Like many Rebus fans (I suspect) my choice for the title role was always Ken Stott - when I read the books his is the face I see - so I was delighted when I saw that he was to star in these new adaptations. However, that is pretty much where the good news ends since these shows contain little that will be familiar to readers of the novels, and lack almost everything that promised to make compelling television.
The character of Rebus himself, for example, has become diluted to the extent that he is now just another taciturn TV cop. No Rolling Stones, no sense of what makes him tick - just a rapid plot driven hour or so of Edinburgh-based shots that bear little relation to the complex scenarios imagined by Ian Rankin in the first place.
As for Fleshmarket Close, the plot has been changed to such an extent that it is pointless in even calling it by the name of the book (which, in its original form, actually meant something - and wasn't just a street name in the Old Town). It's almost is if the producers were so pleased with having Ken Stott in place that the rest of the thing would just work automatically. Sadly, it doesn't. Sure, if you haven't read any of the books then they're reasonable fare - but they could have been so much better.
I give the DVDs three stars only because they've got the right man in the lead role. There are absolutely no extras or special features (other than subtitles) and the packaging is also a bit less than you might have hoped for.