Janus (TV series)

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Created byTony McDonald
Alison Nisselle
StarringSimon Westaway
Chris Haywood
Jeremy Kewley
Country of originAustralia
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Executive producer(s)Sue Masters
Producer(s)Bill Hughes
Running time50 minutes
Original networkABC-TV
Original release1994 – 1995
Preceded byPhoenix

Janus is an Australian drama television series screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1994 and 1995. Two series were produced, with a total of 26 episodes.

Janus (known in some countries as Criminal Justice) was a spin-off series from the earlier ABC-TV crime series Phoenix.

Loosely based on the true story of Melbourne's Pettingill family and the Walsh Street police shootings, Janus follows the bitterly fought prosecutions of a notorious criminal family, the Hennesseys, from the viewpoints of the family, the police and, in particular, the lawyers, prosecutors, barristers and judges involved in all aspects of the story.

When the series begins, four members of the infamous Hennessey clan are acquitted of the shooting of two young policemen in a bungled bank heist. The city of Melbourne is shocked as brothers Mal and Steve, along with brother-in-law Darren Mack and friend Ken Hardy, walk free.

The prosecutors, judges, magistrates and police—many modelled heavily on real-life legal figures—are determined to put the Hennessey members behind bars if they can. But corruption, legal loopholes, delays, and stretched resources combine to make the quest to jail the group far from straightforward.

The operation puts the entire Hennessey clan under observation—the matriarch, Shirl; her sons Mal and Steve; daughter Rhonda along with her new husband Darren; and Steve's girlfriend Kirsty (Belinda McClory).

Representing the Hennessey family is the unconventional and tough defence barrister, Michael Kidd, played by Chris Haywood. Prosecuting the family is Victoria's newly appointed Crown Prosecutor Vic Manoulis (Jeremy Kewley) and his assistant, young lawyer Rob Griffin (Felix Nobis).

And overseeing all of this is the driven and determined cop Peter Faithfull (played by Simon Westaway) who we first got to know in the earlier series of Phoenix.

Like Phoenix, this series was produced by Bill Hughes and created and written by Allison Niselle and Tony McDonald.

DVD release[edit]

The first season of Janus was released on DVD in Australia by ABC-DVD in September 2009. The box set, called Janus: Volume One contains all 13 episodes of the first season on 4 x DVDs. It was followed in May 2010 by the ABC-DVD box set release of Janus: Volume Two containing all 13 episodes of the second season on 4 x DVDs.


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