Ian Rankin's long-running detective novel series Inspector Rebus, which was previously adapted into a series for ITV, first starring John Hannah followed by Ken Stott, has once again been given the TV treatment – this time for the BBC.


Gregory Burke has taken on the writing mantle, with star Lucie Shorthouse describing his work as a "reimagining" of the source material, adding: "Even though the characters are obviously different, I think if you're a fan of the books, hopefully you'll spot those similarities.

"And it's another way to enjoy the story. It's another format to appreciate that level of storytelling."

Her co-star Brian Ferguson added: "It's built on the Rebus novels, which is such an amazing foundation to work from, but then I think what's really exciting is that at the beginning of this, Ian Rankin did say to Gregory Burke, 'You take these and make them yours.'

"And Greg really has. They feel like a response to the original novels, rather than a faithful adaptation. And by blending those two together, it gives out a whole new life."

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Read on for everything you need to know about Rebus.

Rebus release date: When will it air?

All six episodes of Rebus will arrive on BBC iPlayer on Friday 17th May at 6am.

Episode 1 will also air on BBC Scotland on Friday 17th May at 10pm, and on BBC One on Saturday 18th May at 9:25pm.

Rebus cast: Who stars?

Brian Ferguson as Michael Rebus and Richard Rankin as John Rebus. Michael is wearing a red top and navy blue hoodie with his hands in his pockets as he looks across. John can be seen wearing a trench coat and is resting against a wall as he looks across.
Brian Ferguson as Michael Rebus and Richard Rankin as John Rebus. BBC/Viaplay /Eleventh Hour/Mark Mainz

Richard Rankin, best known for Outlander and The Replacement, stars as title character John Rebus.

He's joined by Brian Ferguson (The Ipcress File, Spanish Princess) as John's brother Michael and Lucie Shorthouse (Line of Duty, Ten Percent) as Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's investigation partner.

The rest of the cast includes:

  • Amy Manson (The Nevers, The Diplomat)
  • Neshla Caplan (The Rig, Scot Squad)
  • Noof Ousellam (Vigil, Guilt)
  • Stuart Bowman (The Serpent, Bodyguard)
  • Caroline Lee Johnson (Trying, Ridley)
  • Sean Buchanan (Censor, Mary Queen of Scots)
  • Thoren Ferguson (The Midwich Cuckoos)
  • Michelle Duncan (Baptise, Elizabeth Is Missing)

Rebus plot: What will happen?

When we first meet our lead, who's been reimagined as a younger detective sergeant, he's "at odds with a job increasingly driven by corporate technocrats", wrapped up in a "toxic affair" that he needs to walk away from, and his ex-wife's new husband is impeding his relationship with his daughter.

"Rebus begins to wonder if he still has a role to play – either as a family man or a police officer," adds the official synopsis.

There's also Rebus's brother Michael, a former soldier with financial problems who creates an almighty mess of his own.

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 so too?" continues the log line.

Rebus trailer: When can I watch it?

Right now.

Enjoy the gritty trailer below:

Rebus starts on Friday 17th May on BBC iPlayer. All episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from 6am, with episode one airing on BBC Scotland on Friday 17th May at 10pm and on BBC One on Saturday 18th May at 9:25pm.


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