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Shortland Street

Weeknights at 7pm | TV2

Shortland Street's best baddies

Mike Edward plays Zac Smith in Shortland Street on TV2

Serial killer Joey Henderson stalked Tania Jeffries

Shortland Street's original bad boy Darryl Neilson threatens his brother Stuart

Dashing but dastardly surgeon Ethan Pierce

Over the years, Shortland Street has seen all types of people come through its doors, but none have been more notorious (or dangerous) than our classic villains!

We take a look back at some of Shorty's best and baddest male villains - and man, there have been a few!

Zac Smith

Zac Smith first arrived in Ferndale back in 1995 as the handsome young boy toy of clinic director Julia Thornton. 

The good-looking and apparently easy-going young man was used to the adoring gaze of women and men alike.

He returned in 2002 and dated Rachel McKenna during the height of her drinking problem,  rescuing her from drowning in his pool. 

Ten years later Zac finally returned to Ferndale, this time hired as a carer for Sarah Potts' son Daniel. He won Sarah over with his charm and good looks and the pair quickly became an item. 

To Shorty fans, Zac initially appeared to be a nice guy, but an illicit affair with Vasa Levi was the first hint of his villainy.

From the beginning Zac clashed with Sarah's ex-husband TK Samuels who (rightly) didn't trust the new man in her life.  When TK had a hand in revealing Zac's affair to Sarah, a dumped and humiliated Zac enacted a terrible scheme for revenge.

On the night of his wife Roimata's birthday, a masked assailant sexually assaulted her in the alley behind the I.V.   Viewers were left guessing for weeks as to who had committed the horrifying crime. 

When the same attacker began tormenting the couple with messages left at their home, it became clear that someone was targeting TK and had abused his wife to do it.

Zac was finally revealed as the offender in the final week of 2012, but with everyone else unaware he continued torturing TK, spiking his drink with GHB at Bella and Luke's wedding.  But the accident and drink spiking clued Roimata, TK and Josh into realising Zac had been responsible all along.

While they tried to prove Zac's guilt to the police, he had one last nasty surprise in store for the couple. He abducted Roimata and, drugging her to keep her quiet, kept her in the basement of the I.V.  

A sadistic Zac enjoyed watching TK's pain and frustration as the other man desperately tried to prove to police that Zac had his wife.  But the overwhelming evidence of Zac's guilt eventually saw him arrested and charged with Roimata's assault and abduction.

Darryl Neilson

Shortland Street's original bad boy villain was Darryl Neilson (Mark Ferguson), son of Tom and his wife Marj (Elizabeth McRae).

Street fans quickly learnt that Darryl was less than honest when his younger brother Stuart (Martin Henderson) felt obliged to claim paternity for a baby that was actually Darryl's, but who Darryl refused to acknowledge because he was already married.

Kirsty Knight had a brief moment when she was interested in the charming Darryl, despite Stuart's warnings that Darryl would only use her and then throw her away.

However this flirtation came to a halt when Darryl attempted to rape her. Kirsty pressed charges for sexual assault, but she was forced to drop the charges after Darryl's wife lied to the police and provided an alibi for her wicked husband.

Shortly after this, Darryl became obsessed with Alison and drugged Chris in order that he would miss the wedding. Alison, thinking that Chris had jilted her, fled the country, leaving Chris to escape and pick up the pieces.

Darryl was also involved in several dodgy deals to do with pharmaceutical drugs, including secretly transporting illegal drugs and selling dodgy drugs to hospitals.

Darryl even had the audacity to set his own unwitting mother up with a case full of drugs to transport to him in Australia.

When Kirsty confronted Darryl about this, the two had a showdown on the Toroa. Kirsty escaped, but Darryl was missing. His body eventually washed up on shore and it was discovered that Kirsty had in fact killed him.

Darryl's twin brother Damien later turned up at Shortland Street scaring Kirsty in to thinking that her arch nemisis had returned from the dead.

However, Damien was nothing like his twin brother, and he and Kirsty eventually fell in love.

Dominic Thompson

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 down 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.

Paul Churchill

Head Nurse Carrie Burton left Shortland Street after having triplets and was replaced by Paul Churchill, who shared a past with Carmen back in the days when she had been a prostitute.

Paul began making advances towards Nurse Jo Jordon and made it clear that if she didn't sleep with him then she would lose her job.

Steve and Carmen eventually found out what was going on and convinced Jo Jordon to press charges for sexual harassment. Paul was fired, much to everyone's relief.

However Ellen Crozier re-hired Churchill a little while later, much to Carmen and Jo's disgust.

When prostitutes began turning up at the clinic badly beaten, Carmen put the facts together and realised that Paul was the culprit.

Paul attempted to attack Carmen, but fortunately Guy rescued her and Paul was sent to prison.

However, Carmen and Guy faced a momentous ordeal when he escaped from prison, took them hostage on the Toroa and then left them adrift out at sea.

Ian Seymour

Dr Ian Seymour (David Press) arrived in town, and after a brief flirtation with Caroline, began dating Jenny Harrison.

Nick initially suspected Ian of being involved in shady business dealings and was reluctant to let Ian date his mother. However Ian's charming and persuasive manner eventually won Nick over and he soon wholeheartedly accepted his mother's new relationship.

Kirsty was a little more reluctant to accept the suave doctor and began to suspect that Ian was planning to take over the clinic.

She managed to foil Ian's sabotage of a project proposal but didn't have the proof she needed to fully expose him.

Kirsty then learned that Ian may have been responsible for Rebecca's death as he was involved with the development of the faulty heart valve that killed her.

As Ian and Jenny prepared to get married, Ian's mother turned up and also threatened to expose his dodgy dealings. As they were arguing, Ian's mother had a heart attack and collapsed and Ian stood there sipping whiskey and watched his mother die.

Ian and Jenny married shortly afterwards and then Ian was able to take over the clinic. Kirsty and David teamed up to expose Ian, and finally found the evidence that they were looking for.

But when Kirsty confronted Ian, he attempted to drown her in his swimming pool. Jenny saved Kirsty, but Ian fled the scene.

When Jenny received news that her fugitive husband Dr. Ian Seymour had apparently drowned she was devastated.

However, it was soon revealed that Ian had faked his death and was living under Jenny's house!

He almost persuaded Jenny to run away with him, but when Nick discovered that Ian was still alive, the two had a confrontation which ended up with Ian almost drowning Nick in the pool!

When Jenny learned that Ian had almost killed her son, she informed the police, but Ian managed to escape once again and still remains on the loose to this day.


Joey Henderson

When shy and awkward nurse Joey Henderson (Johnny Barker) arrived at Shortland Street in 2007, nobody would have ever expected that he would become one of the most notorious villains in the show's history.

By the time of his demise in early 2008, Henderson had killed five Shortland Street staff members and had attempted to kill several others.

Claire Solomon was the first body to be found in the rubbish skip by the ambulance bay, leaving the staff of the hospital reeling.

But it wasn't until the second body was found that people began to realise that this was not an isolated incident.

The second victim was Meg Harris, a friend of Alice Piper's and a part-time nurse at the hospital.

She was followed by much-loved bar owner, Jay Copeland whose body was found in the bushes outside of the hospital shortly after she said farewell to friends and family and backed her bags to move to Australia.

Victim number four was a nurse called Beth Wilson who hadn't been working at the hospital for long. She opened her door to somebody she clearly knew and then disappeared for several weeks.

Her body was eventually found in a similar scenario to Jay's. The fifth victim was alcoholic nurse Brenda Holloway who had been close to discovering the identity of the killer after she began going through records at the hospital.

She was on her way to a meeting with Chris Warner to reveal her discoveries when she was stopped in the wards by a person with a mask on and was injected with a lethal dose of Suxamethonium.

The piece de resistance came when Joey kidnapped Alice after a night out drinking and took her to his lock-up where he proceeded to operate on her and remove her appendix.

Alice found the strength to fight back and wounded him with his scalpel.

In an intense chase with the police, Joey was finally cornered at the top of a high rise building, and realizing that the game was up, he stepped off the building and plummeted to his death.

Oscar Henry

Oscar Henry replaced Jenny as business manager after she took a job down in Wellington with Marj.

While Oscar seemed efficient and competent, he quickly made people feel uncomfortable with his controlling behaviour.

Young teen Minnie Crozier tried dating him but quickly began to feel uneasy around Oscar after he began to control her appearance and lifestyle.

Minnie soon decided that she had to break up with Oscar - however, he wasn't having any of this and attempted to blackmail her with several pornographic pictures that he had taken of her.

When Minnie insisted that it was over, Oscar was so enraged he forced himself on her and raped her.

Minnie told Mackenzie Choat what had happened, but Oscar framed Mackenzie for fraud, leading to her dismissal from the clinic.

Several weeks later, Oscar stole $1 million from the clinic's takings, and shortly thereafter Minnie found him bludgeoned and unconscious on the floor of her house.

The mystery of who bludgeoned Oscar Henry continued into the following year as Fergus Kearney and Minnie Crozier were both suspected of the crime.

Soon afterwards, Mackenzie realised Oscar was faking his coma and had a final showdown with him in his hospital ward.

She managed to overpower him, and then caused an oxygen fire and explosion in his room, escaping with the money Oscar had stolen, only to be robbed of it all by Greg Feeny.

Ethan Pierce

From the minute he arrived at  Shortland Street as Head of Surgery, Doctor Ethan Pierce (Owen Black) made few friends and collected plenty of enemies.

2008's final week saw the escalation of Ethan's dastardly deeds as his connection with dodgy medical supplies company Nessus-Bio was revealed.

Ethan was its owner (and predominant shareholder) and had been creaming money off hospitals world-wide, while supplying them with infected and diseased body parts.

This included infecting Shortland Street receptionist Yvonne Jeffries with cancer after an operation for a bone graft in her neck.

His other sadistic pleasures including manipulating nurse Maia Jeffries, to the point where she was given warnings for her behaviour at work, cheating on his girlfriend Alice Piper and unwittingly turning hwer into an internet porn star.

When an unseen gunman confronted Ethan in his apartment as he hurriedly packed his bags to leave town, 2008's final moments saw Ethan shot three times.

He lay bleeding on the ground, as someone meted the punishment they thought he justly deserved.

Jack Hewitt

Lawyer, Jack Hewitt (Manu Bennett) was the adopted son of CEO Patricia Hewitt. He originally appeared as the lawyer for the nurses' union, and quickly dazzled Rachel McKenna (Angela Bloomfield) with his charm and good looks.

However, despite the charm and wit, there was also a very dark side to Jack Hewitt. He suffered from a bi-polar disorder and had a tendency to neglect his medication.

One began as a one-night stand with Rachel, eventually grew into a relationship, but despite her best intentions, Rachel was still in love with Chris and never fully committed to Jack.

Becoming increasingly aware of their friendship, Jack grew jealous of Chris and Rachel and purposely tried to sabotage Chris when a lawsuit was laid against him by exposing Chris' prior drug addiction.

When Rachel learned of Jack's actions, she dumped him and in retaliation, he cut the brakes in Chris' car.

By this time Jack was growing increasingly erratic and unstable, stalking both Rachel and Chris.

At the end of the year, Jack kidnapped Rachel and took away to the family bach in the bush to marry her against her will, threatening that unless she did, neither of them would leave the bush alive.

Luckily, aware that her son was unstable, Patricia put two and two together and sent Chris off to rescue Rachel.

Realising that Rachel could never be his, Jack threw himself in front of a car and Rachel and Chris finally declared their real feelings for each other.