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Series: Ocean Girl
Ocean Girl was an Australian children's show that ran from 1994 to 1998. In the United Kingdom it was called Ocean Odyssey. Created by Jonathan M. Shiff, and set in the near future, it focuses on an unusual girl named Neri who lives alone on an island, and the friendships she develops with the inhabitants of an underwater research facility called ORCA (Oceanic Research Centre of Australia).

Neri was an alien, survivor of a crash years before. Over the course of four seasons, she and her friends discovered her past and her role in protecting Earth.

Tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: The good ones, anyway. Even the ones who know about Neri are generally not in the loop about her 'missions' and when they are they rarely get get to do anything apart from plan.
  • Alien Invasion: The expedition that stranded Neri, Mera, their father, and Kal on Earth was to assess the planet for possible colonisation as their own planet was slowly dying. The plan was for them to take over the oceans, as they are adapted for life underwater, which would minimise their interactions with humans. Neri's rival in Season 4 had other ideas, but luckily it turned out to be unnecessary.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Neri speaks pretty broken English and remembers only a few words of her own language. Kal, when released from stasis, speaks perfect if slightly stilted English. All other members of their race speak English. Justified for Neri and Kal, who were on a journey to assess Earth for possible colonisation, and for Mera, raised by foster families in Australia.
  • All-Loving Hero: Neri has an almost instinctive sense of compassion for everything and everyone. For a strong example of this, she first meets Dr. Hellegren when she finds him set adrift in the ocean. She wakes him up and offers him water. He returns her kindness by holding her captive.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Brett to Jason, originally. He grows out of it. Cass to Morgan, until Morgan vanishes without trace.
  • As You Know: Neri had a habit of repeating several times whatever the current mission was. Possibly justified, as her English wasn't very good.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of Season 4, which also turned out to be the end of the series, Neri is proclaimed Crown Princess and heir to her mother's throne. Mera, who has actually been attempting to rule the planet as regent, gets a little tiara thing.
  • Big Bad: A scientist spent three seasons chasing Neri and Mera, almost ending all life on Earth before his Heel-Face Turn.
  • The Bully: Vanessa, to start with. She's overcompensating because she's tall and smart so people often make fun of her. Later, Mick. He's just a jerk, but as the son of the base commander he can get away with it. Both have heel face turns when faced with Neri.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: None of the secondary kids on ORCA survive more than two series. The first couple of times, it's handwaved by having someone say they've been reassigned, but after that it passes without notice.
  • Black and Nerdy - Froggy, also the resident kid genius.
  • The Bet: "The Institute" has a variant of the prom type, with a subversion: A bunch of kids make a bet to see who can bring the ugliest, nerdiest date. Mick charms Vanessa into going with him, but he doesn't develop any true feelings for her.
  • Cool Teacher: Dave, in Season 3.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jason and Brett's parents divorced just before the first series. Brett is fairly sanguine about this. Jason, not so much.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Neri, Mera and Kal all go barefoot. The first few times Neri went to ORCA the kids made her wear shoes, which she hated. By season four she was barefoot even when horse riding. Mera was happy enough in shoes, being raised in the Australian foster care system, but generally went barefoot on the island. Kal never wore shoes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shersheba, the Big Bad of Season 4, may have been planning to invade Earth, but she considered the deadly virus created by her servant, Malakat, to be "monstrous." May also go to a point with the big bad in Season 3, who aims to take over the world, but stops short when he realises that he'd also be killing his daughter.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: It turns out that Neri and Mera are the daughters of their planet's rulers. In Season 4 their mother is referred to as 'queen' and they are called 'princess' several times. There's also a rival princess.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Neri
  • Fun with Acronyms
  • Green Aesop
  • Human Alien: Neri (and all others of her race) look completely human. Neri's sister, Mera, spent years in the Australian foster system without anyone realising she wasn't human.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of Season 2, Neri and Mera are offered the chance to return to their own planet. Mera takes it. Neri is going to, but at the last moment changes her mind.
  • Literal-Minded: Neri has a bit of trouble with idioms, due to having grown up without learning much English. For example, in "The Institute", Dr. Bates talks about "killing two birds with one stone" and Neri objects to the killing of birds.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Cass, Brett's friend in Seasons 3 and 4, is this.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter
  • The Men in Black: The main antagonists for Season 4 are PRAXIS, a whole organization of MIBs.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kal
  • Mooks: UBRI keeps their mooks in blindingly white lifeguard swimsuits. PRAXIS is a whole organisation of MIBs.
  • Nature Hero: Neri lives on a deserted island and talks to whales. Well, whale. Mera lives with her for a while and also talks to Charley, but because she was raised in foster care she's used to more 'civilised' surroundings.
  • Nobody Can Die: Bad guys either do a heel face turn or are captured and put in prison. Good guys might be injured, but the closest anyone has come to dying is Kal - he absorbed harmful energy and was put in stasis for the trip back to his planet, where he would be healed.
  • The Other Darrin: Dr Bates' actress switched randomly between seasons 2 and 3.
  • Parental Abandonment: Unintentional. Neri and Mera's father dies shortly after reaching Earth, and their mother is presumed-dead back on their own planet. She reappears at the very end of the show. Until then Jason's mother steps in.
    • Jason and Brett's father is completely absent until Season 4 - they occasionally mention the divorce, but he himself only appears in Season 4.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Brett gets caught in a 1st season episode.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Neri's father is royal only by marriage, but he leads the expedition to Earth. When it's reported missing, her mother prepares to go after them, but her Chancellor betrays and overthrows her. Neri herself probably counts, having saved the world twice over.
  • Sapient Cetaceans
  • Sea Stories: Each season had a little time on land, usually in pursuit of the season's MacGuffin, but the majority of time was spent either on Neri's island or on the ORCA station.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Neri is invited to a dance on ORCA. Jason is astonished that she actually looks pretty.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Neri's actress was born in Poland and moved to Australia at the age of four. Neri's accent was - definitely not Australian. Kal also had an odd accent. Later immigrants from Neri's planet mostly sounded American. According to the commentary by Neri's actress, they deliberately did this to avoid making her sound like one particular nationality. Kal's actor is also of mixed heritage.
  • Wild Child: Neri's father died when she was still very young, and she mostly raised herself. Her whale friend, Charley, helped a bit.
  • You No Take Candle: Neri spoke like this when Jason and Brett first met her, as she'd grown to her teens without actually meeting anyone who spoke English. She learned as the series went on and by Season 4 this was barely in evidence at all.

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