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3.8 out of 5 stars
Rebus : Seasons 1-2 [DVD]
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2012
If you want the story true to the book then the Hannah series is for you. Unfortunately John Hannah, wonderful actor that he is, was just too young looking for the part of Rebus. His face isn't 'lived in' sufficiently.
The ones where Ken Stott was Rebus, are rubbish, not because of the actor I hasten to add. It's because they get all sorts of bits unnecessarily wrong - make him the football supporter, etc - plus more importantly, they muck about with the stories to the extent they can barely be recognised. Also the blond who place Clarke is dreadful. That wide-eyed look doesn't work for me. Ken Stott of course is fantastic as always and his face is suitably 'lived in'. His performance is the only thing that makes these films watchable.

In summary if the plot and detail are important - Hannah
If an accurate looking Rebus is important - Stott
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2008
John Hannah's version of D.I. John rebus was not too well received when originally broadcast. Hannah was considered to be too young and sauve to reflect the world weary and care worn Rebus complete with personal and private ghosts -and there is an element of truth in that. Ken Stott would later become Rebus in dramatisations based very loosely on the characters created by Rankin and featuring plots that bear little or no resemblance to the books. This version is a far more true representation of Rankin's splendid books. Interestingly, only three films were originally shown and released on DVD. This issue rightly includes the "missing episode" - "Mortal Causes" For those who have only ever seen the Ken Stott version this should be a required watch - and then make comparisions.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Glad I brought this, as it confirms what I thought when Hohn Hannah was cast. He was the wrong man for the job, but perversly, these adaptions story wise were far closer and better to the books than the first Ken Stott adaptions were, although the second series got closer to the John Hannah adaptions script qualities. Indeed, I would say that Mortal Causes is the best Rebus TV adaption of them all, but with the wrong leading man! (And it was never broadcast).
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The Scottish-made television series "Rebus," filmed in that country and starring local boy John Hannah as the title character, made its TV debut in 2000. It's based on the well-known series of the same name by Ian Rankin, who's now the most popular crime writer in the British Isles. Rankin is, of course, considered the founding father of the Scottish tartan noir school of mystery writing: a work that's darker and more violent than most, lightened, fortunately, by that grim Scottish humor. Anyway, the show was released on video in 2006; it is a box of three DVD's that gives us the first four shows.

It was the first of what has also proven to be a series of TV crime dramas, although further entries in the series star Ken Stott, rather than Hannah. The production is set in Edinburgh, as are the books; however, aside from the briefest sidelong glances, we don't see much of that beautiful city beloved of tourists. (Nevertheless, I went there a few years ago, and carved out for myself such a Rebus tour as time allowed; as I too am a rather longtime fan, and have read every one of the books.) There appears to have been plenty of money thrown at the screen; it believably portrays the life of a modern business city, with clogged streets, bridges and roads. Cars, dress, housing and bars all look like the real thing.

John Hannah, most of us know, achieved a lasting high-profile with his powerful funeral scene in 1995's Four Weddings And A Funeral [DVD] [1994]; he also starred in McCallum [DVD. As it happens, I had first noticed him in an episode of the Glasgow-set Taggart - 25th Anniversary Edition [2008] [DVD]. He sure is easy on the eyes, and I found him fine in the part; perhaps I'm not as demanding in this regard as a person of the other sex might be. As to what Stott, reputed to be a very good TV actor might do with it, well, I've no idea.

As the first of the series to be filmed, the makers had their choice of books, and, as you might expect, they filmed four of the most interesting and powerful. The first disk gives us Black And Blue; and The Hanging Garden. "Black and Blue" is about a previous serial killer still at large, dubbed "The Prophet," and a copycat killer who's sprung up, dubbed "The Disciple." The novel won many awards, and helped to make Rankin's name: the plot's complex, and moves fast. "The Hanging Garden" is particularly powerful, as Rebus's daughter is hit by a hit-and-run driver and seriously injured. It also gives us a local gang war, a look at the illicit international trade in women, and a subplot about a World War II prison camp sadist who's escaped retribution, and gone comfortably to ground in Edinburgh.

The second disk gives us Dead Souls (Penguin Classics); an exploration of child abuse, and is a story that makes particularly good, resonant use of its setting. The third disk is Mortal Causes; it, like the book on which it's based, makes really strong use of the city's little-known corners, and centers, as did the book, on a plea for racial tolerance.

All four episodes are just crammed full of plot; and may be rather difficult for anyone not familiar with the underlying books to follow. They also all neatly, perhaps too neatly, have the detective solve every case within the allotted time: He also did so in the books, but that seemed less troublesome. Biggest problem with this series in my house was the sound track. On the second disk, we sometimes had the volume turned up to near 100, highest it's ever been, and still couldn't hear the entire dialog. Furthermore, this is a recently-made and -released series: why oh why doesn't it have subtitles? Even when the dialog is audible, the actors are speaking, as we agree they should, in Edinburgh's strong accent. These American ears would have been totally unable to follow the action, had I not previously read the books. That really shouldn't be so necessary, and I hope the further releases, starring Stott, are a little more helpful in that regard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
If you like the books by Ian Rankin then you will like the DVD. It holds the attention with good acting, good use of landscape and scenery and meaty plot and characters. It is great to see again after watching it on television.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2014
I have really enjoyed watching these DVDs. I was nearly put off buying them by the negative comments about John Hannah being an unsuitable Rebus but I'm glad I went ahead. In my opinion he fits the part very well indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2015
John Hannah hardly looks like the Rebus you imagine, but it works all the same. If you liked the books, then treat yourself, especially since Cafferty and 'The Weasel' most certainly are as you would expect.
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on 22 May 2015
We were given this as a present by Dutch friends. Fortunately English is the alternative language. I love the Rebus stories, so couldn't wait to see them adapted for television. It took me an age to watch this DVD with John Hannah as Rebus. To my mind he was physically right for the role, good an actor though he is. However, despite all my prejudices John Hannah is just stunning as Rebus. Of course he has made the part his own. What more can one ask. As important the screenplays are just fabulous, and you forget your watching a load of actors. This is really good stuff.Classy drama.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2009
Quite good. Closer to the original novels than the 2nd series featuring Ken Stott, which are too divorced from the originals, although obviously Stott is a better Rebus. However, some very annoying voice-overs in the Hannay series. Worth seeing if at bargain price.
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on 1 April 2013
A lot of the reviews said John Hannah was too light weight to play Rebus until we viewed the series I thought the same its true he is no Ken Stott. All the same my wife and I thout he was excellent and the stories were a more accurate take on the original books.
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