Born in the United Kingdom, Michael Harvey has worked in the Australian film and television industries for more than thirty years. He began his career as a scriptwriter in the early 1970s, working on Crawford Productions drama series from 1972-1998 such as Ryan (1973), Homicide (1973-76), and Division 4 (1975). In 1976, he studied direction at the Australian Film and Television School, where his graduation piece, Goodbye, Johnny Ray, won him the 1979 Australian Film Industry (AFI) Silver Short Fiction Award. The 1970s also saw him work on several other popular series, notably Prisonerand Skyways.
During the 1980s, Harvey wrote episodes for A Country Practice (1981), Carson's Law (1983), Special Squad (1984), Prime Time (1986), Home and Away (1988), Richmond Hill (1988), and Inside Running (1989). Since 1990, he has written scripts for such series as Skirts (1990), Cluedo (1992), Phoenix (1993), Janus (1994), Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left (1994), and State Coroner (1997-98), which he also devised. A co-production between Crawford Productions and Harvey Taft Productions (the company he formed with David Taft), the pilot episode of State Coroner was nominated for both AFI and AWGIE awards.
In 2000, Harvey Taft Productions made a successful application to Film Victoria for funding under the Commercial Script Development Scheme. This allowed Harvey the opportunity to develop and write a number of feature film and television scripts, notably Mug's Game, CHAS, and Bones. In 2009, he was also a writer and associate producer for the Dirt Game series.
As a writer/director, Harvey has overseen numerous training films, including Ruth,a thirty-minute dramatised educational video about Alzheimer's Disease, and Galbally, a biographical film about Victorian lawyer Frank Galbally (1989). The recipient of several AWGIE nominations for TV Drama and Education during the 1980s and early 1990s, Harvey won the 1995 AWGIE award for TV Drama with an episode of Janus.
An active member of the film and television industry, Harvey has been a past Victorian Vice President and State Chairperson of the Australian Writers' Guild, and is the recipient of the 2000 Richard Lane Award for services to the guild. In addition, he has delivered lectures in television writing for both the guild and various tertiary institutions.
(Source: Michael Harvey resume, Harvey Taft Productions website)
'It's a story about justice...and the corruption of justice. JANUS is about the lawyers, police, judges and magistrates who work with a very imperfect system. The focus of our story will be the new Director of Public Prosecutions Officer, taking over the handling of all Committals for trial - the first sweeping changes recommended by the Janus Taskforce Committee.'
On the cold and inhospitable planet of Zyrgon in a galaxy light years away, X's father wins the state lottery for the 27th time in a row. Knowing he will now be severely punished, twelve-year-old X is determined to save her family from jail, and decides to buy a spaceship. The whole family then set off into space, head halfway across the galaxy, and turn left. They land on an even stranger planet: Earth.
'A hard-edged, gritty drama about the tense and claustrophobic world of a Major Crime Task Force set up to solve an urban terrorist bombing, a Task Force which brings together a crew of idiosyncratic, competitive characters over a knife edged maximum stressed two months. PHOENIX is no traditional cop shop or crime story. Its characters are not clean, super hero cops, just real police whose attitudes can be shocking and whose humour is grim and black.'