Rebus

Was anyone else, I wonder, disappointed by last night's "Rebus" incarnation - apart from the invariably watchable, and never disappointing Ken Stott? I love the books, but haven't read this particular volume. Rankin always weaves a skilful and involving tale, with Edinburgh as well as Rebus emerging as superbly multi-faceted in every novel. (Mind you, I must admit to having a soft spot for Mr Rankin because he was one of the judges who shortlisted my novel The Curiosity Cabinet for the Dundee Book Prize - a man of excellent judgement, of course!)
But this dramatisation didn't live up to expectations. I guessed whodunnit almost as soon as the character appeared onscreen - there were far too many loud clangers of clues, far too early in the programme. The director seems to have taken the decision to characterise the city by means of authentic but intrusive FX (traffic and street musicians). They were so loud that sometimes you had to strain to hear what the characters were saying. I kept comparing it in my own mind (perhaps unfairly) with Richard Jobson's amazing "16 Years of Alcohol" where the city manages to be only obliquely recognisable, enchanting, and hugely threatening all at the same time. Rebus and Edinburgh both seemed to have lost some of their beautifully written vulnerability in the transition to the small screen. Meanwhile, my grumpy husband complained about the plethora of long haired blondes. Too sunk in post festive malaise to appreciate the eye candy, he reckoned he couldn't tell which was which, so pretty much lost the plot within the first half hour.

Comments