BBC’s Rebus Showcases Scotland’s Gothic Beauty

Richard Rankin as the younger John Rebus.

The BBC’s latest crime thriller series, Rebus, brings to life the iconic Inspector Rebus novels by Scottish author Ian Rankin. Filmed primarily in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the show runners have carefully selected locations to showcase the beauty and Gothic charm of Scotland’s cities while exploring the darker side of its fictional detective’s story.

Inspector John Rebus (Richard Rankin), as portrayed in the series, is a police detective in his late thirties who is grappling with personal and professional crises. The show is a contemporary reimagining of the much-loved character, and its filming locations provide a striking backdrop to Rebus’ complex story.

One of the show’s key filming sites is Grassmarket and Victoria Street in Edinburgh. This area is known for its cobbled streets, hidden alleys, and colourful buildings dating back to the 18th century. The nearby Edinburgh Castle adds to the area’s historic atmosphere. The Renaissance-style George Heriot’s School, founded in 1628, is also featured in the series. The school’s stunning architecture is believed to have inspired the creation of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, and it serves as the setting for John’s daughter Sammy’s school.

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The show also features well-known pubs and bars, such as The Oxford Bar in Edinburgh’s New Town, which is a favourite of author Ian Rankin and becomes Rebus’ local watering hole in the series. The city’s geographical features are also highlighted, including The Mound, a steep hill connecting the Old and New Towns, and the iconic Forth Bridge, which connects Edinburgh to Fife, Rebus’ hometown.

Several prominent institutions in Edinburgh also open their doors to the show. The National Library of Scotland allows viewers a glimpse into its distinctive corridors and hidden nooks, and the library also houses an extensive archive of Ian Rankin’s manuscripts and early works. The show also features the Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre, which is used as a police station, and the exterior of the University of Edinburgh’s New College and Assembly Hall, where one of the show’s pivotal scenes takes place.

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The series ventures beyond Edinburgh to Glasgow, featuring additional Scottish landmarks. Oran Mor’s piano bar, Fonn Mór, a well-known West End bar in Glasgow, features in the series. The show also films in the city’s Rutherglen neighborhood, including Byres Road, Airlie Gardens, and Cruachan Road.

The BBC’s Rebus not only offers a gripping crime narrative but also treats viewers to a stunning visual journey through Scotland’s two most prominent cities, showcasing their unique architecture, historic sites, and cultural significance.

Rebus is currently airing Saturday nights on BBC One.

I'm Noah Masire, I look after UK TV News at Memorable TV. From the gripping crime of Happy Valley to the feel good storytelling of All Creatures Great & Small, I bring you the latest news about what's what and who's who in the world of iconic British TV shows. Stay tuned!