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Midnight Mystery: Rebus: S03 E02 – A Question Of Blood – Ken Stott


This Episode

Rebus investigates a mass shooting at a local sports college, which has claimed the lives of two students and a teacher, but when one of the victims turns out to be his cousin’s son, he decides that bending the rules is the best way to get a result.



The Series

Rebus is a British television detective drama series based on the Inspector Rebus novels by the Scottish author Ian Rankin. The series was produced by STV Productions for the ITV network, and four series were broadcast between 26 April 2000 and 7 December 2007. The first series starred John Hannah as DI John Rebus; and was co-produced by Hannah’s own production company, Clerkenwell Films. After Hannah quit the series, the role of Rebus was re-cast, with Ken Stott appearing as Rebus in three subsequent series, which were produced in-house by STV.

The first series is very different in both format and style. Hannah’s portrayal of Rankin’s world-weary detective was questioned by many who knew the books, as he did not physically match their image of John Rebus; Hannah himself has said he felt forced into the role, having been executive producer, when his own choice for the role, Peter Mullan, was rejected by STV.[citation needed] However his interpretation of the inspector is acknowledged to be deeper than the later productions, using narration to expand the viewers insight into the characters thoughts, or to reveal background information,[1] which never occurs during Stott’s tenure. The earlier stories also retained the darkness of the novels and were more faithful to the original storylines,[1] while longer running times meant that each story could be less ruthless with Rankin’s many asides and sub-plots.

In February 2008, ITV announced that Rebus had been axed, amid reports that Stott had told producers he did not want to continue in the role. ITV indicated that “one-off specials are a possibility for the future.”[2] In April 2011, it was reported that the series could make a return to television, and 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.”[3] However, Rankin has since announced that he has purchased the rights to the TV series back, and that he does not intend to bring Rebus back in the present format, having criticised the shorter format of the final series.[4] All three Stott series were released on DVD in the United Kingdom in 2007.[5][6][7] In Region 1, Koch Vision released the first series on DVD on 10 January 2006.[8] Series two through four were later released by Acorn Media between 2006 and 2008.[9][10][11] In 2008, Delta released the Hannah series in a four-disc box set.

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