20 years of memorable departures (part one)
There have been so many unforgettable Shortland Street exits over the years. Here's part one of our pic of the twenty most memorable departures.
Tom goes to the dairy (1993)
With the words 'Full cream or low fat?' Tom Neilson (Adrian Keeling) went to the dairy to buy cream for Marj (Elizabeth McRae) - and that was the last Marj, and the audience, saw of him for a long time. Marj appeared on the Holmes show pleading for news of her missing husband, but to no avail. The writers intended this to be Tom's write-out but his missing person storyline created such interest that they eventually brought him back to explain, before writing him out for good.
Huia dies in a car bomb (2006)
Shortland Street Hospital moved into full scale emergency mode in October as the doctors and nurses struggled to cope with the devastating aftermath of Ferndale's first car bomb which claimed the life of Hospital CEO Huia Samuels (Nicola Kawana). The hospital car park became a war zone and Doctor Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing) and Nurse Tania Jeffries (Faye Smythe) were witness to the terrible explosion. Having to work through their shock and grief to treat the badly injured survivors, staff at Shortland Street had little time to put the incredible events they has experienced into perspective. A deeply emotional episode ensued as the tragic news spread through the close knit community to friends, family and the father of Huia's unborn child - Craig Valentine (Renato Bartolomei). It was later learnt that the bomb was originally meant for Pharmaceutical rep Anthony Richards (Michael Morris) after he attempted to expose the secrets of international drug company Scott-Spear.
Gerald and Libby's green card wedding (2010)
Although they were often joined at the hip, no one would ever have expected that best friends Libby Jeffries (Fleur Saville) and Gerald Tippett (Harry McNaughton) would have ended up happily married. But when Libby returned from her trip to the U.S. and confessed that she'd been unable to get a green card, Gerald offered the perfect solution. Gerald revealed he had an American passport and offered to leave Ferndale with Libby to work in the States. It was a match born of practicality when Libby finally got her dream wedding - to asexual Gerald! And when they left New Zealand as Mr and Mrs Tippett, even Libby's family agreed that this odd couple had every chance of a bright future together.
Dominic meets a fiery end (2004)
Murderous Dominic Thompson (Shane Cortese) was one of the show's most successful villains and Chris Warner (who once believed Dom was his brother) was his ultimate target. When Dominic first appeared on screen in early 2003, no one imagined that Toni's (Laura Hill) handsome brother, back from his OE, would go on to cause so much trouble. Dominic's first murder was Geoff Greenlaw who froze to death in late 2003 when Dom knocked him out and locked him in the Dog's Day Inn chiller. When the heat got too much for Dom, he left Ferndale for several months, making a dramatic return in Shortland Street's 3000th episode. He was determined to make Chris's life a misery. When nosy PA Avril tried to stop him, Dom drowned her in the bath to the sounds of NZ music classic 'Pink Frost.' But his bad deeds were catching up with him. Dom decided to take Chris with him. He strung Chris up in an abandoned hunting lodge, and doused them both with petrol. Toni arrived just in time to save Chris, but Dom flicked the lighter! The lodge exploded and Dom burned to death.
Carmen dies after a truck crashes into the clinic (1995)
Carmen (Theresa Healey) and Guy (Craig Parker) fell in love and when Carmen was adamant she didn't want children Guy decided true love was more important than babies and had a vasectomy. But on the eve of a world trip, Carmen discovered she was pregnant. The vasectomy had been less than effective and Guy was overjoyed when Carmen decided to keep the baby. Their daughter, Tuesday Warner, was born in dramatic fashion after the Toroa (the ferry Guy and Carmen lived on) broke its moorings in a storm and drifted out to sea. Sadly, Tuesday only had a couple of months to get to know her mother. In the final week of 1995 a truck crashed into the hospital and Carmen was struck on the head. She seemed fine and on Christmas day Guy proposed to her. Moved, Carmen explained she wasn't the marrying kind, but she loved him and wanted to be with him forever. Moments later, she collapsed and died leaving Guy and Tuesday alone and spoiling Christmas dinners across New Zealand.
Toni Warner dies of kidney failure (2008)
After the high speed car crash that nearly took the lives of Toni (Laura Hill), her son Harry, her lover Guy Warner and his daughter Tuesday, Toni was left with only one working kidney. Later that year she contracted what she thought was a tummy bug from her son Harry but was diagnosed as outbreak of nonovirus that she probably contracted from a patient. The illness left her dangerously dehydrated and her remaining kidney was irreparably damaged. Toni faced the news that she would require dialysis for the rest of her life. Her estranged husband Chris vowed to do everything he could to care for her and had her move in with him. Toni reluctantly moved back home but tragically she passed away in front of her husband Chris and her young son Harry. It was later revealed that her death had been caused by a faulty drug distributed by Scott Spear.
Tiffany falls off a building (1998)
Tiffany (Alison James) was pregnant when she lost her life in the line of duty. Out shopping, she had saw Tim, an unstable patient, heading for the roof of a high rise block and realised he was thinking of committing suicide. Tiffany followed him and, climbed onto very edge of the building to try to talk him out of jumping. It was touch and go, but Tim responded to her enthusiasm for life - despite all its ups and downs. But as they prepared to climb back to safety Tiffany slipped - and fell! She was horribly injured and brain-dead. Devastated husband Johnny Marinovich (Stelios Yiakmis) had to make a difficult choice between letting her go, or keeping her on life support until their baby was born.
Isaac Worthington's escape (2011)
One of 2011's memorable departures was that of Isaac Worthington (Matt Minto) and naturally he left in sensational style. In a few short months he had framed Luke Durville as a drug addict, seduced Bella Cooper and almost killed his own uncle Gareth for money. It looked like Isaac finally managed to get his hands on his fortune but just as his trust fund was being released to him, news of his crooked dealings were about to be uncovered by his cousin Chris Warner. To avoid being exposed, Isaac escaped to the Philippines but fate had the last laugh for Isaac as his trust fund was cut off and he was left penniless and stranded overseas.
Lionel is lost at sea (1999)
Lionel Skeggins (John Leigh) was one of the show's most popular characters; the 'frog' who won and married his 'princess' Kirsty Knight. That relationship eventually ended, and Lionel found love again, with Mackenzie Choat (Ingrid Park). What he didn't know was that Mackenzie was an arch criminal, whose crimes included blowing up the Hospital and drugging Lionel's son Luke. A week after they married, Lionel became suspicious and took off. Mackenzie and Luke found him by the seaside, just in time to see Lionel washed off the rocks and out to sea. Lionel's body was never found, and his most ardent fans still hope that he will return to Ferndale one day.
Kieran falls off a cliff (2010)
Kieran Mitchell (Adam Rickett)'s dodgy dealings came back to haunt him in the first ever feature length episode of Shortland Street in 2010. Kieran's criminal past turned up on his doorstep in the form of White Dragon, his nemesis from Thailand, who was sent to torture and kill Kieran. When Kieran refused to bow to torture and beatings, White Dragon produced Kieran's brother Sean whom he had thought was dead - still alive but badly beaten. The two brothers managed to escape but dragged an unwitting Gerald and Nicole Miller into the chase. Eventually they got the better of White Dragon and his henchman but Kieran and Sean ended up dangling precariously over a cliff with Gerald desperately tried to save them both. A guilty Kieran confessed to having run over and killed Morgan Braithwaite and wrenched his arm away from Gerald, falling to the rocks below.
Celebrating 20 years of drama on Shortland Street