Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Rebus
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  • Rebus
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on June 24, 2006
With wonderfully complex plots and recurring characters, Rebus is an absolutely first-rate crime drama based on the novels by Scottish author Iain Rankin. Though set in Edinburgh, it is not the charming, picturesque, historic old city as seen by the casual visitor that we are privy to; rather, the viewer is taken on a journey through the dark, gritty, cankerous underbelly of what, on the surface, is one of Britain's loveliest old cities. This is a series peopled by characters who are all too human, and it holds back no punches in its realistic portrayal of the criminal world.

Detective Inspector John Rebus (John Hannah (McCallum)) is one of the most curious, indeed fascinating, DIs I've come across. He's a competent and committed police officer, but a flawed human being with his own set of personal demons with which he must contend. He's a deep, multi-faceted character for whom nothing is black and white, and he's not immune to making serious errors in judgement, to lying in order to achieve his objective, or to experiencing the temptation of a "pact with the devil." He often makes decisions which shock the viewer, for we know that, even though we may understand his motivation, they are decisions which would never be condoned by the police. Indeed, is it any wonder he drinks a little too much and has more than a little trouble sleeping? Nor are we surprised to find that he has more than a little trouble forming and holding on to relationships with women.

Rebus is a wonderfully rich, dynamic, and interesting character, and I personally felt that John Hannah did a superb job in bringing him to life. I don't know why Hannah left the series or if he did any more series after this one, but I do know that I prefer these episodes and Hannah's portrayal much more than the recent pair of episodes wherein Ken Stott has taken over the title role (I just didn't warm to the character as portrayed by Stott).

The set consists of four 100-minute episodes and a very interesting dvd extra on the making of the series, which features informative comments about the nature of the series and the character of Rebus by both John Hannah and Iain Rankin.

In conclusion, this is a series I recommend unhesitatingly to fans of British mysteries and crime drama in general. There may be less in the way of comic relief, but I would still say that if you enjoy shows like A Touch of Frost or Delziel and Pascoe, chances are you'll really enjoy this one.

Highly recommended!
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on August 14, 2006
Loving the character and the writing style, I read every available Rankin Rebus novel-- checking out screenplay was inevitable. At first expecting to meet the buffoonish brother-in-law co-star from the Mummy, I was delighted to meet Rankin's John Rebus, AKA John Hannah. If you like the Rebus novels, then you'll enjoy these Rebus movies. One caveat: if you're new to Rebus, you might wish first to read the novel upon which the screenplay is based, avoiding potential confusion created by the quick pace, Rankin's complex plots, or the Scottish accents. Enjoy!
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on February 14, 2006
I was thrilled to see John Hannah as Rebus on BBCAmerica after reading all the books in the series. So I was glad to see the four episodes finally available on DVD. The next two episodes were done by another actor, Ken Stott, but John Hannah will always be Rebus to me.
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on August 28, 2006
Great introduction to Ian Rankins character brought to life. For many people who have a problem with British accents this may be in places had to decipher but once you get into the cadence (rhythm) of the speach it flows quickly. Many will remember the lead actor as the smart mouth side kick from The Mummy, but this was his second BBC scotland show. the first was Maccallum. Both I think are highly rated!
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on March 6, 2006
I'm a big british mystery fan...From Touch of Frost, Inspector Lynley, Inspector Allen and so on...I thought Scottish Det. Inspector Rebus looked like a good charactor...I wasn't disappointed...I really enjoyed the stories and the actors did a great job portraying the charactors...I looked forward to the next dvd release of Rebus...
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VINE VOICEon December 11, 2006
Here are the similarities between Ian Rankin's John Rebus and the character as portrayed by John Hannah:

1) They're both Scotsmen.
2) ...Well actually there are no more similarities.

Don't get me wrong, Hannah's a terrific actor, I've always enjoyed him, but he's simply not the John Rebus I've come to know through Rankin's superb crime series. He's not tough enough, angry enough, drunk enough, sad enough and -- perhaps most importantly -- certainly not funny enough. None of Rankin's dry, stinging wit is anywhere in evidence here. And I have to agree with the prior reviewer who said that the stories move way too fast, cramming too much plot into too little time. At least they got Cafferty right, he's pretty much as I imagined him. (Although just think what Brian Cox could do with the role!) I'm off to check out the later Rebus series. At least from the packaging that actor looks more the part.
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on August 1, 2014
I have this and the Ken Stott Rebus DVDs. To me, Ken Stott is the better cast of the main character. Neither has a great cast of the secondary characters, and both have major story changes. It is not bad, especially if you have not read the books for comparison. It is still better than a lot of US detective/police shows.
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on April 3, 2012
I can't really tell if I like this or not because the Scottish accent is so real that I can't understand most of it. Usually I'm good with most varieties of English except Deep South US, but this has me beat.
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on March 9, 2006
There is nothing like a good British mystery. The Rebus series of mysteries is full of twists and surprises. Rebus is very believable and homespun and quirky. Great watching for a cold evening.
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on April 4, 2015
I quite enjoyed this Rebus when it first aired on television and just as much the second and third times on dvd. Having not read the books, I had no preconceived ideas of these characters. Anyway, I find that I enjoy series and films more if I pretend I haven't read the book and approach each for the first time - almost nothing ever lives up to one's expectations. I was looking forward to the second series but couldn't watch it because I cannot abide Ken Stott; I've tried; but failed. These four stories definitely left me wanting more.
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