Shorty Street actor is the new McDreamy

HOT STUFF: Former Shortland Street actor Martin Henderson has been compared with television hearthrob Dr McDreamy.
HOT STUFF: Former Shortland Street actor Martin Henderson has been compared with television hearthrob Dr McDreamy.

Martin Henderson has gone from Shortland Street to US TV's new Dr McDreamy.

The Kiwi actor's bedside manner is being compared with that of heartthrob Patrick Dempsey from Grey's Anatomy, thanks to a new role in hit US medical drama Off The Map.

The series follows six doctors as they struggle to treat patients with limited supplies in the South American jungle while overcoming personal demons and raging hormones.

"The clinic is run by the dedicated but brooding Dr McDreamy-ish Ben Keeton (Henderson)," The San Francisco Chronicle said of the series, which premiered on ABC earlier this week.

The newspaper said the show, created by the people behind Grey's and its spin-off Private Practice, was "Grey's Anatomy meets Survivor".

ABC described Henderson's character as the "courageous and charismatic" founder of La Clinica Cruiz del Sur, whose "dealing with a dark and mysterious past that not only fuels him to serve in the jungle but also prevents him from belonging anywhere else". Henderson is best-known in New Zealand for playing Stuart Neilson, the son of Shortland Street's hospital receptionist, from 1992 to 1995. Neilson was a young innocent who caught the eyes of several female cast members.

From there Henderson jumped the ditch to Australia and became roomates with the late Heath Ledger and a regular on the small screen. A move to America saw him land a string of movie roles and a part in Britney Spears music video Toxic.

The debut episode of Off The Map follows three attractive young medical students – including Mamie Gummer, daughter of Meryl Streep – as they arrive at the jungle clinic hoping for a Club Med with bedpans-type lifestyle.

Variety magazine reports the doctors, along with "chiselled-abs" clinic boss Henderson and two other senior medics, "work diligently to save lives, then play hard rotating among each other's beds".

The Los Angeles Times noted Henderson's "raggedy good looks and wandering Aussie/Kiwi accent".

Sunday News