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Outlander star Richard Rankin to star in new BBC drama - and it looks brilliant

The actor is swapping time travel for law enforcement in the new BBC drama!

Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in season seven
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
7 March 2024
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Outlander star Richard Rankin has landed a new role away from the show - and it sounds seriously good. The actor, who plays Roger in the hit STARZ drama, is set to play John Rebus in the upcoming BBC drama Rebus - and we can’t. Here’s what we know so far… 

Rebus is set to be a new adaptation of the Inspector Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, with the story reimagining John Rebus as a young Detective Sergeant. The official synopsis reads: “Detective Sergeant [is] drawn into a violent criminal conflict that turns personal when his brother Michael, a former soldier, crosses the line into criminality. 

WATCH: Outlander is back with all of the action for season 7 part 2

“Rebus finds himself torn between protecting his brother and enforcing the law to bring Michael to justice. This epic series explores family, morality and class through an emotionally-charged story, set against the Scottish landmarks that Rankin’s readers know so well.” 

Richard Rankin is set to star
Richard Rankin is set to star

Filming on the six-part series has already taken place in Glasgow and Edinburgh, so fans won’t have long to wait! It is set to air on BBC Scotland, BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this spring. 

Richard will also be joined by Line of Duty star Lucie Shorthouse, Vigil actor Noof Ousellam, and The Ipcress File actor, Brian Ferguson. 

Speaking about the new show, Richard said: “I am thrilled that Rebus will premiere on the BBC. It’s been an honour taking on the role of Ian Rankin’s renowned John Rebus. A character enjoyed by so many in such a fresh and original adaptation.”

Author Ian Rankin added: “I’m thrilled that Rebus is coming to the BBC. A great cast and a compelling story - I really can’t wait for viewers to see it.”

Brianna and Roger in Outlander© Robert Wilson
Brianna and Roger in Outlander

The writer of the adaptation, Gregory Burke, added: “It has been a huge privilege to work on a new show with Ian Rankin's iconic character at its centre, and I couldn't be more delighted that it is to be broadcast on the BBC.”

Richard is best known for his role as Roger McKenzie in Outlander, and will portray the role until the show’s conclusion with season eight. Speaking about finding out that the show was ending, he told Collider: “I had to be consoled. I was depressed for days.” 

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe smiling on a red carpet© Getty Images
Outlander stars Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin

His co-star, Sophie Skelton, added: “We went into Season 7 thinking that it was gonna be the last one, so Season 8 is a bonus for us and a bonus for the fans. It means we get more time with these characters and with the family that we’ve created, so it’s good. There’s still joy to be had yet. And Season 7 is such a fantastic season. There are 16 episodes, so we’re a long way off it feeling like the end yet.” 

Fans have been patiently waiting for Outlander’s season seven part two return, will the premiere taking place on 16 June. Will you be watching? We know we will! 

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