The much-anticipated annual Shortland Street cliff-hanger has just finished filming and we hear a villain from the past is set to wreak havoc again.
There is a long list of Ferndale baddies with outrageous storylines, many of whom met a grisly end. No TV soap is above bringing someone back from the grave, but we took a trip down memory lane looking for plausible characters who disappeared but did not die and pick who we want to make a comeback.
The Con Woman
Aleesha Cook (played by Lotto's Sonia Gray) was a con woman extraordinaire and like all crooks she targeted the softest touch, Nick Harrison.
She used her gorgeous wiles to get whatever she wanted from Nick (money, a car, and a job at Shortland Street - which she knew she could slack off from because Nick would cover for her).
Whenever Nick tried to pull away, she was able to reel him back in, eventually telling him she was pregnant with his baby. She'd also said the same thing to Dr Frank Malone and Fergus Kearney, going so far as to put holes in Fergus' condoms. Maybe she is back - "pins" and all.
Carla Crozier-Leech (played by Elisabeth Easther) was psychotic, but it took people a long time to realise it. Spiking food and drink was her specialty. Jealous of her sister, Ellen Crozier, and all she'd achieved, Carla put cannabis on Ellen's pizza so she'd fail a drug test and lose her position as director of nursing. She also spiked Tiffany's drink and allowed her to stumble out on to the road and collapse in front of an on-coming bus. Carla killed her husband, Bernie, bashing him on the head with a candlestick after he discovered she's faked both a pregnancy and a miscarriage. She was eventually taken away to a mental institution. Maybe she has been given a clean bill of health?
Zac Smith (played by Mike Edward) first arrived on the show as a young and handsome toy boy, back in 1995. Ten years later, Zac returned again - still appearing to be kind and trustworthy. However, an illicit affair was the first hint of his villainy.
Zac and TK clashed and when TK revealed his affair, Zac sought revenge. He targeted TK's wife, Roimata, taunting and violently assaulting her. Realising Zac was responsible, TK tried to convince the police of Zac's guilt. Meanwhile, Zac abducted Roimata, sadistically enjoying TK's pain and agony. Eventually, the evidence was enough to see Zac arrested and charged but we think TK may be in for a few more headaches coming in 2021.
Samara Hindmarsh (played by Jodie Rimmer) was really Lily. She was a struggling lass who met the real Samara on an O.E. The real Samara had money and privilege and when she died in an accident, Lily assumed her identity.
She returned to New Zealand and sought out Chris Warner, whom she knew had money and connections – and hadn't seen the real Samara since they were children. She lied and lied and lied and lied until she coerced Chris into marrying her.
It wasn't until a suspicious Rachel McKenna (who was in love with Chris) tracked down her family that she was unmasked at the altar when Mrs Hindmarsh said: "This is not our daughter!" Chris was devastated.
This story was also memorable for a catfight between Rachel and Samara on the morning of the wedding, with Samara in her bridal gown. Could Chris and Samara, aka Lily, finally have a happy ending?