|Episode Eliminated||"Video Killed the Reality Star"|
|Family||Father, mother, two brothers|
The only thing that Zack and his two brothers know about their parents’ careers is that they’re top secret and for the government … well, Zack thinks they’re for the government. How else can he explain all of the strange gadgets that they bring home from work? Though his parents try to keep the items away from their boys, Zack was always a troublemaker, and at age five he snuck into his parents’ room to fiddle with the supercomputer he found in his mother’s briefcase. When he was caught, his parents were more awestruck than angry, as the child had figured out how to input commands into the high tech device. Examining some of his toys, the Hills were shocked to find that their freckle-faced son had converted his Game Toy Pastel into a universal remote. Zack was a prodigy child! As he got older, it became apparent that the boy’s genius didn’t cover other areas. While he loved to design gizmos and tinker with electronics, he liked to make trouble much more than he wanted to listen to his teacher or take a test. However, this seemingly unremarkable B-average student is actually a talented hacker in his spare time. Under a secret alias, Zack hacks everything from government websites to traffic signs, as he gets a kick out of messing with others.
Zack applied for Total Drama Island: For Your Entertainment to challenge himself and see how somebody with his particular skillset can perform in the competition. He promises to play fair and square, as tempting as hacking the network’s files may be.
During For Your Entertainment...
Chris waited for Zack to exit the bus in ...Fifteen Minutes of Fame, though one of his gadgets burst through the doors and frightened the host before the contestant did. He laughed at Chris's reaction and offered him help with getting up, though the host pushed him away. Zack then tried to hit on Irina, though she claimed that he was too young and too short. Zack was disappointed in the lack of cat fight when Isaac arrived and asked if there were any positives to living in The Hotel, though Chris wouldn't answer him. He began his interview with Helen D'Angelo with friendly conversation. When he showed her his newest invention, he accidentally got it caught on the curtain and tore the whole stage apart. Despite this, Zack earned a point for his team and raved about it in the confessional.
Zack annoyed Elena at the beginning of The Bachelor Isn't Interested when he unscrewed the shower head in their shared bathroom. While Elena accused her other teammates of ruining her shower, Zack slipped into the cafeteria unnoticed and asked Risty to trade something for a plate of food. She agreed to the trade, and he gave her the screws from Elena's shower, which she laughed at. Zack missed his shot during the bow and arrow challenge and didn't volunteer to impress Chris. While their teammates were getting ready for the challenge, Zack returned to The Hotel with Risty and gathered supplies. They made a rain stick and a tambourine and played them while Elena recited Victor's poem. That night, Zack and Wes cooked dinner, and he joined in with Victor's toast.
While Elena and Gabe were talking about their alliance in Video Killed the Reality Star, Zack and Risty interrupted with a remote control car buzzing around the room. Elena figured out that it was a trick and pulled him out from his hiding spot. Risty revealed herself, and Zack explained that they were partners in crime. Elena and Gabe marched off in a huff, though the pranksters followed them upstairs ready to play another practical joke. Zack was elected director of his team for the music video challenge because of his skills at video editing. Elena questioned why he was bossing them around, though Risty defended him. He set up his sets and readied his actors with help from Risty and Monique. Zack filmed The Emmys' video quickly and efficiently with the only real interruption being Minerva's outburst.
Later, Zack edited The Emmys' video and showed it to Risty. She praised him for it, and he sent her to get the rest of the team. Zack accidentally put his arm in paint as the video was burning onto a disc and left it behind when he went to wash it off. Later, he ran in during the video presentations and announced that the video was gone. He insisted that he hadn't lost it and that it had disappeared, though most of his teammates did not believe him. Zack voted for Minerva at elimination, though Sebastian's alliance and Risty ended up voting him off. He told his team that they needed to find out who stole the disc and tried to say one last goodbye to Risty, though she was overwhelmed with guilt and couldn't look at him. At the end of the episode, The Oscars found the music video, proving that Zack had been framed.
Though The Oscars originally suspected Avery of sabotaging Zack, it was revealed in Sing Your Heart Out that Camille had set the situation up to assure a victory for her team. Zack was supposedly "easy to fool", and she planted the video to distract her teammates in the next episode. After the mystery was cleared up, Zack still had left an impact on the film set, mostly with Risty. It was her experience with his elimination that allowed her to bond with Ophelia in Flashing Lights, a conversation that calmed her down long enough to make her participate in the challenge.
Zack made a cameo in Thirteen as a member of the undead. He and several other zombies pulled Monique into a tree. While Risty and Wes watched, the technophile bit into the designer's neck, "killing" her and eliminating her from the challenge. This display scared off Risty. In the final scene of the challenge, Zack was one of the zombies that ganged up on Sebastian. He appeared in the explanatory video demonstrating how the fake blood packets worked.
The video started by showing a small boy with a shock of bleached hair tinkering with an old cellphone. A bright desk lamp illuminated his work area, which was a desk completely covered in various gears, tools, and dissected electronics.
“Salutations, Total Drama Island.” He said without even looking up from his project. “My name’s Zack Hill and I’d love to be featured on your show. I’ve been terrorizing my town for all seventeen years of my life. No, I’m not robbing banks and starting fires … I’m doing better than that because I use technology to prank people.
“A few years back, a story made late night news about all of the computers in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex simultaneously and unstoppably playing a popular internet video meme on repeat for an hour. They never found the culprit. Well …” Zack briefly put down his screwdriver to raise his right hand. “Guilty as charged.”
The freckle-faced boy snickered as he pressed a button on the gadget, an antenna popping out of the top. “I know what you’re thinking: why would a guy like me want to be on a show like yours? Well, I might not look like much, but you know the old saying. Good things come in small packages. Just because Cody kind of epically failed as a competitor doesn’t mean that we techies can’t do well. To steal a phrase from Chris in season one, I’m ‘full of surprises’.”
As if on cue, the phone made a beeping sound and then his desk lamp flickered off. Zack gasped, his expression only visible because of the light emitting from the cellphone screen, and picked up the camera, running to the window at the other side of his room. The camera went back into focus just in time to show the lights in every house on the street going out simultaneously.
“ZACHARY!!!” Zack flinched as a voice bellowed from the room below him.
“The power will come back in a sec, Dad, I swear!”
“If you’re snooping around in the FBI’s files again, I am not hiring another lawyer-”
“That was one time!”
“It was seven times!”
Zack gave the camera a nervous grin before the cellphone screen shut off, eliminating the last source of light in the room.
- Zack was the third contestant eliminated and the first from his team. He did not receive any silver stars.
- He is the shortest male this season. This and the fact that he is a technophile give him similarities to Cody. This wasn't done on purpose, but once I noticed this I incorporated it into his character.
- Zack's shirt is for the show Mister What, a parody of Doctor Who. His alternate outfit shirt is meant to resemble a loading screen for various computer games, and his pajama top is covered in 0's in 1's, representing binary code.
- He received tenth place in the first draft of the story. This was changed both for the shock of his early elimination and because there were many characters who were planned to be early outs who lasted longer in the final draft.
- When creating Zack's bio and image and writing for him in the story, I wanted to lead the audience on to think that he would be a main character and last long to give his elimination more shock value.
- If Zack had made it farther in the story, his friendship with Risty would have grown into an attraction on his side. It's debatable if there are hints of that still in the story or if it is just a very strong friendship.
- Despite his early elimination being a shock since he got enough screentime to be a major character in the first few episodes, Zack would not have performed well at many of the physical challenges had he continued on because of his unathletic nature and small build. Because of this, he could have easily been eliminated in a challenge like We All Fall Down or the second half of Teeth.
- The Game Toy Pastel in Zack's biography is a parody of the Game Boy Color.
- When it's mentioned that Zack pranked the state capitol in his audition with a video meme, I imagine he probably Rickrolled them.
- Zack's redrawn character model has several changes from the original including freckles, gauged ears, shaved sideburns, complete wardrobe changes, and a completely different facial design. The neon colors of Zack's outfit and the more alternative aspects were to accentuate his quirkiness even more and to make it obvious that he was supposed to seem like a main character because the colors are so hard to miss.
- If there were ever a second season of the show, Zack would definitely return, as his story was left unfinished because of his early elimination.