Shortland Street 10 - 16 February 2007

Weeknights, 7.00pm

The arrival of Dr Mark Weston’s (Tim Foley) estranged parents sees the dashing doctor seriously question if he is ready for marriage on Shortland Street this week.

Mark has long been infatuated with Maia Jeffries (Anna Jullienne) and sensing this, his mother Julia Weston (Vicki Walker) immediately begins to question his marriage to Maia’s sister, Tania (Faye Smythe). “Julia has been put in a position where she can witness interactions from a neutral perspective,” says actor Tim Foley. “She is very protective of Mark. She starts to witness the differences between the way Mark talks to Maia and the way he talks to Tania, and she starts to pick up on something.”

Seeing his bickering parents together in the same room helps Mark realise that taking wedding vows is a decision that by no means can be taken lightly. “When you marry someone you seriously question whether you are doing the right thing because you are committing for the longest term possible,” says Tim. “Mark is confronted by a mother who hasn’t been happy all her life because of the way his father treated her. He has a blatant reminder right in front of him of when two people probably shouldn’t have got married.”

Julia is by no means a happy woman and carries a great deal of embitterment because of the way her marriage went. Her intense period of questioning is instigated when she sees enough evidence of potential cracks in the relationship. “Mark is faced with the decision of, ‘do I agree with my mother that the right thing to do is to let her go?’, or does he really love Tania and [will he] continue with marriage plans?”

Mark’s predicament is far from the perfect lead up to a wedding, but Tim is optimistic that things can still work out if Mark and Tania are able to talk through his emotions and, for once, see eye-to-eye. “At the very least, Mark needs to be honest with Tania about the way he feels for Maia so that she is informed of the situation. If they go into marriage, they need to go into it with open eyes and an understanding of where they are coming from. Ideally, Mark hopes to shake this attachment and truly commit to Tania, this is what he believes is possible.”

Shortland Street screens weeknights on TV2 on 7.00pm.

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