BBC Rebus star admits scenes were rewritten in drama after cast complaints: 'Listened to how we felt!'

BBC Rebus star admits scenes were rewritten in drama after cast complaints: 'Listened to how we felt!'

WATCH HERE: Richard Rankin stars in the BBC's trailer for Rebus

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 18/05/2024

- 07:01

The BBC's reimagining of Ian Rankin's famous crime novels has arrived

The best-selling books based on the adventures - and misadventures - of DS Rebus have been brought to the screen in a new six-part drama series.

Author Ian Rankin has entrusted writer Gregory Burke, the man behind successes such as ITV drama Six Four and the Jack O'Connell-led '71, with helming the TV adaptation which is set to begin on BBC One on Saturday night.

The series is led by Outlander star Richard Rankin and boasts a star-studded cast that includes Line of Duty's Lucie Shorthouse, The Ipcress File's Brian Ferguson, The Diplomat's Amy Manson, The Rig's Neshla Caplan and many others.

Given Rankin penned the first Rebus novel back in the late 1980s, the BBC series reimagines the iconic inspector in a modern-day environment still packed full of murky goings-on and violent encounters.

Reimagining one of literature's most famous inspectors was no mean feat as Rankin gave Burke the freedom he needed to bring the drama to life - and it sounds like he even had help from the show's talent.

Speaking ahead of the show's debut, Manson delved into the collaboration with Burke - and revealed he wasn't afraid to make alterations if cast members had anything to say.

BBC Rebus: Richard Rankin

BBC Rebus: Richard Rankin takes on the titular role in the new series


"I really loved the script," Manson said of the show. "Gregory is an actor's writer. This script to me read almost like a high-octane thriller or a whodunit.

"I was really just excited to find out what happened at the end. But it's not your straightforward police procedural drama, and that's what I loved about it."

When asked about the relationship with Burke during the shoot, Manson explained: "He was there for us if we needed to text him with any thoughts. He was such a great collaborator with all of us."

Touching upon how any complaints or suggestions were dealt with, she went on: "Some storylines changed because he was able to listen to how we felt about the work.

BBC Rebus: Amy Manson

BBC Rebus: Amy Manson will take on the role of Rhona Moncrieffe


"Neshla Caplan (plays Chrissie Rebus) and myself were able to talk to him about the women and what they represent within this.

"Gregory was there for us from the outset, which just elevated performance and relationships both on and off screen."

All six episodes of the BBC drama will be made available to watch on streaming service iPlayer and the Beeb has released a lengthy synopsis for the series as to what fans can expect.

It reads: "Shaken after a violent encounter with gangster Ger Cafferty (Stuart Bowman), Edinburgh detective John Rebus finds himself at a psychological crossroads.

BBC Rebus: Ian Rankin's crime novels

BBC Rebus: Ian Rankin's crime novels have been reimagined for the small screen


"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’ broke, ex-soldier brother Michael desperately crosses the line to provide for his family, and Rebus begins to wonder if the law still has meaning, or if everyone is reverting to an older set of rules? And if so, why shouldn’t Rebus do so too?"

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