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Rebus Series 1

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					"Rebus,Set 1" is another superb British crime drama/police procedural television series,
based on the work of best selling Scottish author Ian Rankin, made by Independent
Television (ITV). The series is set in the beautiful tourist city of Edinburgh, capital of
Scotland, as are the author's works; however, in this production, as in the books on which
it's based, we see the beautiful tourist city only in passing, on our way to such menacing
high-rise council housing as Knoxland, where a lot of the action takes place.

Rankin's first Rebus novel, Knots And Crosses, was published in 1987, to great critical
acclaim. He was accredited with helping to create "tartan noir,"a Scottish take on the
usual mystery; tougher, bloodier, more nasty-minded, and delivered with that sardonic
Scots humor. Since then, he's won the prestigious "Edgar," and become the United
Kingdom's best selling mystery author; his works have been translated into 22 languages.
Luckily for us all, he's published quite a bit, so that the TV series has plenty of his actual
works on which to be based.

The novels used for Set 1 have been adapted for TV by Daniel Boyle (AKA Danny
Boyle), greatly talented Celtic writer/director, who's written such series as Hamish
MacBeth : Series 1-3 (6 Disc Box Set) [DVD]; Inspector Morse - The Complete
Collection [DVD] [1987];and Taggart - The 2009 Collection [DVD];and has given us
such movies as Trainspotting [DVD] [1995], and Slumdog Millionaire [DVD] [2008]. He
conveys the tension and atmosphere of the originals admirably; gives us many plot twists
and turns, and the ironic local wit. Location photography in the city of Edinburgh is
excellent, giving us its damp, cold, foggy ambiance. Disk 1, "The Falls," concerns a
really unhappy high profile family. It gives us the Glasgow-born Sharon Small, who
plays Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, loyal sidekick in Inspector Lynley Series 5
[DVD] [2006], as Miranda Masterson; Rebus's current love interest. Disk 2, "Fleshmarket
Close,"concerns recent immigrants to the U.K., and native-born racist bias against them.

This production has been happily recast from the previous series that starred Scottish
actor John Hannah (McCallum [DVD]). In his place, we have Ken Stott,(The Vice: The
Complete Series (repackaged) [DVD]) a much-admired TV actor, as Detective Inspector
Rebus. And let me be the first to say that, pleasant as I find it to look at Hannah, he may
have been too slightly-built to play a police officer, and too pretty to play a hard-bitten,
hard-drinking eccentric man. Stott is a revelation, bringing great gravitas to the brooding
cop. Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke has also been recast, with Claire Price; so has
Detective Chief Superintendent Gill Templer, meant to be a former lover of Rebus's, with
Jennifer Black. And there's a further very welcome development indeed: the addition of
subtitles, for those of us, most of us, who will find the Edinburgh accent difficult.

I think you'll find this series is a keeper.

				
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posted:7/5/2010
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