Boyd Rolleston

Last updated
Boyd Rolleston
Boyd Rolleston Shortland Street.jpg
Shortland Street character
Portrayed bySam Bunkall
First appearance13 September 2012
Introduced bySteven Zanoski
Drew’s Christmas Holiday (2018)
Classification Present; regular
Medical researcher
HomeThe Apartment Block

Boyd Rolleston is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street portrayed by Sam Bunkall. He made his first screen appearance on the episode broadcast on 13 September 2012. Boyd arrives as the hospitals newest surgeon and is portrayed as a no-nonsense doctor, down-to-earth, and unpretentious despite coming from a wealthy and privileged upbringing, making friends regardless of his social-status.


Creation and casting

Bunkall was cast as new doctor Boyd Rolleston in 2012, [1] a no-nonsense surgeon from a wealthy family in the farming industry. [2] His down-to-earth, unpretentious attitude quickly made him peers of all social status' and has a clear track record which has earned him fans in his field. [2] He is "honest and friendly with a wry sense of humour" and quickly makes friends regardless of their social status and he socialises with nurses just like he does with the more higher ranking hospital staff. [2]


Boyd arrives and is hired by Rachel McKenna (Angela Bloomfield) as a new surgeon for the hospital, much to the angst of Chris (Michael Galvin) and the pair clash. Boyd starts to get harassed by Lana Jacobs (Brooke Williams), Kylie Brown (Kerry-Lee Dewing) and Emma Franklin (Amy Usherwood). They believed that he was responsible for sexual assault when they broke into his house and later had him investigated for the sexual assault of Roimata Samuels (Shavaughn Ruakere). It turned out they believed he had killed Kylie's sister but the suspicions ceased when Boyd located Julia (Jessica Joy Wood) alive and well.

Boyd briefly dates Nicole (Sally Martin), but ended up marrying Brooke Freeman (Beth Allen) in an attempt to disown his parentage. The two began to develop feelings for each other and fall in love once Brooke escapes death following a kidney illness. On their one-year anniversary, the two renewed their vows. However, they broke up following Boyd's affair with Ava Erickson (Siobhan Marshall) after mistakingly believing Brooke had cheated on him. Boyd said his farewells to Brooke.

He begins a relationship with Harper Whitley (Ria Vandervis) and the two get engaged following an annulment with Brooke. On their wedding day, a gunman takes the Shortland Street Hospital Cafe hostage, causing Boyd and Harper to abandon their wedding ceremony to help in the situation. Harper, who was trying to hide her feelings towards Drew (who got shot during the event and was in a critical condition) eventually blew her cover, and Boyd notices that she loves him. Boyd told Harper that he already had to fight TK for her once, and didn't want to do it again, therefore, ending their relationship. Harper gave her engagement ring back to Boyd. Boyd starts to become close with Bella Durville (Amelia Reid-Meredith), who was devastated over the loss of her mother Wendy Cooper.

Bella ended the relationship between her and Boyd after repeated arguments about a ghost named 'Melissa' who she believed was haunting their home, leaving him and Ferndale with her daughter, Stevie. Boyd has a one-night stand with Eve Reston (Jess Holly Bates), who is later employed as the hospital's new oncologist and becomes Boyd's new love interest as well as pregnant with his twins. When the twin boys, Romulus and Remus, were born, he discovers that Eve was, in fact, the body snatcher. Boyd commands Eve to confess the crimes, but not until Remus recovers from congenital hypoxia as he was starved of oxygen and nutrients compared to Romulus.

On September 8, Eve returns with Remus and Romulus. With Eve being a wanted fugitive, Romulus is discovered to have Hirschsprung's disease, which means he needed surgery to repair and remove parts of his intestines with no nerves activating intestinal movement. Boyd illegally operates on him but decides to return the twins back to Eve, instead of handing Eve in so he gains custody by default.

Boyd briefly dates Kelly-Anne Johnson before she is revealed to be working with dodgy pharmaceutical company Audgren. He later dates Detective Natalie Mahoney but their relationship is short lived when Natalie uses Boyd for information on Kylie's killings at the hospital.

Boyd's niece, Shereez, comes to stay with him and he becomes her new father figure as the two grow into companions. Boyd helps her get a job at Shortland Street and looks after her.

In May 2019, Boyd develops feelings for the new Indian cardiologist, Zara. They have a cooking lesson where Boyd drops chili down his pants and the two kiss. Zara instead starts dating Chris, even though Boyd still has feelings for her. Then, in December, Bella returns. They begin a small relationship but his feelings for Zara keep escalating. In the cliffhanger, Boyd and Zara are taken hostage by Tim Myers, who is Boyd's niece's boyfriend. Tim's bomb is about to go off but then Boyd frees Zara from the suicide vest, and the ambulance they are in blows up. They escape just in time. Zara is unscathed but Boyd received the worst of injuries. He has surgery performed on him and he survives, but it is revealed he is now hard of hearing and requires a hearing aid at all times.

Reeling from their trauma, Zara sticks close to Boyd, and eventually, she leaves Chris for him. Some issues arise around children and control but their relationship is steady for the most part. Romulus and Remus return to Boyd and the couple struggles with the massive change. Boyd proposes to Zara but she isn't ready, she later resolves her own issues and proposes to him again, which he accepts. The two have an Indian-Kiwi styled wedding which involves the Shortland Street breaking into a flash mob Bollywood dance.

Character development

Marriage to Brooke Freeman

In 2013 he marries Brooke Freeman (Beth Allen) in an attempt to anger his family and succeeds. [3] Upon the sudden marriage, it was also expected to cause uproar as he was still in a relationship with Nicole Miller (Sally Martin). [3] In an interview with Stuff, Allen commented on the marriage saying, "Oh totally, she is a gold-digger, I think she does essentially want love and she wants to be accepted and loved but she also has had enough life experience to know that life is a lot easier and a lot more fun with money, so she's not really compromising on that one." [3] But despite Brooke's money hungry persona, Allen also commented, "I think she's playing the long game, I think she thinks that if she's got a whole bunch of time with him where he won't be able to see anyone else, she'll basically force him to love her." [3] The marriage was based on a 12-month contract, but after the contract was up, the pair celebrated their relationship that started as convenience but now turned love with a re-commitment ceremony. [4] Boyd later cheats on Brooke and she leaves for Washington to further her career in 2014 and the pair annul their marriage a year later.

Failed wedding to Harper Whitley

After Brooke's departure, he later starts a relationship with Harper Whitley (Ria Vandervis). The NZ Herald reported on the 6 December 2015 that there was a "red wedding" cliffhanger set to air. [5] It was also reported that it turns to a "prescription for trouble" when one of Boyd's rivals, Drew McCaskill (Ben Barrington), arrives and troubles the ceremony. [5] Vandervis commented that "When Drew turns up she starts having doubts." [5] It was later revealed that the wedding turned to disaster when hospital stalker and gunman, Gareth Hutchins (Jarrod Martin), held multiple characters hostage, including Boyd on the 2015 season finale cliffhanger. [6] A picture previously released to The New Zealand Herald showed Harper distraught with her wedding dress also covered in blood. [7] The plot bought mixed views to the audience with some loving the drama and some feeling that cliffhangers from previous years were better. [7] Producer Simon Bennett commented that the season finale was the "biggest cliffhanger" he has worked on in his experience as a producer in 20 years. [7] The pair later go their separate ways after Harper declares her love for Drew following their wedding in 2017. [8] A year later, he became the godfather to Drew and Harper's intersex child, Billy.


Since his debut, Boyd has been seen as down to earth, [2] but until recently, after befriending his rival, Drew, the pair together have been seen as more of a comedy act with Bunkall commenting on the paring, "It was that comedy thing of putting people together who'd never normally be together". [9] The character has been proven as popular with a viewer commenting they named their wireless network 'Fentich' after the dodgy drug company that spied on Boyd. [10]

Off screen roles

Off screen, however, Sam Bunkall helped to write the 2019 rape/sexual violation storyline between Ben King (Jamie Irvine) and Ester Samuels (Ngahuia Piripi), as Bunkall worked as a rape prevention educator, while, as a Shortland Street first, keeps a wronged character in the program to document his full journey to redemption, and the victims' journey to recovery. It also documented the fallout between Louis King (Ben's son) and Ben after the latter finally confessed, having been defended by Louis for the past month. [11]

Related Research Articles

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Harper Whitley

Harper McCaskill is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street portrayed by Ria Vandervis. She made her first screen appearance on the 1 May 2013. She was introduced as close friend to established character, Sarah Potts, who had returned after working in New York. Her storylines have focused on her relationships including her lesbian fling with Nicole Miller and the most notable being her love triangle with characters Boyd Rolleston and Drew McCaskill. Her most recent storylines have seen her suffer from Addison's Disease, and try to battle for Billie's custody after separating from Drew McCaskill, but was later put on hold as she was discovered to have an aggressive brain tumour that need to be removed.

Lucy Rickman

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  1. "Get to know: Sam Bunkall". Shortland Street . Television New Zealand. 14 September 2012. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Boyd Rolleston" . Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Shorty Street's wedding belle blues". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  4. "Our favourite Shortland Street weddings". Now To Love. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  5. 1 2 3 Spy. "Shorty Street set for 'red wedding' cliffhanger". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  6. "Shortland Street 'Red Wedding' cliffhanger ends in hospital bloodbath". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  7. 1 2 3 Spy. "Shortland Street's bloody wedding". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  8. "Shortland Street: Ben Barrington shares details of his character's wedding day". Stuff. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  9. Sills, Ethan (2017-05-19). "Funny business: Shortland Street cast find comedy in the drama". The New Zealand Herald . ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  10. "Group think: Our fondest Shortland Street memories from the last 25 years". The Spinoff. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  11. Shortland Street tackles the issue of rape head on