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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

From hero to villain

In his transition from good guy to villain, Josh Gallaher has left a series of innocent victims in his wake but how did it all go so wrong?

The English doctor arrived in Ferndale during the 20th birthday feature length episode like a knight in shining armour, pulling Bella Cooper from the wreckage of the helicopter crash.


Josh had his ups and downs after his arrival in Ferndale but despite his sometimes prickly demeanour, Josh was a good guy and his dry wit and charming accent won over several Ferndale ladies. He had short-lived relationships with Paige Munroe and Lana Jacobs, but neither woman could satisfy Josh’s desperate need to be needed.


 A twist of fate saw Josh in the wrong place at the right time and he rescued Roimata after the horrific sexual attack. The traumatic experience created an intense emotional bond between the pair which spilled into an affair. But Josh’s overprotectiveness and controlling nature became too much for Roimata and she broke it off. At a loss after their relationship failed, Josh was frustrated at work; constantly clashing with his boss TK and envious his colleague Harper.


Looking for excitement, Josh befriended drug kingpin Neil Hesketh. But he was quickly over his head as the gang’s official doctor; performing medical procedures on Neil’s henchmen and being forced to steal drugs from the hospital. It appeared Josh had turned things around when it was revealed he was working undercover for the police. When the drug raid went wrong, Bella and Ula’s baby Adam were taken hostage by Neil. Josh came to the rescue but instead of saving a drowning Neil to hand him in to police, Josh let the criminal die.


After the praise and attention he received after the dramatic rescue began to die down, Josh craved the limelight again. His desire for recognition developed into hero syndrome – a condition where a person seeks attention by creating a desperate situation which they can resolve.Josh began crossing the line and setting up more and more dangerous situations to make himself the hero to gain attention and to win over the newest woman in his sights - Bella Cooper.

Josh’s path of destruction saw him risking a patient’s wellbeing so that he could swoop in and save him at the very last minute, spiking Murray’s drink so he could rescue him from an apparent “heart attack” and setting a trap which saw Nicole’s girlfriend Bonnie get electrocuted.


It appeared Josh’s dangerous games had achieved his goal when he won the heart of Bella Cooper. Josh was overjoyed but Bella’s mother Wendy still disapproved of their relationship so Josh went to extreme measures to win her over. He secretly poisoned her with health vitamins to make Wendy sick so he could help “treat” her illness.

But his latest scheme would be his downfall, as ex-girlfriend Roimata became suspicious about Josh’s involvement with Wendy’s care and she and Harper managed to uncover that he had been poisoning Wendy.

As the net closed in on him and he learned Harper, Roimata and TK were on to his dirty deeds, Josh plotted to escape Ferndale and take Bella with him. 


But the trio managed to find concrete evidence of Wendy’s poisoning, thanks to some leftover tampered pills and Josh was arrested by police. Bella was heartbroken to realise that Josh had deceived her and had involved her in poisoning her own mother.

Josh was released on bail the next day and immediately set about on a plan to get revenge against TK, Harper and Roimata. He snuck onto the Warners’ property and set the timer on a gas bottle bomb. Once the bomb was planted, Josh turned up to the party and tried desperately to get Bella to leave with him but her friends weren’t having it. TK managed to restrain Josh and keep him locked up while they tried to work out what he was really up to. Roimata eventually clued up that Josh had done something dangerous and she discovered his bomb just as it exploded.


Josh emerged unscathed from the explosion but when TK struggled to remove the collapsed deck from Roimata, Josh volunteered to help him. He managed to hold up the deck long enough for TK to pull Roimata free before it collapsed on top of him, killing him. In his final moments, Josh reached for Bella’s hand for comfort and in a final act of mercy she held his hand just as he slipped away and died…



Shortland Street, weeknights 7pm