Shortland Street's VR experience arrives in Palmerston North

Shortland Street actor Ben Mitchell, who plays TK, posing with happy, tiny fan, five-month-old Chloe Seymour at the ...
Warwick Smith

Shortland Street actor Ben Mitchell, who plays TK, posing with happy, tiny fan, five-month-old Chloe Seymour at the Palmerston North stop of the show's 25th Anniversary roadshow.

A cataclysmic event is coming to Ferndale, and Shortland Street fans got the chance to experience the early stages of disaster when the show's VR roadshow arrived in Palmerston North.

The roadshow has been travelling the country to celebrate Shortland Street's 25-year anniversary. Palmerston North fan's got a chance to meet actor Ben Mitchell, who plays TK on the long running soap, and step into the shoes of a junior doctor at Shortland Street hospital in a virtual reality experience.

Executive creative director of TVNZ ​Jenz Hertzum​ said that in addition to the feature length episode and other celebratory content that plays around the anniversary, they wanted the roadshow to be a truly memorable and immersive experience for the audience across the country.

"We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Shortland Street's 25th year than with a VR experience that allows audience members to save a life assisted by characters from New Zealand's most beloved drama."

* Shortland Street VR experience to travel the country

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* Shortland Street's Michael Galvin terrified about leaving show in new storyline
* What awaits Shortland Street viewers in 2017

TV2 campaign manager Quentin Fullerton-Smith said the experience was littered with clues that implied what was happening, both outside the hospital and with fan-favourite characters.

Kelsey Kauri joined around 2000 intrigued fans in The Square on Friday, trying to work out what was coming for Ferndale.

"[The VR] was cool, it felt a bit real. I was a bit confused about what to do, but I figured it out and saved this guy with the defibrillator."

As the virtual doctor took a critically injured patient through the fictional hospital, TV's tuned to news hinted at a major disaster. Lights flickered on and off, and viewers could over hear lead characters urgently talking to each other - including what looked like a bald Chris Warner having an intense conversation in an elevator.

"I think there's some sort of explosion [at the hospital], and there's definitely something happening off-site that's flowing over into Shortland Street," Kauri said.

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Massey University student Katie Lightbrand has watched Shortland Street almost every day since she started primary school.

She was excited to have met Mitchell, and couldn't wait to see how her photo with him turned out once TVNZ staff photoshopped them into a Shortland Street location.

"I expected him to be more staunch rather than a real people person. I know he's an actor, but I thought he'd be more like TK."

Upcoming roadshow dates;

Hamilton - The Base - Sun 21 May, 12pm - 6pm

Auckland - Botany Town Square -  Weds 24 May, 12pm - 6pm 


 - Stuff


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