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Series / Ocean Girl

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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).


  • 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.
  • Agents Mulder and Scully: Season 4 introduces Agents Elly Hauser and Jake Shelby, who bear a remarkable resemblance to the famous duo from The X-Files and even work for a paranormal investigation agency.
  • 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.
  • Animated Adaptation: The New Adventures of Ocean Girl, a Continuity Reboot.
  • 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.
  • 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. At least not at the time.
  • Black and Nerdy - Froggy, also the resident kid genius.
  • 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 (it's also implied that his behaviour is hiding his learning disability). 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.
  • 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. The dad returns in Season 4, this time as his ex-wife's boss to boot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shersheba, the villain 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.
  • 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: Dr. Hellegren happens to have a daughter named Lena, who you would not pick as being related to him until she mentions it.
  • Meaningful Name: Neri sounds like a short verion of Nereid, an ancient Greek sea nymph.
  • 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 and jumpsuits. PRAXIS is a whole organisation of MIBs.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Subverted Trope: despite a name like Hellegren, he is by and large a Harmless Villain.
  • 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. Also Neri in Season 4, for an episode or two.
  • No Name Given: Charley isn't actually his formal name. Neri calls him "Jali" because it's her planet's word for "whale." Jason and Brett mishear it as "Charley" and the name soon sticks.
  • Ocean Punk: The titular character has the ability to breathe underwater, coming from another planet where everybody can. Many (if not all) villainous plots happen to occur in or pretty close to the Australian coast, or in the aforementioned planet. The Heroes "R" Us has an Underwater Base.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Unintentional for the most part. 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.
    • Lena also abandons her father about halfway through Season 3 after she's found to have gone against his wishes.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: 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.
  • Princess Protagonist: 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.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Brett gets caught in some in a very early 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: H₂O: Just Add Water and its own Sequel Series Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure, both created by Jonathan M. Shiff.
  • 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.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: No truly evil characters, just ones with differing ideas of what is right.
  • 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.
  • Zeerust: The first series mentions "Laserblades" and "vid-discs" as well as "Credits" as a form of currency. The third season has a couple of these mentions but drops them otherwise.


Video Example(s):


Neri's echolocation

Neri can evidently see without eyes. Supposedly by means of a whale-like echolocation, but that doesn't explain how it includes colors.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BizarreAlienSenses

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