Edinburgh, Scotland is one of the grand historic capitals of the island of Great Britain. The good burghers of the city, which would include municipal politicians and local business associations, would love for the world to not see past the Castle on the hill and all the historic buildings that line the downtown area.
Every August the tourists will flock to the city for the Edinburgh Festival, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and all the parties and good times associated with both events. Of course if they can drag themselves away from the festivities for a time they can also take in some theatre and some music while they are at it.
As long as they don't stray beyond the confines of the nice hotels, theatres, shops, and "authentic" Scottish pubs, there's no need for them to see the ugly reality of what life is like for a great deal of the city's population. Ever since the 1980s and Margaret Thatcher's Conservative party destroyed the back of Scottish industry and put tens of thousands of people out of work it has been a desperate struggle to bring employment back for the working class.
Like so many other British cities, Edinburgh has its council flats, ghettos for the poor to live in — huge concrete towers surrounded on all sides by concrete parking lots, filled with immigrants, the unemployed, and the unemployable. Like their inner city counterparts in North America, these places are rife with drugs, violence, and the hopelessness that comes from not being able to see any hope of it ever getting better.
It's in this world that Ian Rankin's character Detective Inspector (DI) John Rebus spends a good deal of his time, because where there's poverty there is sure to be crime. In Acorn Media's release Rebus 1 (the first two episodes with Ken Stott as Rebus), we follow Rebus behind the façade of gentile elegance in "Fleshmarket Close" as he investigates the disappearance of a young woman from one of the housing developments.
The other episode included is set among those who live in manor houses amid elegance and style. But "The Falls" proves that it's not only poverty that can make people desperate, or turn to crime as a means of solving their problems. "The Falls" was also the episode that introduced viewers to the new actors who were charged with bringing Ian Rankin's character's to the small screen.