Phoenix is an Australian police drama television series. Phoenix screened as two thirteen-part series on Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1992 and 1993. The first series of Phoenix in 1992 recounted the investigation of the bombing of the Victorian state police headquarters, loosely based on a real case in the mid-1980s, the Russell Street Bombing. It was aided by extensive research into police techniques and was lauded as one of the most realistic depictions of police investigation techniques, including both surveillance and forensics, as well as having an involving storyline. The series was notable for its dark visual tone and for its no-holds-barred attitude to violence and language. It spawned a second thirteen-part series, Phoenix II, in 1993 as well as a spin-off series, Janus, in 1994 devoted to the machinations of court cases. The series was created and produced by Tony McDonald and Alison Nisselle and screened by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The ABC have released Series 1 and 2 on DVD as a 4 DVD box set.
Seasons & Episode
The Major Crime Squad's investigation of a series of aggravated burglaries leads to an unexpected discovery. The Major Crime Squad is understaffed and leaderless. Sergeant Peter Faithful and his crew struggle to deal with existing investigations when the fourth in a series of aggravated burglaries on 'soft targets', the elderly well-to-do, takes place. The victims of this latest outrage, Betty and James Arthur, have been viciously beaten and terrorised in their own home. The thieves know their targets and take only select valuable items. Tension in the Squad rises as newly appointed Senior Sergeant Adrian Moon follows orders to pull the Majors into line. His manner does nothing to endear him to Faithful and the crew when he turns a key investigation over to the Armed Robbery Squad.
The paths of the Major Crime Squad and the Dealers Squad meet when the Dealers come across a stolen watch linked to the aggravated burglaries. Resources stretched to the limit, the Majors also take over the interrogation of Joanna, a young offender pinched by the Dealers. In Forensic, Ian and Carol begin the difficult task of identifying unusual dirt samples found at the scene of the last aggravated burglary. Inspector Lew Murdoch, an ex toe-cutter, arrives to head up the Majors and appears to be a nine to five man with an 'attitude' problem. Squad morale goes into decline. A raid planned behind Murdoch's back turns into a fiasco. Complaints roll in and the Inspector's wrath descends on the squad and particularly on Snr.Sgt.Moon.
Chris Faithfull (Peter's wife), a drug squad undercover cop, survives the harrowing experience of a hostile gun to her head.
Russell Howie, from the Fraud Squad, is recruited by Murdoch to join Major Crime. Shock waves roll through the Major Crime Squad when a second aggravated burglary takes place on the same elderly victims; Betty Arthur is viciously raped and her husband James beaten for six valuable stamps.
After a tip-off, Murdoch authorises the Majors to raid a warehouse where they score a huge cache of stolen goods. Following the warehouse raid, Howie is the target of complaints of sexual assault by Lindy. Meanwhile Faithful is overheard by internal affairs, making a deal with a criminal and the Majors suffer a staggering blow when crime victim James Arthur is found dead in his home. What appears to be murder is proven by the forensic team to be Arthur's macabre and tragic attempt for revenge.
The Majors and the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence lock horns over an informant.
Conflict spreads through police headquarters when the Majors and Drug Squad investigations begin to cross-over.
The Majors investigate a con-man linked to the aggravated burglaries by forensic evidence discovered by Carol and Ian. The violent thieves have been melting down the stolen gold jewellery into bricks for easier handling. The Internal Investigations Department focuses on Peter Faithful because of a mysterious $20,000 which passed through his bank account.
Pressure mounts on the Majors when they are forced to run their own surveillance on Flannagan, a prime suspect. Peter Faithful confirms the importation of drugs via Nipper, his informant on the docks.
Frustration mounts for the Majors when another aggravated burglary occurs.
Peter Faithful is taken hostage by a suspect. A terrified girl jumps from a second-story window when the Majors raid the flat of a prime suspect for the aggravated burglaries.
To Peter's annoyance, the Federal Police blow the cover of one of his informants.