David Kearney (Shortland Street)

Last updated
David Kearney
DavidKearneySS.jpg
Shortland Street character
Portrayed by Peter Elliott
Duration1996–99, 2020
First appearance25 February 1996
Last appearance21 August 2020
Introduced byGavin Strawhan (1996)
Maxine Fleming & Oliver Driver (2020)
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Clinic Director of Shortland Street (1996–99)

Dr. David Kearney is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street , who was portrayed by Peter Elliott from early 1996 to late 1999 and for a guest appearance in 2020.

Contents

Creation and casting

Peter Elliott was cast in the role of David in 1995, with his first appearance airing in early 1996. [1] Part of the intention of the characters introduction, was a future partnership with established character – Ellen Crozier (Robyn Malcolm), for what was to become, a cot death storyline. [2] Elliott stated, "It’s an honour to be asked to join New Zealand’s most successful television drama .... It is a lovely challenge to play someone who is straightforward and charming because I’m so used to being the nasty guy." [3] David arrived to screens with the producers intending to expand upon his family. [3] He was said to have a "secret", which was later revealed to be a runaway homeless son. [4] A minor character named Fergus (Paul Ellis), who had appeared in several episodes in late 1995, impressed producers and he was rewritten so as to be David's estranged son. [4] Elliot was protective of his character and would change lines and object to storylines so as to best suit how he thought David would act. This led to a conflict with the production staff due to what Elliot believed was an inaccurate portrayal of men on the soap opera. [5] In 1999, Elliott's contract was not renewed. [5] [1] [6] He was "outraged" and "upset", but later was happy to have had the ability to work in other roles. [1] The character made his last appearance alongside screen wife Ellen, in November 1999. [6] Elliott reprised his role in 2020. [7]

Storylines

David arrived as Jenny Harrison's (Maggie Harper) oncologist after her diagnosis of breast cancer. He developed an interest in the clinic and ended up buying Julia Thornton's (Elizabeth Hawthorne) shares and the management contract, placing him as the Clinic Director. He briefly dated Caroline Buxton (Tandi Wright) before he fell in love with Ellen Crozier (Robyn Malcolm) and the two moved in together. However the return of his ex-wife Isobel (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) saw Ellen flee to Fiji and when David followed her and they reconciled, she admitted she was pregnant.

The following year the two married and not long later, Ellen gave birth to Rose (Georgia Bishop). Rose died from cot death and when David discovered Ellen had cheated on him in grief, he too had an affair with Bridget Hastings (Katie Wolfe). However, as the year ended he realised he still loved Ellen but Bridget's diagnosis with a brain tumour led him to stay with her. In 1999 David and Ellen began an affair and Bridget soon left him. The happiness was short lived however when David was diagnosed with a rare disorder that would leave him blind. He retired and the couple decided to move to a lifestyle block in the Hawkes Bay. David and Ellen did not return for David's son Fergus' (Paul Ellis) wedding in 2001 as David was too ill.

In 2020 Boyd Rolleston (Sam Bunkall) was shocked to learn his mother Susan (Miranda Harcourt) and father were divorcing as Susan had been having an affair. Inviting the new man to his wedding, Boyd was introduced to David whom Susan was now in a partnership with.

Character development

Cot death storyline

In 1996, producers decided to have Shortland Street undergo a cot death storyline and the decision was made for the character of Ellen Crozier (Robyn Malcolm) to undergo it. Needing a suitable father character, writers paired Ellen with the relatively new character of David. [2] Ellen and David had been dating for several months but the arrival of his ex-wife Isobel Kearney (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) lead to Ellen thinking the two had reconciled, causing her to flee to Fiji. In a specially shot episode in the country, David tracked her down and the two reconciled, only for Ellen to announce she was pregnant. [8] The couple decided to marry to support the child and lured their friends to the ceremony under the pretense that it was Grace Kwan's (Lyentte Forday) birthday. [9] Producers encountered a problem when developing the storyline, when they realized they had accidentally over run Ellen's pregnancy. A quick fill in story was devised where Ellen was nervous that the baby was so late. [10] In the casting of Ellen and David's child, the daughter of the show's medical adviser was chosen. [2] Having set the storyline up to unfold in 1998, crew members began to get cold feet due to the uneasiness of shooting the scene using one of their co workers own children and the fact that two of the storyliners had fallen pregnant. [2] On screen, Ellen had an unscheduled birth, giving birth to Rose Crozier-Kearney (Georgia Bishop) in her bathroom, but help arrived in the form of Caroline Buxton (Tandi Wright) just in time. [11] Due to the tenderness of the storyline, it was continuously pushed back until the stage where it was nearing the point of improbability. The plot was ultimately scheduled to air in the last possible week with the potential of cot death to occur. [2] In February 1998, Ellen and David were shocked to discover her baby daughter Rose, had died in her sleep. [2] [9] [11] [12] The scene was shot with the baby's actress but Malcolm was directed to quickly pick her up and then the shot was changed to a close up, to avoid any movements from the child. [2] The couple's devastation at Rose's death saw them break up and date other characters. However, over a year later they finally put Rose to rest and reconciled. [11] The storyline landed Malcolm with her first ever television acting nomination. [2] The subject of a child's death was dealt with once more in the soap, 5 years later in the death of Te Ngakau Hudson. [12]

Reception

David was a popular character and his pairing with Ellen Crozier also proved hugely popular. [11] The Crozier-Kearney family became one of the primary families throughout the nineties and fronted several "great" storylines. [11] The death of David's daughter Rose, proved hugely iconic and is remembered as on the shows greatest moments. [2] [11] Elliott himself, did not enjoy the character of David and believed he was unrealistically weak and vulnerable and that the soap's female characters were in comparison stronger and wiser. [1] The departure of David amongst several other core characters, saw a fall in the ratings for the soap and several measures were made to fix this, such as the reintroduction of Chris Warner (Michael Galvin). [13]

Related Research Articles

Chris Warner

Christopher Alexander Warner is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who has been portrayed by Michael Galvin since the show's first episode, making him the longest running original character. Galvin quit the show in 1996, but returned to the show four years later when the show underwent a revamp. In total he has been with Shortland Street for 23 of its 27 years.

Peter Elliott (actor) New Zealand actor

Peter Dennis Elliott is a New Zealand actor. He has appeared in numerous television shows including Shortland Street, Gloss and Homeward Bound. He has also appeared in several movies including Heavenly Creatures. Peter has a daughter Lucy Elliott who is an actress, playing character Dayna Jenkins on Shortland Street in 2013.

Toni Warner

Antoinette "Toni" Warner is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Laura Hill from 2001 until 2008.

Luke Durville

Dr. Luke Louis Demonte Durville is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was played by Gerald Urquhart from the character's first appearance in September 2007 until January 2013. The character appeared on a sporadic status until 2012 when he became a core cast member.

Rachel McKenna

Rachel McKenna is a fictional character from the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, played by Angela Bloomfield and who made her first appearance in early 1993. Bloomfield left the role in late 1999, before returning in early 2001 and departing in early 2003. She returned in a guest role in mid-2007 and again in a full-time role in late 2009 before departing once again in late 2016.

Nick Harrison

Nicholas John Harrison is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Karl Burnett from the show's second episode in 1992 to 2005, making him the original character to stay with the show the longest in one stint. The character along with wife Waverley returned for the show's 25th anniversary that aired on 25 May 2017.

Marj Brasch

Marjorie "Marj" Brasch is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. Being part of the original cast, she was portrayed by Elizabeth McRae from the show's first season in 1992 up until 1996. She returned as a guest character in 1998, 2002, as part of the show's 20th anniversary in May 2012 and again for the show's 25th anniversary in 2017.

Sam Aleni

Sam Aleni is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Rene Naufahu as part of the original cast from 1992 to 1996. Naufahu reprised his role 18 years later from March 2014.

Waverley Harrison

Waverley Harrison was a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. She was portrayed by Claire Chitham and was introduced as a love interest for Nick Harrison who she eventually married 8 years after her arrival to the show. The character returned along with Husband Nick for the show's 25th anniversary episode that aired on 25 May 2017.

Roimata Ngatai

Roimata Ngatai is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Shavaughn Ruakere from January 2011 to January 2014. Initially introduced as a 3-month love interest for TK Samuels, Ruakere's contract was extended to a regular role.

Ellen Crozier

Ellen Rosemary Crozier is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Robyn Malcolm for nearly six years in the mid to late 1990s.

Carla Crozier

Carla Leach is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Elisabeth Easther from early 1995 to mid 1996. The character debuted as the sister of established character Ellen Crozier and gained notoriety as the show's first ever on screen murderer.

Caroline Buxton

Caroline Buxton is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Tandi Wright from late 1995 to early 2000.

Fergus Kearney

David Fergus Kearney is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Paul Ellis for numerous recurring stints from 1995 to 1999 before becoming a regular character until 2001. The character returned briefly in 2002.

Rangi Heremaia

Te Rangitahi "Rangi" Heremaia is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who was portrayed by Blair Strang from 1995 to 2001.

Zac Smith (<i>Shortland Street</i>)

Zachary "Zac" Smith is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street who has been portrayed by Mike Edward in multiple guest stints since mid 1995. The character returned in a more central role for the shows 20th anniversary in 2012.

Grace Kwan

Dr. Grace Kwan is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, portrayed by Lynette Forday from 1994 to 1997. Forday reprised the role 16 years later in 2013.

Minnie Crozier

Minnie Crozier is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, who was portrayed by Katrina Devine from her first appearance in 1994 as part of the Crozier family unit until 2001 when the character was axed as part of a large cast overhaul.

Oscar Henry

Oscar Henry is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street played by Christopher Brown from 1998 to 1999.

Kane Jenkins

Kane Jenkins is a fictional character on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street. He was portrayed by KJ Apa from late-2013 to mid-2015. The character was introduced as part of the extended Cooper family unit and as a means to depict youth-suicide.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Whiteside, Andrew (14 September 2009). "Peter Elliott – 2009 Qantas Film & TV Award winner". NZ On Screen. NZ On Air.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Philpot, Chris (22 May 2012). "Shortland St: greatest moments, #20-11". stuff.co.nz . Fairfax Media.
  3. 1 2 "It's hard to be a nice guy". New Zealand TV Guide. Fairfax Media. 1 March 1996.
  4. 1 2 Whiteside, Andrew (30 April 2012). "Paul Ellis: Shortie St's bad boy grows up…". NZ On Screen. NZ On Air.
  5. 1 2 Hewitson, Michelle (2 May 2015). "Michele Hewitson interview: Peter Elliott". The New Zealand Herald .
  6. 1 2 "Peter Elliott - Getting to the Art of it". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media. 14 February 2000.
  7. Ward, Tara (22 August 2020). "All that glitters is not Gloss: Shortland Street reunites the stars of NZ's classic 80s drama". The Spinoff .
  8. "20 years of cliffhangers". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. December 2012. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Shortland Street: the babies". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. June 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013.
  10. "Did you miss our 90 minute feature-length episode?". tvnz.co.nz. Television New Zealand. July 2011. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Cot death claims Rose". Shortland Street . Television New Zealand. 2005. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  12. 1 2 Trevett, Claire (29 October 2005). "Blood in the street lifts soap's death toll to 14". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.
  13. Cleave, Louisa (October 2000). "TV: Familiar face comes back to the Street". The New Zealand Herald . APN News & Media.