Rebus

So, Ian Rankin is one of the best plotters in the crime writing business: multi-layered the various threads come together in a manner reminiscent of Ellroy at his best.  So, you’d think that in adapting his novels they might consider keeping the main plot threads.  “The Falls” (ITV1 at the moment) is a travesty.  I’ll avoid spoilers for viewers and readers, but so to transform the plot that the victim in the opening moments in the TV show is a pivotal character throughout the book; that a political agenda is added to the TV adaptation, not present in the novel (and it’s not because Rankin doesn’t do political – this is one of the things that makes him rewarding is the way he engages with political and moral debates) suggests that – irrespective of the presence of the great Ken Stott – Rankin is being treated with as little respect as Reginald Hill was when ITV cast Hale and Pace as Dalziel and Pascoe.

And if the production team is going to make great play of having an Edinburgh man as the lead actor – could someone point them in the direction of the books and point out that Rebus is from Fife.  Where the lead actor is from is irrelevant…  And in any event the production team missed a trick by not casting Alex Newton, Buchan in the rather marvellous Reichenbach Falls on BBC4 last week.

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
This entry was posted in books, ian rankin, rebus, television, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Rebus

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rankin’s had lousy luck with TV adaptations of Rebus. I am still recovering from the trauma of watching the far too pretty John Hannah play the lead role. I always thought Bill Patterson would be perfect, as he has the suitably lived-in look to him. Despite the fact my grandmother came from Fife, the subtleties of the accent are beyond me (I can spot Glasgow and that’s it!)
    My suspicion is as well that Rankin is too complex a writer to shoehorn into a two-hour adaptation — too much has to be stripped out. The Falls is a tremendous book, but after half an hour of the TV version, I ran screaming into the back room and hid for the duration.
    I missed the infamous Hale and Pace take on Reginald Hill, who is one of my favourite writers, and occasionally wish someone would be brave enough to repeat it! Warren Clarke, though, was born to play Dalziel. Whatsisname who plays Pascoe looks too much like Alan Shearer for my delicate sensibilities!
    Shaz

    • Bill Patterson would have been great. I thought that Brian Cox would have been ideal at the time of the Hannah adaptations. That Rebus is ex-special forces conjures up an image of the character that casting has trouble with.
      The Hale and Pace adaptation was repeated on ITV3 (it was Pinch of Snuff IIRC) a couple of years ago. It was wrong on many levels – and Gareth and Norman’s only straight acting experience was in a particularly dire performance in a Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who.
      Clarke is brilliant as Dalziel. I quite like Colin Buchanan (Preston Front was one of those underrated shows that the Beeb used to have on, never with huge critical success but satsifying a loyal audience) but he does look very like Alan Shearer. When he solves crimes and reels round one hand in the air, you’ll know the show’s in trouble. My main problem with the D & P adaptations is that Weildy is too good looking 😉

      • Anonymous says:

        Brian Cox is an interesting thought, but he seems a bit too bulky, if that makes sense. I see Rebus as leaner . . .
        I have digital now and will keep an eye open for any repeats of H&P.
        LOL, you’re right about Wield. He’s my favourite character in the books (he’s just got hitched off-stage to his bloke in the new one, due out this week), and I was most miffed when they wrote him out of the TV spin-offs. Ah well, at least we were shot of Ellie Pascoe as well. Clouds, silver linings and all that :O)
        Shaz

  2. Ah, adaption travesties… did you see the Christopher Brookmyre one they slaughtered?

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