introduce a major change in the setting of the stories, as Rebus will relocate from Edinburgh to Glasgow. According to the producers, this decision was made to reflect the contemporary and dynamic nature of the city, and to explore its rich culture and history.

BBC to screen Rebus television

“Glasgow is a vibrant, diverse and modern city, with a lot of contrasts and contradictions. It’s a perfect backdrop for Rebus, who is also a complex and contradictory character,” said Jo McClellan, the BBC’s commissioning editor for drama in Scotland.

The series will be filmed in various locations across Glasgow, including the city centre, the West End, and the South Side. The production will also benefit from the support of Screen Scotland, the public agency that promotes and funds the film and TV industry in Scotland.

A talented team behind the scenes

The new Rebus series will be written by Gregory Burke, who has previously written the acclaimed films ’71 and Calibre, and the Olivier Award-winning play Black Watch. He said he was honoured and excited to adapt Rankin’s novels, and to bring Rebus to a new audience.

“Rebus is a legend of British crime fiction, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to write for him. I want to capture the essence of Rankin’s books, while also making the stories relevant and engaging for today’s viewers,” he said.

The series will be directed by Jon S. Baird, who has directed films such as Stan & Ollie, Filth, and Cass. He said he was a fan of both Rankin and Burke, and that he was looking forward to working with them and Rankin on the project.

“Rebus is a character that I’ve always admired, and I’m delighted to be part of his return to the screen. I’m also a huge admirer of Gregory’s work, and I can’t wait to collaborate with him and Ian on this exciting and ambitious series,” he said.

The series will be produced by STV Studios, the same company that produced the previous Rebus series, in partnership with Viaplay and ZDF Enterprises. The executive producers are Sarah Brown, Robert Murphy, and Rankin for STV Studios, Jo McClellan for the BBC, and Filippa Wallestam and Fredrik Ljungberg for Viaplay.

The series is expected to premiere on the BBC and Viaplay in 2023.

By Axel Piper

Axel Piper is a renowned news writer based in Scotland, known for his insightful coverage of all the trending news stories. With his finger on the pulse of Scotland's ever-changing landscape, Axel brings the latest updates and breaking news to readers across the nation. His extensive knowledge of current affairs, combined with his impeccable research skills, allows him to provide accurate and comprehensive reporting on a wide range of topics. From politics to entertainment, sports to technology, Axel's articles are engaging and informative, keeping readers informed and up to date.

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