Rebus: release date revealed for new crime series based on Ian Rankin novels

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1 May 2024, 07:29

Richard Rankin as John Rebus

Credit: BBC

A new crime series, adapted from the best-selling Inspector Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, is heading to the BBC, and we don’t have to wait long to see it.

Titled simply Rebus, the new six-part series will reimagine John Rebus as a younger Detective Sergeant, and will launch later this month. Richard Rankin from Outlander and The Replacement will play the titular role. 

All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am on 17th May. Episode one will also air on telly on BBC Scotland on Friday 17th May, and on BBC One the following day, Saturday 18th May.

The narrative will see Edinburgh detective John Rebus at a psychological crossroads after a violent encounter with gangster Ger Cafferty. The protagonist finds himself at odds with his job, involved in a toxic affair, and pretty much supplanted in his daughter’s life by his ex-wife’s wealthy new bloke. Little wonder he begins to contemplate whether he still has a role to play either as a family man or a police officer.

In the midst of this personal crisis, Rebus’ broke ex-soldier brother, Michael, 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.

If so, why shouldn’t he do the same?

To get us excited about the new series, some first-look images have been released, showing the lead actor, as well as Brian Ferguson from The Ipcress File as John’s brother, Michael, and Line of Duty’s Lucie Shorthous as Rebus’s investigation partner, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke.

Scenes from Rebus

Credit: BBC

The Diplomat’s Amy Manson, Neshla Caplan from The Rig, Vigil’s Noof Ousellam and Stuart Bowman from Bodyguard are among the cast as well.

Rankin’s Rebus books have previously been adapted for the small screen, airing on ITV between 2000 and 2007 with John Hannah and Ken Stott.

All episodes of Rebus will be on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Friday 17th May.