Janus: articles

Drama flashbacks

It would be a pity if Janus (Thursday, 8.30pm ABC) continues to be neglected because of the complexity of legal jargon in the opening episodes. The gritty series is actually getting better as it goes along. As we see this week in Reckless Indifference, a drama skillfully scripted by Deborah Cox and tautly directed by Michael Carson, the show is attracting impressive supporting performances.

The episode opens at night with one of the most breath-catching police chase scenes seen on TV, all dazzling lights, confusing angles, radio fragments and screeching tyres. Then a youth is charges and a self-contained mystery begins. But it's the performances of Jonathan Kernutt as the puzzlingly scared youth and Frank Magree as the whining, embarrassed policeman who charges him that make this one in the series well worth catching.

Brian Courtis
The Sunday Age
September 25, 1994

Proof is in the viewing

The final episode of the first series of the ABC's critically-lauded, but spurned by viewers, Janus goes to air on Thursday.

Previewing the episode, Burden Of Proof, brought home the injustice of the ratings monster. As this episode so adequately displays, Janus is a well-researched, written and performed series that faced an uphill battle to win a sizeable audience after a confused opening.

Burden Of Proof, written by Cliff Green, is all courtroom drama — and what drama. Focusing on the ongoing conflict been law enforcement's champion Peter Faithful (Simon Westaway) and the criminal Hennessey family's defending barrister Michael Kidd (Chris Haywood), this is possibly the best episode yet.

Both actors give riveting performances, while the story's punchline provides a positive end to sometimes depressing series.

Work on series two is nearing completion. Let's hope it will open strongly next year grab an audience early.

Insider, Sunday Herald-Sun
November 13, 1994