The curse of Ferndale’s Dr TK Samuels has struck again.
Just as the Shortland Street doctor was preparing to walk down the aisle with Kylie Brown (Kerry-Lee Dewing), her murderous past came back to haunt her – and she confessed all to the police.
With his bride facing a long stint in prison, TK is bereft.
However, actor Ben Mitchell, who has played the unlucky-in-love doctor for the past 14 years, believes things are looking up for his character.
“At least she didn’t die,” he says, a little tongue in cheek – and with good reason.
TK’s first wife Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing) died tragically after contracting a virus she was researching. His second wife, Roimata Ngatai (Shavaughn Ruakere), was killed in an explosion and his relationship with former prostitute Trina also ended with her dying violently.
Mitchell believes it will be a long time, if ever, before TK – who kept his fiancee’s crimes a secret from everyone – gives upon Kylie.
Just like his character, he was convinced the killer nurse would get away with murdering both her husband Dylan Reinhart (Ryan O’Kane) and patient Leighton Gilmore (Phillip Brooks).
“I have to believe it because TK did,” the 40 year old says.
“I feel like TK’s going to change his mind and go, ‘You know what, I’m going to hire the best defence lawyers, and best psychologists and I can get this girl out.
“Even if we don’t end up together, he’s got to fulfil this mission. It gives him a sense of purpose.
“I feel like that dude just needs s*** going on for him to feel like he can stand in the world.
“He’s got to have drama in his personal life. He just loves it even if he pretends he doesn’t.”
So he’s a male version of a drama queen, I suggest.
“One hundred per cent. That’s perfect. I like that,” says Mitchell, as he laughs.
On a more serious note, he believes TK, like many men, is hardwired to protect the people he loves.
“I think that’s the quintessential masculine energy – they die to protect. It’s not martyrdom. It’s just the way we’re wired. I think TK has it on steroids.
“He meets a woman for one week and he’s like, ‘I’m going to save you and protect you forever’. He’s a weirdo but I think his heart’s in the right place.”
Kylie’s Hot List
It has taken more than a year but justice has finally caught up with killer nurse Kylie Brown.
For actress Kerry-Lee Dewing, who struggled at times with the gruelling storylines, Kylie’s confession and looming imprisonment means she can take a break from Ferndale.
“I think I felt a huge responsibility to portray the truth of her undoing, the depth of her pain and suffering and to try to convey to the audience the motivation for some of things she did,” Dewing has said.
However, she also recalls a lot of fun highlights from her eight years in Ferndale.
Fire in the lift
“I was stuck in that confined space for hours on end with Pua (the late Pua Magasiva, who played Vinnie Kruse). Whilst we knew we were safe, we were going a bit insane which was all part of it. But we had a lot of fun.”
“There have been quite a few of these over the years and I’ve had some fun with Ferndale’s elaborate soirees and the obvious drama that ensues. It’s not something I get too involved in personally, so it’s nice to have an excuse to play dress-ups.”
“Besides the unique and complex nature of the story we were telling – technically I learned so much. We all did. It was uncharted territory in terms of shooting for a lot of us, so it was incredibly rewarding to see the result.”
“Shooting those big stunts are always exciting to be involved in. Shot part in a studio on a rig and part on location, shooting late into the night/early morning – there are a myriad of new variables to work with. Creatively, stakes are extremely heightened and you inevitably leave it all out there.”
Shortland Street, TVNZ 2, weeknights