Storylines of Shortland Street (1997)

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This article details the storylines that occurred in 1997 on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street.


Kirsty Knight and her estranged husband Lionel Skeggins (Angela Dotchin and John Leigh) briefly reunited, but realised that their renewed romance wouldn't work. Lionel returned to his lover Dr. Grace Kwan (Lynette Forday), but Grace eventually realised that her relationship with Lionel wasn't working either, and the two split for good.

Dr. David Kearney (Peter Elliott) convinced his partner Nurse Ellen Crozier (Robyn Malcolm) to return to New Zealand. Ellen's ex-husband Dr. Johnny Marinovich (Stelios Yiakmis) finally gave up hope of a reconciliation with Ellen and ended up comforting Nurse Tiffany Warner (Alison James) who had found out that her husband Chris was having an affair with his ex-girlfriend Alison and wanted a divorce. Tiffany and Johnny slept together, but agreed to be friends afterwards. Isobel Kearney (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) then dropped the bombshell that she was pregnant with Johnny's child. Johnny looked forward to becoming a father again but then Isobel claimed that she had lied and that Johnny wasn't the father after all.

Tiffany again supported Johnny when he was accused of molesting Gretchen Olsen (Natalya Humphrey) and eventually learned that it was actually her teacher who was molesting her. Unfortunately there wasn't enough evidence and the teacher was able to escape prosecution and keep his job at the school.

It seemed that Nick Harrison (Karl Burnett) was wrong about his earlier doubts about Dr. Ian Seymour's (David Press) character and instead wholeheartedly accepted his mother Jenny Harrison's (Maggie Harper) new relationship. Several months later, Kirsty began to suspect that Ian was planning to take over the clinic and vowed to expose him. She managed to foil Ian's sabotage of a project proposal but didn't have the proof she needed to full expose Ian. Frustrated, Kirsty threw himself into a relationship with Dr. Gus van de Berg (Aaron Devitt), who soon began having an affair with the now completely alcoholic and off-the-rails Rachel. After a series of accidents that saw her nearly drown in a pool, and crash her car drunk driving, Nick, instead of bailing her out of jail, called her Father Michael McKenna, a former alcoholic himself, and forced Rachel to deal with her problems.

Rangi Heremaia (Blair Strang) and Rebecca Frost (Luisa Burgess) resumed their relationship and eventually Rangi was able to walk again. Rangi was about to propose to Rebecca, but unfortunately the valve used in Rebecca's operation was faulty, and she collapsed and died. Rangi was devastated and it took many months before he was able to form another relationship, this time with Donna Heka (Stephanie Tuevihi).

Ellen's pregnancy hit a snag when she learned that her unborn child (a girl) had a heart defect which needed to be fixed before she was born. Luckily both Ellen and her child survived the procedure. David and Ellen married in May 1997 (as part of Shortland Street's fifth anniversary celebrations) and their daughter Rose, was born the following month.

Kirsty 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 him. One day as they were arguing, Ian's mother had a heart attack and collapsed. Ian stood there and simply watched his mother die. Ian and Jenny married shortly afterwards. Finally 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. Kirsty confronted Ian, and he attempted to drown her in his swimming pool. Jenny saved Kirsty, but Ian fled the scene.

Moira Crombie (Geraldine Brophy) arrived at the clinic midway through 1997, followed soon afterwards by her daughter Shelley (Natalie Dennis). The Crombies were generally a somewhat happy family, though Moira's daughter Shelley quickly slept with James Thornton (Chris Dykzeul) and then revealed that she was pregnant, although it was soon revealed that James was not the father. Shelley decided to have an abortion. Soon after it was soon revealed that Moira had been in prison for several years following an armed robbery.

Minnie Crozier (Katrina Devine), Shelley and James became a part of Ferndale High's production of Othello and this put Minnie into contact with the teacher that had molested Gretchen. Minnie hadn't believed Gretchen's claims, so she was easily flattered by the teacher's compliments. Eventually though, compliments turned into harassment and Minnie was convinced to make a complaint after the teacher attempted to rape her.

Grace began a brief relationship with the newest doctor to arrive at Shortland Street, Dr. Frank Malone (Christopher Hobbs). When that didn't work out, Grace left town. Frank's ex-girlfriend Dr. Bridget Hastings (Katie Wolfe) arrived. Bridget and David quickly became attracted to each other.

Fergus released and was determined to turn his life around, especially after he met his baby sister Rose. However, Fergus and Minnie would soon find themselves embroiled in a neo-Nazi organisation. The two eventually realised that the organisation was corrupt and evil, and left.

Tiffany's hepatitis C began to flare up again and she fell into a coma. Johnny stayed by Tiffany's side and he finally revealed that he loved her and begged her to wake up.

Caroline was thrilled when her best friend Annabel Lustwick (Jodie Dorday) arrived. However Annabelle had a secret, she was suffering from multiple sclerosis. When her secret was discovered, Caroline took it upon herself to care for Annabel. However Annabel's condition was worsening and she revealed to Caroline that she wished to die. Caroline eventually caught Annabel trying to commit suicide and ended up helping her go through with it. Caroline was arrested, and Kirsty and Lionel steadfastly supported her through her trial for murder. Kirsty slowly began to realise that Caroline had fallen in love with Lionel. When Lionel and Kirsty were called down to Wellington to visit Lionel's supposedly ailing father, Kirsty realised that it was time for her marriage to come to an end. On the plane ride home Kirsty told Lionel that she was willing to divorce him. Just moments later however, the plane had engine trouble and plunged to the ground! Meanwhile, Caroline was found guilty of murdering Annabel.

Cast members[edit]

All year cast members[edit]

Recurring cast members[edit]



Guest stars[edit]

Celebrity appearances[edit]


Preceded by:
Storylines of Shortland Street
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