Rebus (TV series)

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For information on the Rebus word and picture puzzle see Rebus.
Genre Drama
Created by Ian Rankin
Starring Ken Stott;
John Hannah
Country of origin Scotland, United Kingdom
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 14
Running time 60–120 mins.
(inc. commercials)
Production company(s) STV Productions
(Scottish Television)
Clerkenwell Films
Original channel ITV, STV, UTV
Original run 26 April 2000 (2000-04-26) – 7 December 2007 (2007-12-07)
Related shows Taggart (1983-2010)

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.[1]

Four seasons have been aired; series 1 and 2 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 third and subsequent series (which went into production in 2005, made in-house by STV).


Series 1: 2000[edit]

Episode First aired
Black and Blue 26 April 2000
The Hanging Garden 15 July 2000

Series 2: 2001[edit]

Episode First aired
Dead Souls 13 September 2001
Mortal Causes 27 September 2001

Series 3: 2006[edit]

Episode First aired
The Falls 2 January 2006
Fleshmarket Close 16 January 2006

Series 4: 2006[edit]

Episode First aired
The Black Book 8 September 2006
A Question of Blood 15 September 2006
Strip Jack 22 September 2006
Let It Bleed 29 September 2006

Series 5: 2007[edit]

Episode First aired
Resurrection Men 5 October 2007
The First Stone 12 October 2007
The Naming of the Dead 26 October 2007
Knots and Crosses 7 December 2007


Character Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5
DI John Rebus
John Hannah
Ken Stott
DS Siobhan Clarke
Gayanne Potter
Claire Price
DCI Gill Templer
Sara Stewart
Jennifer Black

Differences between the Hannah and Stott eras[edit]

The first four episodes, starring John Hannah, are very different in both format and style. John Hannah's interpretation of the inspector is deeper.[clarification needed] His thoughts are often announced to the viewers (which never occurs in Ken Stott's appearances). The first two episodes are longer than any others in the series, lasting 100 and 108 minutes, respectively[2] (excluding commercials); the second two run 90 minutes, like several other episodes in other seasons. In any case, the differences between the first four episodes and the later ones starring Ken Stott are so great that television viewers might easily consider them as two different TV series. Indeed, they could very well be considered two different series - made by different people, five years apart and with completely different interpretations of the characters and their relationships (e.g. Rebus and Siobhan Clarke meet for the first time in the first Ken Stott episode, despite them already working together in the John Hannah version).


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."[3]

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."[4]

However, Ian Rankin has announced since that he has purchased the rights back to the TV series and states that he will not bring Rebus back in his previous forms, having not been a fan of the 45 minute format of the last series. Whether a new Rebus series will be made is unknown.[5]

DVD releases[edit]

All 5 series have been released on DVD in the UK through various companies.[6][7][8]

In Region 1, Koch Vision released the first two series on DVD on 10 January 2006.[9] Series 3-5 were released by Acorn Media between 2006 - 2008.[10][11][12]


External links[edit]