Plot: What’s it about?
Detective Inspector John Rebus (Ken Stott) has been on the streets for longer than he can remember, so he is worn down and takes comfort in a drink or smoke when he can. While he is a little burned out, that doesn’t keep from doing his work, as he pushes himself to find the answers. He isn’t the most brilliant detective around, but he is persistent and has good instincts, so he rarely has to leave a case unsolved. He doesn’t walk the Edinburgh streets alone however, as his partner is Siobhan Clarke (Claire Price), a young and beautiful woman. As the two work on cases, she looks to him as a mentor of sorts, to learn what to do on the job, as well as what not to do. Rebus might have a dark outlook on life, but he is dedicated to seeing justice served, even if that means taking on some of society’s worst criminals.
As a fan of a plethora of detective shows, I never pass up the chance to sample a new one. This one comes from British television, but if Blue Murder and Foyle’s War are any indication, that isn’t bad at all. Rebus centers on a rough and tumble detective, one who likes to smoke, drink, and battle violent criminals. In other words, this isn’t Miss Marple, instead this is a more intense and deals with more graphic crimes. Ken Stott has the title role and is good, but through these four mysteries, I am still not sold on the Rebus character. There is potential there, but so far I haven’t been that taken with the material. I do like how he always seems to run into former lovers, however. The cases are solid, but don’t have the spark I would like when it comes to twists and turns. So overall, I would rank Rebus as average, as it isn’t remarkable, but it has some moments. If you’re a fan of mysteries or detectives shows, Rebus: Set 2 is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. I’d say these episodes look good, but not great. The image is clean and has decent sharpness, but never rises above that level. In other words, you’ll never think the show looks bad, but you won’t praise the detail or clarity, either. The colors have a natural, sometimes dark presence, which is replicated here, thanks in part to accurate contrast performance. I saw a few minor flaws, but by and large, these episodes look fine.
Audio: How does it sound?
The stereo soundtrack performs about the visual transfer, well enough to cover the material, but nothing beyond the basics. I doubt this show would benefit from enhanced surround presence though, so you can’t fault this treatment. The background noise sounds as it should, with decent presence, but never a distraction. The dialogue is the main focus and while the technical performance is fine, it can be difficult to understand some of the vocals, due to thick accents. This could have been solved by the inclusion of optional subtitles, but no such luck.
Supplements: What are the extras?
If you want the inside scoop on Rebus, then you’re in luck with this release. Rebus: Behind the Scenes is a fifty minute documentary that takes us inside the production, through extensive cast and crew interviews. As expected, prominent cast members like Ken Stott and Claire Price are covered, but I was most pleased to find author Ian Rankin interviewed. This was a well crafted piece that fans should greatly enjoy, kudos to Acorn Media for this supplement. This release also includes cast profiles, information on Rankin, and a promotional trailer.