Broadcast date confirmed for Rebus series filmed in Glasgow

The BBC has picked up a new television adaptation of Sir Ian Rankin’s best-selling Inspector Rebus books that will launch in May. 

Rebus, a new crime series based on the best-selling Inspector Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, will launch on Friday 17 May, the BBC has announced. All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am, with episode one airing on BBC Scotland on Friday 17 May and on BBC One on Saturday 18 May.

Written for screen by Gregory Burke (’71, Six Four), Rebus reimagines the character 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.

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New pictures released by the BBC show Glasgow actor Richard Rankin (Outlander, The Replacement) in the titular role, Brian Ferguson (The Ipcress File, Spanish Princess) as John’s brother, Michael, and Lucie Shorthouse (Line of Duty, Ten Percent) as Rebus’s investigation partner, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke. 

Shaken after a violent encounter with gangster Ger Cafferty, Edinburgh detective John Rebus finds himself at a psychological crossroads. At odds with a job increasingly driven by corporate technocrats, involved in a toxic affair he knows he needs to end, and all but supplanted in his daughter’s life by his ex-wife’s wealthy new husband, Rebus begins to wonder if he still has a role to play – either as a family man or a police officer. 

In a time of divisive politics and national discord, Rebus’s ex-soldier brother Michael, who’s broke, desperately crosses the line in order to provide for his family, and Rebus starts to question if the law still has meaning, or if everyone is reverting to an older set of rules. And if so, why shouldn’t he do so too?

Rebus will be portrayed by Richard Rankin, who was born in Glasgow in 1983 and spent part of his childhood in the East End of the city. He moved to King's Park when he was ten, eventually attending Stonelaw High School. His father was a police officer and his mother worked in the hotel industry. Rankin, who started his career starring alongside Robert Florence in Burnistoun, has previously starred in the TV dramas The Replacement and Trust Me.

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Rebus is written by Gregory Burke and is adapted from the best-selling novels by Ian Rankin. The six-part series is directed by Niall MacCormick (Complicit, The Victim, Wallander) and Fiona Walton (Shetland, Annika) and is produced by Angela Murray. Eleventh Hour Films’ Paula Cuddy, Jill Green and Eve Gutierrez are the Executive Producers of the series, alongside Tomas Axelssonand Isabelle Hultén for Viaplay, director Niall MacCormick, writer Gregory Burke and author Ian Rankin. 

Sir Ian Rankin, creator of the Rebus novels, says: “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.”

Richard Rankin says: “I am thrilled that Rebus will premiere on the BBC. It’s been an honour taking on the role of Ian Rankin’s renowned John Rebus. A character enjoyed by so many in such a fresh and original adaptation.”

Gregory Burke, writer of the series, says: “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.”

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