This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2010-03-13 — sourcemeta

Source: Web Archive, Web Archive
Author:Dianne Butler (TV Scene, The Sunday Mail)

Neri comes up for some air

The bad news is there will be no more series made of “Ocean Girl”. This will be especially upsetting to Channel 10, because the show is one of the biggest television exports Australia has ever seen. Figures vary, but “Ocean Girl” is shown in somewhere between 70 and 100 countries – a hit in anyone’s language.

The “Ocean Girl” herself, Marzena Godecki, very sensibly says that she and the production company didn’t want to flog the show to death. “It was a wonderful experience for everyone but it’s time to move onto something else.”

Neri (Ocean Girl) is the chosen one, in case you didn’t know. She has magical, planet-saving powers – kind of like a benign version of “The Terminator”.

“She’s the one who can change things, no one else can. In fact, as we saw in the last series, if other people try to do things she does, they actually cause damage,” Marzena says.

“She’s learned a lot about herself since the beginning. In the first series she was a girl who lived on this island. Her mother died when she was young and she didn’t know where she was from or why she was there.”

“Progressively through the series she starts to find out things about her past.”

“Also she’s become a lot more educated about humans. Originally, the first people she met were Jason and Brett. She didn’t know anything about, well, that people are bad, that people can be nasty, that not everyone is as nice as they are.”

“She’s become more street-smart. She’s very giving and warm and affectionate. She doesn’t understand bad human traits.”

It’s a dream part for any young actor. TV Scene is all for great female role models and a powerful ocean-dweller with mythic qualities is about as good as you can get.

Part of the secret of “Ocean Girl’s” success, Marzena believes, is its honesty.

“It’s not violent in any way,” she says. “So much of what you see today - whether it’s cartoons or whatever it is – is violent, or really sarcastic wit - that sort of stuff.”

Plus, it has the beautiful Port Douglas scenery, which may also help explain its international appeal.

“People want to see what they don’t have. In places like Japan, they just don’t have what we’ve got here. I get letters from kids asking, ’Is it real? It’s not a studio? You’re not swimming in a tank? The reef is actually there?’”

Actually, Marzena seems a little bit “Ocean Girl” herself. She’s funny, gorgeous and she loves The Simpsons, which shows she is also smart. You would think the sky’s the limit. Not so. “It’s really tough – I’m too old to be young anymore but not mature enough to take adult roles,” she says. So acting could be on hold while she studies next year. Or maybe not.

“I just did a trailer for a film and I had a completely different role. I was playing a hooker and a heroin addict. It was great.”