Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ian Rankin, crime writer

I love anything about the creative process from the creator's point of view, whether it be the latest Interrogation article in the Judge Dredd Megazine or an interview in SFX with Terry Pratchett. So it was that I came to watch Profiling: Ian Rankin on ITV3 the other night.

I have seen documentaries featuring Rankin before and always find him fascinating to listen to. Although this latest programme inevitably repeated some of what I already knew, more depth and detail was added about Rankin's experiences as a writer, his most famous creation Inspector John Rebus and the hidden Edinburgh that he explores in his novels.

I have only read one Rankin novel, the first Rebus story Knots and Crosses, which I devoured in a day on my way to Norfolk and back by train (it's a long story). And despite wanting to, for some reason I had never seen any of the Rebus TV dramas. In hindsight I'm glad I missed the ones featuring the miscast John Hannah (he of The Mummy fame) and this week I have managed to catch up with some of those starring the much more suitably 'lived-in' Ken Stott (who was brilliant in the Beeb's Messiah) thanks to ITV3's crime thriller season.

Having found out more about both Rankin and Rebus I am keen to pick up another of these novels soon but I'm also looking forward to the rest of ITV3's thriller season.

In general I find that all the additional freeview and satellite channels have little of worth to offer. However, in my opinion you can't go wrong with BBC3's re-runs of New Who, BBC4's documentaries (especially the recent Medieval season) and ITV3's crime dramas, such as Rebus and Cadfael. If you haven't checked them out for yourself recently you could do worse than have a look.

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