Shortland Street Weeknights, 7.00pm
With 2007 drawing to a close, the hype surrounding Shortland Street has reached fever-pitch.
The show’s 15th year on television has been marked with mystery and excitement; with storylines ranging from the arrival of Kieran Mitchell to Scarlett’s teenage rampage; from the return of Guy Warner to the scandalous Hunter and Tess romance. Then of course there was the shocking Mark-Tania-Maia love triangle, which was reaching its dramatic conclusion just as the first tragic victim of the ‘Ferndale Serial Killer’, Claire Soloman, was found.
Shortland Street producer Jason Daniel says; “the serial killer story has been fun – even though it’s been a writing and production nightmare. The best thing about 2007 has been watching the viewers become totally absorbed in the story, confidently claiming to know who the killer is one minute, only to completely change their minds the next. When the killer is finally revealed I know half of New Zealand will claim they knew all along – but the polls and the message boards will prove they didn’t!”
The return of Shortland Street to TV2 on January 14, 2008 will bring more surprises, more suspense, and some very disturbing new developments. “With the killer revealed we’ll finally get to see inside the mind of the serial killer,” Daniel says. “In fact, we’ll follow him as he stalks his next victim and acts out his twisted fantasies. The story builds to an incredibly tense and gripping finale.”
It’s not scheduled to be all darkness next year however, Daniel promises that after so much murder and suspicion in 2007, storylines will get lightened up a bit. So viewers can expect romance and comedy. “On the romantic front, Scotty and Shanti’s romance will be threatened by the arrival of Dinesh, the man to whom Shanti is been betrothed – and he’s not quite what anyone will expect,” Daniel says. “There will certainly be surprising new relationships, and also some testing times for existing couples.”
The beginning of 2008 will also see the arrival of some new faces to Ferndale which are sure to liven up the mix. As well as Dinesh, there’s a new house surgeon for Justine to whip into shape; Morgan, a new theatre nurse with a knack of getting herself into complicated romantic entanglements; and Riley, a one-woman whirlwind seen as a blessing by some and a curse by others.
Despite the fact Daniel has remained tight-lipped about the serial killer, there’s no denying that it will continue to keep New Zealand viewers on the edge of their seats. But when it’s all wrapped up, he predicts the most talked about story line of next year will be; “the shocking exit of one much-loved character. Or, the unexpected return of an old Shortland Street favourite. Then of course it could be what I hope will be the TV wedding of the year.”
It looks like viewers will just have to wait and see, because it seems Shortland Street’s secrets are safe with him. Stay tuned to TV2 weeknights at 7.00pm.