Channel Nine’s popular and controversial drama Underbelly has been renewed for a second season. The season will be a prequel and will focus on Alphonse Gangitano’s life.
Wednesday, April 16 at 8.30pm
Carl orders a drug dealer named Michael Marshall murdered but the Purana Task Force are on hand to arrest his paid hit men.
King Carl is confident he can get away with anything, so when a mate of an associate is murdered he offers to avenge him by murdering the man his associate believes responsible, small-time dealer Michael
Marshall. Once again Mr T and his driver Mr L are wheeled into action. However, the newly enlarged and resourced Task Force Purana install blanket surveillance on the gang and manage to arrest the gunmen – but only after the hit has gone down and the “horse” has been “scratched”.
Wednesday, April 9 at 8.30pm
Despite the protests of both the Purana Task Force and his family, JASON MORAN returns to Australia. The pull of kithand kin is greater than the fear of a violent death that may be waiting for him in Melbourne.
Despite inadequate resources and funding Purana manages to turn up the heat on hit man BENJI VENIAMIN, the major suspect in a series of killings. STEVE and JACQUI are determined to prevent him adding JASON to his list of victims.
So when Carl asks BENJI to take out JASON he has to reluctantly say no – under 24/7 police surveillance his hands are tied. CARL turns instead to the psychotic MR T who welcomes the task.
Meanwhile JASON busies himself collecting cash to finance a hit on CARL. Of course Purana know what he’s up to and they set about trying to disrupt his cash flow. To this end they arrest LEWIS MORAN in a drug raid.
And while JASON is building up his war chest MR T is stalking him, looking for an opportunity to strike. More by good luck than good planning, JASON somehow avoids getting shot down in the street.
But one fateful Saturday morning JASON’S luck runs out. While attending a junior Aussie Rules football clinic he and his mate are blown away in their van by MR T in front of a crowd of parents and kids. The entire community is shocked and outraged.
Responding to community and media pressure, the state government gets behind Task Force Purana and gives it the extra manpower and resources needed to clean up Melbourne’s streets.
It is no consolation for the devastated LEWIS MORAN. Earmarked as a possible next victim, he is forbidden to go to his son’s funeral. A broken man, LEWIS stays in his cell and grieves alone.
Vengeance done, CARL WILLIAMS celebrates his daughter’s christening with a lavish party at Crown Casino. In reality the occasion doubles as his coronation. All hail the new king of the Melbourne underworld!
Wednesday, April 2 at 8.30pm
A major internal police investigation reveals corruption is rife in the Drug Squad. With officers up on charges, CARL WILLIAMS has his sentence quashed pending a review. Now a free man, he sets about trying to make up for lost time in the drug making game. CARL makes the decision to ramp up his profits by cutting inferior product into his drugs, selling twice the drugs for half the cost. But only CARL seems happy with the situation.
Ironically, JASON MORAN is released from prison about the same time as CARL, having completed his two-year sentence for the nightclub attack. Angered to see how big a player CARL has become, and suspicious about his role in brother MARK’S murder, JASON approaches BENJI VENIAMIN. How much to kill that fat boy CARL WILLIAMS?
Amused by this, CARL ups the price to have BENJI kill JASON. But old allegiances prove difficult to shrug off and BENJI decides to subcontract the job out. Notorious hard man VICTOR PEIRCE is hired and an execution date set – the anniversary of MARK’S death.
Knowing that JASON has a price on his head, and in an effort to avoid any further bloodshed, GARRY BUTTERWORTH goes to JASON with an offer. If he is willing to head overseas to relative safety, the police will allow his parole conditions to be varied.
JASON wrestles with a dilemma: when you have a reputation as an underworld tough guy the last thing you want is for people to think you’ve run away from a fight, but then you don’t want your kids to grow up without a dad either. With the CARLTON CREW’S blessing he decides to take his family overseas.
Unable to carry out the assassination he has been hired for, VICTOR PEIRCE tells BENJI he will do the job as soon as JASON returns. Naturally CARL is annoyed at the hit man’s refusal to hand back his fee. His exasperation is misread by BENJI. Taking matters into his own hands, he shoots down PEIRCE in cold blood.
Next on the hit list is drug dealer NIK RADEV who’s been complaining about the poor quality of drugs CARL is supplying. Bang bang! BENJI and a second gunman working for CARL, a psychotic known as MR T, kill him in a driveby shooting.
The growing list of bodies, the media uproar and the public’s concern prompts the police hierarchy to form Task Force Purana. STEVE, JACQUI, GARRY and their homicide teams are drafted into it. Finally they have a chance to take the fight to the underworld head on.
Based on events in Melbourne from 1995 to 2004
A Taxi pulls up and Alphonse Gangitano (Vince Colosimo) – also known as the Black Prince of Lygon Street – and Jason Moran (Les Hill), with cigarette in hand, step out. They walk into an apartment. Alphonse is packing a gun which he reaches for. He pulls it out as they enter a room where a group of people are having a party and Jason yells “Alright everybody, this is a raid. Everybody down on the floor.”
It’s all a prank as a blonde girl sitting at the table, Taylor, jumps up and embraces Jason and introduces him to everyone as him being all hers. She tells Jason off for being late.
Alphonse puts on some Opera and asks for a show of hands as to who likes it. He greets Ella and takes her glass of wine but doesn’t like it and says she was ripped off.
A shifty looking Greg Workman (Lliam Amor) is spotted by Alphonse who greets him. Greg comments on Alphonse’s nice threads. Greg says he got out of prison early and promises to pay back the money he owes to him.
Ella walks in on Jason and Taylor having sex in one of the bedrooms to ask if she has any vodka.
Two police officers pull over a driver who ran a red light. She says she was on her way to the all night chemist for some cough medicine. Her license reads as Susam Carmelmoney and the officer asks her to step outside the vehicle. She is wearing piggie slippers. The officer says they’re cute and he has a pair just like them. Susan calls him a pig.
In the car, Jacqui James (Caroline Craig) gets a call from dispatch about a noise complaint. She honks the horn and calls Steve Owen (Rodger Corser) back to the car. He lets Susan off with a warning. In a voice over, Jacqui says that it was about 2am on a Tuesday night and that her and Steve were due for a meal break. She adds that if she knew now what she knew then then she would have gone straight home to bed.
Greg is outside going for a pee. Alphonse pushes him over. He owes him $1500 but Alphonse says that it’s now $5000 but says that if he can lay a fist on him then it’ll be ok. Greg doesn’t want to fight but Alphonse pushes it. A scuffle ensues as Alphonse starts beating him.
Jacqui and Steve arrive and tell them to break it up. Alphonse says they’re just having some fun. Steve asks Greg if he’s having fun. Greg says they were just mucking around. Steve tells them that there have been complaints about the noise. Alphonse wants to know who complained. Steve says that they need to turn the music down as people are trying to sleep.
Alphonse makes a point about asking if they know who he is. Steve asks if he wants to spend the night in the cells. Alphonse has his hands behind his pants ready to draw his gun. Steve says he really doesn’t want to have to do all the paperwork but he can get 3 units down there in 5 minutes. Greg says they’ll just turn the music down. As Steve and Jacqui walk away Alphonse wants to know his name. Steve tells him and Alphonse says he’ll remember. Steve says good.
When the police leave, Alphonse says to Greg always forgive your enemies but just don’t forget their names. He asks if he knows who said that. He doesn’t know who. Alphonse says John F. Kennedy. Greg swears he doesn’t know him. Greg wants to know if they’re still mates. As he goes to leave, Alphonse empties his gun into him.
Upstairs in the bedroom, Jason hears the gun shots and jumps out of bed to see what Alphonse has done. When he gets outside he sees Alphonse firing once more into Greg at close range. Alphonse then complains about how his pants are ruined thanks to the blood that has splattered on them.
Ella comes out screaming for someone to call an ambulance.
Jason and Alphonse leave the body with the girls.
In the car, Jason asks why he had to shoot him so many times. Alphonse says it was because he was so fat. He adds that it was business because he owed him money. Jason asks for the gun. Alphonse doesn’t want to give it to him because it’s his favourite. Jason promises to get him another, bigger gun. Alphonse hands it over but says he loves it. Jason takes it, winds down the window and then throws it out the window.
Back at the apartment, Steve tells Garry Butterworth (Frankie J. Holden) about what happened and that he has the two sisters, Ella and Taylor upstairs in separate rooms so they can’t come up with a story. Ella says it was like Alphonse was crazy. She didn’t hear the argument but says she saw the murder. She says Greg was a good friend and that he had three kids. Garry Butterworth says those kids have lost their dad. She wants her to testify but she refuses to because she’s afraid Alphonse will come after her. She says her life is fine, she has a career and isn’t wanting to mess that up but becoming an enemy of Alphone Gangitano. Garry tells her it’s the right thing to do.
At home, Alphonse takes off his pants and shoes and puts them into a rubbish bag. He walks upstairs in a robe and checks on his children before getting into be with his wife. She wants to know why he had a shower in the laundry.
Jacqui James voice over says that that night was the beginning of what the media called the gangland wars which started over Alphonse Gangitano shooting Greg Workman for no good reason at a St Kilda party which triggered a series of chain reactions that would eventually see nearly 30 people murdered.
Mark Moran (Callan Mulvey) arrives at Jason’s place where he is with his wife kids having breakfast. He asks what happened in St Kilda last night but Jason motions with his finger on his lips to not say anything. They head outside and Jason tells him what happened. Jason says he had nothing to do with it but Mark says that’s not what the rumors were. Jason asks if their dad knew. Mark says that was why he was there and that they have a meeting.
Mark, Jason and Lewis meet Mick Gatto (Simon Westaway), Graham Kinniburgh “The Munster” (Gerard Kennedy), Mario Rocco Condello (Martin Sacks) – The Carlton Crew at a football ground. Alphonse arrives and they talk about last night. Alphonse says it was a matter of honor when asked if he checked to see whether Greg had life insurance before he loaded him with bullets. Lewis isn’t impressed. Mario says he screwed up and now they’re all paying. More checks on the street and two runners were pulled in this morning.
Martin tells Alphonse that they’ve spoken with their lawyer and says that he has an appointment at the station.
At the interview, he reads a statement in front of a camera declaring his innocence. Garry asks if he can shed any light on what happened. Alphonse says how can he since he’s an innocent man. Garry says that he wont mind being in a line up then. Alphonse is surprised at there being a witness. He wants to know who. Garry tells him he’d better get his lawyer in as he’s charging him with murder.
Jason and Alphonse arrive at a restaurant looking for Ella who isn’t there. Her boss, Tracey Seymour (Lauren Clair) said she didn’t turn up for work today. Jason says they’re worried about her. Jason gives her some money and asks her to ask some of the other girls who work there.
Alphonse is really worried about the girls testifying as he’ll be put away for 10 years.
As soon as the girls agreed to testify they were moved into witness security. They were expecting a hotel but instead they got a caravan. Jacqui’s voice over says that back in those days they didn’t do witsec too well.
The girls walk along the beach and talk about what will happen afterwards. New names.
Alphonse is at home with his kids when the phone goes. It’s a detective who is happy to help him find the girls. He says $5000 now and then $5000 when it’s done.
Inside the caravan, the girls freak out at hearing noises. They decide to call an emergency number and then contemplate leaving but are scared of getting killed.
Back at the football ground, Jason asks Alphonse where he thinks the girls might be. Steve and Jacqui arrive and Steve says that they believe he has drugs on him and wants him to empty his pockets. Jason’s phone rings so he leaves to take the call and leaves Alphonse with the two police officers.
Jason takes the call and tells the caller to calm down as Alphonse shows the police that he has nothing on him. He then asks for an apology to which Jacqui says that she’s sorry he’s such an arsehole.
Back at the caravan the girls are getting dressed. Carl Anthony Williams (Gyton Grantly) is looking through the windows. Ella screams when she sees him. Taylor knows him and he says that Jason sent him.
(Carl is destined to be Australia’s most infamous serial killer.)
Carl drives the girls back into town and into a building where he searches them. He tells them to go up to the first floor and to the last door at the end of the corridor. Jason is inside with the lawyer. He wants a statement from them as they say they were coerced into signing the other one by the police. Alphonse walks in and the mood changes. He asks if she is prepared to make a new statement. She agrees and then he says that they need to disappear. He asks if they’d like an all expenses paid trip to Europe. The catch is they need to be out of the country by tomorrow night. If not, then they’ll disappear some other way.
Carl drives them to the airport and tells them they must be the luckiest girls in the world.
Everyone sits down at a table at a restaurant hoping to celebrate. At the airport, the girls are pulled aside at customs. Garry gets a call about it and talks to Ella and says that she can’t help and they have to go.
At the restaurant, another couple recognise the carlton crew. Jason goes over and tells him to stop looking at them. The guy, who is Constable Steve doesn’t want any trouble. Jason asks who said anything about trouble. The guy stands up and then Mark comes over to see what the problem is. Mark says there is no harm in looking.
Alphonse sends over a bottle of wine to apologise for the disturbance but Steve says thanks but no thanks.
The next day, Garry tells Steve that the girls are gone. Steve clicks as to what they were celebrating. Garry is mad.
Alphonse walks and is stopped by a police car which pulls in front of him. He climbs onto the bonnet and walks over it.
Alphonse is at the Barbers Saloon and beats up the owner who is $100 short on money he owes him.
Mark talks to Mick about how Alphonse is a heat seeking missile and that they need to do something about him before it gets out of control.
Graham goes to talk to Alphonse and says that he needs a holiday. Alphonse asks if he doesn’t pull his weight. Mario tells him to take his family to New Zealand for three months holiday. His wife comes out and asks Alphonse who Ella Randal is. She wants to know why he wrote her a cheque for $30,000. She is angry and doesn’t know who he is anymore.
Alphonse loved the notoriety of being known as the black prince of Lygon street but it had taken it’s toll both personally and financially but he was desperate to keep the crown.
Jason and Tracey talk until Alphonse comes in and charms her before asking for a glass of Shiraz. Alphonse asks Jason if he’s in for a bit of excitement tonight and says he’s owed $20,000 by a guy who owns a sports bar. Jason doesn’t want any more headlines.
Alphonse and Jason arrive at the sports bar and head inside. Alphonse says that if the guy isn’t there then they’ll trash the place. They knock on the door to the staff area. No one answers. After a few drinks, they start beating people up and trashing the place. Alphonse also smacks a woman around the head with a pool cue.
When the police arrive, Jason takes off leaving Alphonse to deal with the police. Steve turns up and is in plain clothes now and gets a response out of Jacqui as Alphonse gets carted away in the back of the paddy wagon despite trying to tell everyone that he is the prince.
Alphonse is in a cell and doesn’t look happy at all. 13 people were hospitalised after his and Jason’s rampage at the King Street bar. They show Alphonse photos of his victims. One is likely to lose an eye. They want to know who the other guy was with him in the CCTV footage. Steve thinks it is him because of his walk but they can’t prove it because the cctv footage is bad.
At home, Alphonse’s wife is trying to leave with the kids. She asks Alphonse who he thinks he is. She says he’s not real any more and is living in a movie inside his head. He tells her she’s not allowed to leave him.
Carl gets a visit from Steve. They’re fishing for information. They call his bluff about Jason and he confirms he was at the bar. Carl calls Steve a sphincter before they leave.
Jason is in bed with Tracey. She asks what happened to his hands. He tells her he doesn’t want her flashing her boobs around any more and has gotten her a job at a florist. He then tells her that if anyone asks, he was with her last night.
A team of police arrive at Jason’s place with a search warrant. Jason isn’t there. He’s driving with Tracey and gets stopped by police. He resists and gets smacked in the head with the blunt end of a gun.
They can’t find anything at the house.
At the police station, Tracey waits for Jason. Jason’s wife is there filling out paperwork and when Alphonse arrives, Tracey says she wonders what she looked like. She decides to leave. Alphonse says it was nice to see her. Tracey says she didn’t like him at first but thinks now that he’s a very nice man.
Alphonse heads to church for confession. He enters the box and confesses to the priest that it has been a long time since he was in confession. He then decides he doesn’t want to confess and leaves.
Carl meets Tony and wants to learn how to cook up some E. Carl wants to franchise. Tony doesn’t want a bar of it.
Jason arrives at Carl’s place and questions him about why he dobbed him in to the cops. He slaps him in the face before giving him his Christmas bonus.
At a Christmas party, Judy Moran (Caroline Gillmer) asks Jason if he should be drinking having had concussion. Jason tells his mother to piss off. Mark says she is worried about him. He says that he’s not to blame for it and says if he goes back inside then it will be Alphonses fault. Jason says, “what can I say. He’s like a brother to me”. With that, Jason takes to him and a scuffle ensues.
At the lawyers, Alphonse is told that if they plead guilty then there wont be a trial and they might get 12 months. If they go to trial then there will be witnesses to tell their sob stories. Alphonse contemplates but Jason isn’t into it at all. He storms out and tells Carl it’s time to go.
Alphonse wants to know what what his problem is and wants to talk about it because it only takes 1 witness to bring them down. Jason says that if he pleads guilty then he will go down with him and while Alphonse seems happy to do a year, Jason isn’t. Jason takes a swing at Alphonse and lands one on the side of his head. Not wanting to get involved, Carl decides it’s time to bail and jumps in the car and takes off to leave the two guys on their own to sort out their differences. Alphonse lays into Jason and smacks him to the ground where he has blood coming from his mouth and then has a seizure.
Alphonse carries Jason to a hospital where he is diagnosed with another skull fracture. Alphonse talks to Tracey again who doesn’t get why she is attracted to men like him. She asks if he believes in redemption. He says you need to repent and that’s the catch. She thinks it’s too good to be true. Alphonse hopes not. She says she could do with a hug.
Alphonse goes back to confession and tells the priest how he wanted to leave a mark on them and make them remember the night they met him. He wants to know if the father thinks that makes him a monster and wants to know whose fault it is. His or God’s.
At the committal hearing, Jason still isn’t sure which way Alphonse was going to plead. Graham tells Steve that they should let them sort it out. They tell him no. Graham says that they should have.
The girl who lost an eye in the attack turns up and asks how many other witnesses arrived. There is no answer but there is also no one else around. She seems quite chipper.
At the court, all the Carlton Crew are taking off jewelery and sunglasses before going through the metal detectors. It’s a bit of a show as gold and cell phones and wads of money come out of pockets.
Carl sneaks into Jason’s house and steals his dog to take to Tony in the hopes of getting into business with him. Tony asks if that was his best offer. Carl says it was actually plan B so Tony is interested in knowing what his plan A was.
At court, despite all his advisor’s, Alphonse pleads guilty and effectively severs the bond with Jason.
One by one however, the witnesses were persuaded not to testify. Mark follows Nicola, the girl who lost the eye, to her car. He takes down her number plate before opening her door and tells her to have a nice day.
Alphonse and Tracey are in bed together and Tracey asks if she is right in the head after getting involved with two married gangsters. Alphonse reminds her that it’s one gangster and one ex-gangster.
Tracey’s son Tommy arrives home who she wasn’t expecting but his sitter couldn’t look after him. Mark then arrives to find Alphonse there. Mark says “isn’t this Tracey Seymour’s place”. Mark says he came to tell her that Jason is trying to get his life together and that there wasn’t any room for her. However, he says that it appears she has already moved on.
At the restaurant, everyone orders. Mark pulls Jason out to the kitchen to tell him about Alphonse and Tracey. Jason can’t believe it. Mark asks how many times that is now that he’s been bitten by him.
When Alphonse gets home he is greeted by an angry wife who says she just got a call from Mark Moran to say he is sleeping with a lingerie waitress. She slaps him in the face and then leaves.
Carl reads a note to Jason’s wife that says someone wants $10,000 for their dog. Carl suggests telling Jason despite the note saying not to. His wife doesn’t think that would be a good idea. Nor going to the police. Carl offers to go take a look around for them but says you’d probably have to pay them something and asks what they have lying around the house in cash. She pulls out some cash that is stashed in the fan above the stove.
Carl takes the $6300 to Tony who asks what should he do if he has grown attached to the dog and doesn’t want to give him back? Carl pulls out a puppy from the car and gives it to Tony who is suitably impressed.
Jason is watching some cooking on TV when Alphonse arrives. He apologises about Tracey and says it just happened and wasn’t planned. Jason says it doesn’t matter anyway. Alphonse tells Jason he went to church to talk to the priest about how he can’t screw things up any more. Jason is still not over things and tells him to get his hands off his dog when he goes to pat him.
Alphonse arrives home and tells his wife that it’s all over. She says that she thinks she prefers it when he lies. She tells him there is food in the oven and is going to pick up the girls. She is glad he is there. Alphonse reassures her that everything is going to be ok.
Mark tells Jason that he did good cutting him loose. Jason says he didn’t though and that Alphonse cut him loose.
Alphonse is watching his cctv camera and sees Graham arrive. He invites him in.
When Mark comes back he asks where Jason is. He’s out driving his car. Mark gets worried.
Alphonse tries to spark a deal with Graham about his future buniess plans.
Jason arrives at Alphonse’s place walks past a young couple in their car making out and finds the front door open. He walks in on them and shoots him in the back as he runs to the laundry to find his gun. It’s too late. Jason nails him again. As he leaves, Mark arrives. Graham leaves as well but not before taking the tape from the cctv footage.
At the police station, the girl of the young couple that was in the car ID’s Jason but the guy doesn’t.
At the football ground, Mario is angry that someone has killed a friend of his. No one is forthcoming about what happened.
Steve dresses to go to the funeral for intelligence gathering.
At the funeral, Tony talks to Graham and asks who did it. Graham tells him it’s an internal matter. Jason tells Alphonses wife that he is full of sorry.
The Moran boys thought the world was theirs for the taking but they’d overlooked a homegrown threat with the potential to bring law and order in Melbourne to its knees. And Carl Williams had just realised that you could get away with murder.
UNDERBELLY COMMENCES PRODUCTION
Underbelly, the most anticipated drama series of recent times, commenced production in Melbourne today for the Nine Network.
The 13-part blockbuster, based on the book Leadbelly by John Silvester and Andrew Rule, is the compelling dramatisation of Melbourne’s infamous gangland killings that started in 1998 with the murder of Alphonse Gangitano. Underbelly will also follow the rise and fall ofnotorious career criminal Carl Williams, who sought to be king of Melbourne’s underworld and now languishes in prison.
Underbelly is the latest drama from production company Screentime whose recent slate includes The Society Murders and Mary Bryant. “This has to be one of the most exciting and challenging drama projects ever shot in this country,” Des Monaghan, executive producer for Screentime, said.
In keeping with the scope of this fascinating chapter of crime history, Underbelly boasts one of the most exciting ensemble casts ever assembled for Australian television. Rodger Corser (Last Man Standing) and Caroline Craig (Blue Heelers) star as Detective Senior Sergeant Steve Owen and Detective Constable Jacqui James, who embody the police officers who strove to stem the bloodshed of Melbourne’s internal crime wars.
Portraying real-life characters who have become part of Melbourne folklore are Vince Colosimo (Alphonse Gangitano), Gyton Grantley (Carl Williams), Kat Stewart (Roberta Williams), Simon Westaway (Mick Gatto), Martin Sacks (Mario Condello), Gerard Kennedy (Graham Kinninburgh), Kevin Harrington (Lewis Moran), Callan Mulvey (Mark Moran), Les Hill (Jason Moran), Robert Mammone (Tony Mokbel), George Kapiniaris(George Defteros) and Caroline Gillmer as matriarch Judy Moran.
“From the outset Nine has been 100 per cent committed to bringing Underbelly to the small screen,” said Nine Network Head of Drama, Jo Horsburgh. “And along with Sea Patrol and Canal Road, this landmark production represents the latest chapter in Nine’s proud tradition of creating world-class television.”
“The challenge for the writing team is to capture the essential truth of these extraordinary events in a compelling and coherent manner,” said Screentime’s Head of Drama, Greg Haddrick, who along with Peter Gawler and Felicity Packard will take writing credits.
Haddrick will also co-produce the series in conjunction with industry stalwart Brenda Pam, with Des Monaghan and Jo Horsburgh as executive producers. Underbelly will screen on the Nine Network in 2008.