This document is part of the Ocean Girl Archive — Last update: 2009-09-10 — sourcemeta

Source: 1, 2
Author:Jonathan M. Shiff Productions

Ocean Girl – Series Two

Short synopsis

Neri, the mysterious girl from the sea, returns to search for the secret of her past. Aided by the kids from Orca, she uncovers the incredible truth – and starts a quest for the sister she never knew existed.


Ocean Girl II is a new completely self-contained mini-series which features characters established in the first Ocean Girl mini-series.

In Ocean Girl II the enigmatic Neri, the girl from the sea, returns from the annual migration with her companion and mentor, Charley, the great Humpback whale.

But in her home waters, she is involved in an incident that is to have far-reaching consequences. She comes to the rescue of Hellegren, the head of the sinister and powerful UBRI organisation. Hellegren repays her help by briefly taking her captive. With Charley’s assistance, she manages to break free and escape, but Hellegren is now aware of the existence of this strange girl and her extraordinary powers.

Back on her hidden island paradise, Neri meets up again with Jason and Brett Bates, her close friends from the Orca underwater scientific installation. They agree to help her on a quest spurred by the discovery that her blood isn’t human – to find out the truth about who she really is and where she comes from.

The search for clues result in the finding of the remains of a huge craft buried under the water and sand of a cove on the island, and the revelation that Neri is the last survivor of a disaster-struck interplanetary voyage. By way of a hologram retrieved from the wreckage, her long-dead father explains that their mission had been to watch over human colonisation of the sea. He also revealed that Neri had a baby sister, Mera, whom he had ejected from the doomed craft in a desperate attempt to save her life. Her fate was unknown.

Jason and Brett set out to find Mera. They finally locate her, now grown to adolescence, in a forbidding institute for the study of exceptional children. To their dismay, however, they found that Hellegren, as a sponsor of the institute, has also taken an interest in the strangely gifted girl and intends to take her to UBRI for further examinations.

Mera, having no knowledge of her true ancestry, is wary at first of the Orca kids and the fantastic tale they have to tell. But at the last minute, she decided to trust them, and Mera is snatched from under Hellegren’s nose, to his anger and frustration.

Mera is reunited with Neri. It takes Mera some time to adjust to the primitive life of simple harmony on the island, but eventually she grows to love it. Encouraged and instructed by her sister, Mera learns to match her sister’s amazing physical prowess in the water, although she seems unable to emulate Neri’s psychic ability to communicate with Charley.

However, their idyllic existence is coming under increasing threat from outside. Hellegren, putting the pieces of the puzzle together is now determined to get his hands on both the girls. To that end, he installs spies on Orca. He also begins to silently follow the research vessel on which Jason and Brett’s mother, Dianne – along with her assistant, Winston – are surveying the sea floor for a suitable site for the proposed giant Orca City complex Neri is assisting them in this, a fact unknown to the captain, Sam, and several other “outsider” children on board. When Hellegren’s men make their move to capture the girls underwater, Mera, in panic, makes the psychic breakthrough that has eluded her, calling Charley to their assistance. But in the subsequent rescue, the girls are revealed to Sam and the “outsider” children. One by one they swear to keep the secret.

Neri and Mera are taken to shelter on Orca. But with spies within the base, and an armada of UBRI boats waiting outside, eventual capture seems just a matter of time. And, to complicate matters, two rescuers arrive from their own planet to take the girls home, explaining that the unique powers they both possess are urgently needed there. But to get home – which Mera, in particular, desperately wants to do – they have to first get back to the island where the rescue craft is hidden, through the ranks of UBRI vessels just waiting for them to make such a move.

The kids devise an elaborate plan, drawing UBRI’s forces off on a false trail while Neri and Mera slip, unnoticed, through the net. By the time Hellegren realised he has been fooled, a light blazing across the sky signals that the girls are on the return journey to their own planet. Hellegren has to accept he will never get his hands on them now and turns back, defeated.

But in the final twist, it is revealed that while Mera has gone, Neri, in fact, has made a last minute decision to stay – to be with her “family” and her beloved Charley, and to continue her father’s mission to watch over the oceans.

Key cast list

Neri:Marzena Godecki
Jason Bates:David Hoflin
Brett Bates:Jeffrey Walker
Dianne Bates:Kerry Armstrong
Winston:Alex Pinder
Mera:Lauren Hewett
Sam:Terry Serio
Vanessa Lane:Jacalyn Prince
Zoe:Cassandra Magrath
Froggy:Joel de Carteret
Mick:Anthony (Tony) Hayes
Kimberley:Claudia Buttazoni
Joanne:Kristy Barnes Cullen
Hellegren:Nicholas Bell
Lt Borg:Caitlin McDougall
Rocky:Sam Johnson
Liselle:Sonya Suares
Forsyth:William Gluth
1st Officer:Miki Oikawa
2nd Officer:Christopher Kirby
Commander Kate Byrne:
 Pamela Rabe
H.E.L.E.N.:Nina Landis

Crew list

Executive producer:
 Jonathan M. Shiff
Line producer:Gina Black
Assistant producer:
 Tara Ferrier
Casting director:
 Jo Rippon
Production assistant Port Douglas:
 Col Heidke
Director:Eps 1–6: Judith John-Story
Director:Eps 7–13: Mark DeFriest
D.O.P.:Ron Hagen
Underwater D.O.P.:
 Ross Isaacs
Composers:The Music Department, Garry McDonald, Laurie Stone

Episode outlines

Episode 14

Neri, returning from migration with her companion Charley the humpback whale, comes to the rescue of Dr. Hellegren, head of the sinister UBRI organisation. He repays her kindness by taking her prisoner. With Charley’s assistance, Neri manages to give Hellegren the slip and escapes into the safety of the ocean. But Hellegren now knows of her existence and is determined to find out the truth about the mysterious Ocean Girl. Commander Kate Byrne arrives on Orca together with her smart-alec son, Mick. Neri, back on her island, is re-united with Jason and Brett. They promise their assistance in unearthing the secret of Neri’s past. They swear they will help her find out who she really is and where she came from.

Episode 15

Following Winston’s theory that perhaps the clue to Neri’s past is on the island somewhere, Neri, aided by her young friends from the ORCA installation, scours the place for clues. Mick lures Rocky into a re-compression chamber where Rocky inadvertently triggers the system. The other children are quick to the rescue but when Commander Byrne investigates they discover her son can do no wrong where she is concerned. On Neri’s island a break-through in the form of a strange amulet, left behind by her father. This sets off a search which ranges across the island, leading them from one clue to another. The final cryptic message points to a beach in the Badlands and the wreckage of the vessel on which Neri’s people came to the island. But it is not of terrestrial origin – they are looking at some kind of space craft.

Episode 16

Neri and Jason discover a way to get inside the submerged wreckage of the space craft. Inside they discover two strange objects that have clearly been left for Neri to find. One seems to be some kind of signalling device, which they attempt to repair and replace in its socket aboard the craft. It still appears inactive and children have to make a run for it as the structure crumbles further. Only after they are gone does the signalling device start to glow. The other object from on board produces a hologram of Neri’s father. He tells her the truth of their doomed mission to Earth and finishes with a final revelation. Neri had a younger sister aboard named Mera and it is possible that she too still lives. On ORCA, Kimberley embarrasses a loud mouthed Mick by beating him in a race. Commander Byrne instructs Dianne and Winston to commence a survey in preparation for the building of a new ORCA city.

Episode 17

Using Froggy’s skills with the ORCA computer named HELEN, the children begin to search for any record of Neri’s sister Mera’s existence. An old newspaper finally leads them to an Aboriginal fisherman who tells them about the baby girl he found floating in the sea in a strange survival capsule. But the local authorities came and took the child away and he doesn’t know what subsequently happened to her. Neri is momentarily disheartened, but the gang reassure her they have the name the child was given and they know she was put into official are. It’s enough to start looking and they swear that if it takes forever they will track Mera down. During a sea trial Joanne falls overboard. Whilst rescued by Neri she believes Winston to be the hero responsible for saving her life.

Episode 18

The gang’s continuing hunt for Mera leads them to a strange institute which specialises in studying children with unusual intelligence capacities. And to Mera herself. They breach the institute’s sophisticated security system and reach their objective. But Mera is withdrawn and dubious of the fantastic story they tell her. However, when Jason promises to bring her proof of her older sister’s existence, she agrees to remain open-minded. The children have to flee when Hellegren makes a sudden unexpected appearance. It transpires that the UBRI organisation are sponsors of the institute and Hellegren is particularly interested in Mera’s latent telepathic ability. He selects her to be taken to UBRI for further study. Will the children return in time to prevent this? At sea on Sam’s boat Dianne and Winston confirm Neri’s unique presence enhances their survey equipment.

Episode 19

As Mera is being prepared to be taken to UBRI, the gang arrive with Neri’s amulet – which matches one that Mera wears around her own neck, her sole link with her unknown past. Mera agrees to come with them. They flee the institute, pursued by the forces of UBRI. After a narrow escape in a cane-field the gang manage to shake off their pursuers. The two sisters, Neri and Mera, are re-united. But there are signs that Mera, who has been brought up amongst humans is going to have some trouble adjusting to life on Neri’s island. Vanessa falls for one of Mick’s cruel jokes and agrees to be his dance partner. She later reverses the intended public humiliation but confides in Neri she is deeply hurt.

Episode 20

Mera continues to have difficulty adjusting to her new environment. Especially as Neri has to leave her alone from time to time whilst she assists Dianne with a survey of the sea floor. Mera declares that she hates the island and wishes she’d never come. At the same time security footage from the institute has revealed a connection to ORCA, leading Hellegren in their direction. Mick’s reading difficulties are discovered by the other children when he is unable to read operating instructions for a fire extinguisher in an emergency.

Episode 21

While Neri is away helping Dianne with the survey, Mera’s unfamiliarity with the island’s habitat puts her life in danger. Neri returns to save her sister but decides it is time she gave Mera a quick lesson in living in harmony with her natural surroundings. And as she finds increasing pleasure in its simple joys, Mera starts to blossom. her withdrawal is replaced by a curiosity and feistiness reminiscent of her older sister. When Mera finally says that she now understands why Neri loves her island, Neri corrects her. It is their island now. But unknown to the girls, a further complication has arisen. The survey has accidentally turned up signs of a huge reef of titanium under the sea floor and the survey boat’s captain, Sam, has dollar signs flashing in his eyes.

Episode 22

Mera’s new confidence and ability are demonstrated when UBRI forces land on the island in search of the girls, Mera evades them and the UBRI troops move on to the next island, none the wiser. However, on the survey boat the Commander’s obnoxious son Mick accidentally catches a glimpse of Neri and Mera and the gang have to convince him he was mistaken. But UBRI are drawing ever closer. They plant two undercover agents, Forsyth and Liselle, on board ORCA. At the same time Hellegren begins secretly to follow the survey boat. They now have eyes both inside and outside ORCA and Hellegren is convinced that one of these will soon lead him to the girls. Sam continues to draw closer to Dianne but Jason remains unreceptive to him. Told of the titanium discovery, Neri worries about underwater mining endeavours, directly against the mission and the message her Father brought to earth.

Episode 23

Mera is underneath the survey boat with Neri when the UBRI forces make their move. A group of divers attempt to capture the girls. It is only the intervention of Charley that allows them to slip from Hellegren’s clutches. The incident allows Mera to make the telepathic contact with Charley that has eluded her in the past. But is also witnessed by Sam and a small group of other kids from ORCA, including Mick. One by one the other kids swear to keep secret the existence of Neri and Mera. But Mick is not so forthcoming, enjoying the power this knowledge gives him. The girls are taken to the Bates’ cabin on board ORCA – the safest place for them at the moment. But with enemies both inside and outside the installation their whereabouts cannot remain secret forever.

Episode 24

As Hellegren scours the seas outside ORCA for signs of Neri and Mera, his undercover agents do the same on board the installation. Liselle is assigned to work on Mick, who seems the weak link among the children, and for a while it appears Mick might betray Neri. However when Neri gives Mick the confidence to overcome his difficulty in reading, Mick faces up for once to his own shortcomings and cements his loyalty to Neri, Mera and the gang. However, Winston’s loyalty seems to be in question as he is seen in a secret meeting on Neri’s island with two strange searchers. And when the UBRI forces uncover Neri and Mera’s hiding place, it seems that time is running out for the girls. Forsyth sabotages HELEN and ORCA is plunged into chaos. In the confusion that follows, Liselle discovers Neri and Mera are on board.

Episode 25

There is panic amongst the gang when Neri attempts to sacrifice herself to save her sister. She is about to hand herself over to the UBRI forces. Only quick action by Brett and a subsequent threat to his life makes Neri change her mind. Dianne appreciates Neri’s motives, but extracts a promise never to do it again. However, the action is vital to Sam’s decision to pass up the fortune to be made from the titanium reef and to keep its existence a secret rather than let mining companies ruin the oceans that are the girls’ domain. Winston is proved not to be a traitor when he reveals that the strange searchers he has been in contact with are in fact emissaries from Neri and Mera’s home planet come to take the girls home. But they only have twenty-four hours to make a decision. And the craft for the return journey is concealed on Neri’s island. If they wish to leave, the girls must get through the flotilla of UBRI boats which is waiting outside for them to make just such a move. It appears escape is impossible.

Episode 26

Mera tells Neri of her desperate wish to return home and Neri promises to try to help her achieve it. But they still face the dilemma of how to elude the UBRI forces waiting for them outside. With the girls’ decision to return home, the gang, including the later additions such as Mick, hold a council of war. They come up with an elaborate scheme to outsmart UBRI, one that sends their enemies off on a high-speed wild goose chase while Neri and Mera, disguised as boys, slip through the UBRI armada and make it to the island safely. When Froggy and Rocky restore HELEN, Liselle and Forsyth are taken into custody. On Neri’s island after emotional farewells the two girls disappear with the searchers into the fog-shrouded rescue craft. The craft lifts off and flashes across the sky informing Hellegren that his quarry has fled and his search has been for nothing. But back on the island, as the Bates family sadly prepare to return to ORCA, a figure reemerges from the mist. It is Neri who has decided at the lat moment that, while Mera should return to their people, she should remain to continue their father’s mission to watch over the seas as the Ocean Girl.

Character descriptions


15 years old. A mysterious girl who seemed to spring from the sea – and into the alien world of a modern adolescent.

Discovered by the young Bates brothers, she rewarded their vow of secrecy by granting them access to the idyllic hidden island paradise where she lives alone, but in full harmony with nature, particularly with Charley, a great Humpback Whale who is her constant companion and with whom she can telepathically communicate. In time, a small bank of other kids became privy to Neri’s world, but the Bates have become her surrogate family, including Dianne, whom Neri refers to as “Mother”.

Resourceful and feisty, there are times when Neri seems sage-like beyond her years, but others when she appears lost and bewildered by her contact with the vagaries of the modern world as encountered on the underwater research Institute known as Orca. Her extraordinary upbringing has resulted in her being independent and self-willed, even to the point of abrasion. Not that she means deliberate offence – she just hasn’t been taught the usual social restrictions.

Her ability in the ocean is amazing. She swims as though water were her natural element, with astonishing speed and agility. She can dive to extraordinary depths and stay underwater for incredible lengths of time. Aptly, Neri’s name derives from the ancient Greek word meaning “a sea nymph”.

Somewhat of a wide-eyed innocent in her first brushes with “civilisation”, she reacted with a loner’s steely resolve when it threatened to betray her. But the real Neri always bubbles underneath – a courageous but fun-loving little battler tempered with a touch of something mystical…for within this girl lies a magic gift which she has yet to understand. A gift always at threat of being ruined by exploitation – but one that could prove priceless to a world enter in the new age of the 21st century.

At the end of series one, her world appeared on the brink of collapse with discovery by certain adults and the capture and near-destruction of her beloved Charley by the scientists of he sinister UBRI corporation. A rescue attempt by the band of children reunited her with Charley, but Neri had to make a decision between her own old wild existence and the temptations of modern life. Neri decided to choose the former that, one day, she would return. However, she left many unanswered questions about her origins, including the revelation that her blood was not of any human DNA construction ever encountered before. As she disappeared with Charley, the Bates family were left pondering exactly what Neri was and where she really came from. She is about to return to seek those answers for herself.

Those answers will astonish even her.

Jason Bates

15. A rather thoughtful and sensitive kid still struggling with the everyday problems of being a teenager. Hurt by the break-up of his parent’s marriage, it took his acquaintance with Neri to let him come to terms with it and let down the barriers he had been using as a shield. Since then, he has grown in confidence, although he is still very much the more reflective one of the two brothers.

He’s good looking and naturally friendly guy, one that his peers, both male and female, tend to like easily – although, of course, he can never let them know the truth of his secret “other” life revolving around Neri, Charley and the island.

He has the usual occasional conflicts with his mother, and brotherly games of one-upmanship with young brother Brett, but they’re generally short-lived. And if he takes himself a little too seriously on occasion, it’s only because he has a strong sense of natural justice. When he first came to the Ocean Research Centre of Australia (ORCA) institute, he hated it, but his time with Neri has fostered a growing knowledge and passion about the sea and the intricate ecological systems abounding in their underwater world. He is a good swimmer and adept scuba diver.

Jason and Neri have a special relationship. Part friends…part brother-and-sister…and part something deeper and, as yet, unspoken.

Brett Bates

12–13. A bold, adventurous and, at times, brash boy who is fast coming to terms with adolescence, but still shows some traits of the cheeky kid he once was. He’s a knockabout character always on the lookout for fun – no matter what trouble it might get him (or anyone else) into.

Like most younger brothers, he enjoys stirring his elder sibling Jason up whenever he gets the chance – particularly if Jason tries to pull authority on him. But underneath the badinage, there is a strong sense of family and a loyalty to each other, especially when the chips are down.

Brett is one of those cocky, confident types who naturally gathers other kids around him. If there wasn’t a gang before, there soon will be – and Brett will be right at the heart of it. And his boundless energy and enthusiasm will sweep them along, even though his schemes sometimes order on the hare-brained.

He has always loved living on the Orca installation, mainly because of the novel possibilities for having fun it presents. He adores Neri as a special and remarkable friend and would do anything for her. Although too young to scuba dive yet, Brett, the chirpy little larrikin, can handle a boat and swims well.

Dianne Bates

Late 30’s. Divorced. A noted marine biologist whose specialty – and passion – is animal communication, specifically that of whales. She is so committed to her job and her dream – that one day, humans will learn how to communicate directly with whales – that some would accuse her of being a workaholic.

In the laboratory, she is dedicated and methodical, but her fiery temper sometimes gets the better of her when she comes up against what she considers deliberate ignorance of stupidity. She dislikes the changes that Orca installation is undergoing – away from being a pure science lab towards self-sufficient commercial uses – and it really rankles her that her cherished work must take second place to money-making projects.

At home, she is warm and full of rough-house affection for her two sons although, like any family, they have their moments of conflict. She suffers occasional angst about not spending enough time with the boys, but will more often than not find them far too absorbed in their escapades to notice her absence.

When Dianne finally found out about the existence of Neri, she was torn between her curiosity as a scientist and her maternal feelings about the strange, lost girl. The latter won out, and she now feels a strong motherly protectiveness towards her, as close a bond as she has for her own children. And when Mera comes into their lives, Dianne will find room in her heart for her, too.

Dr Winston Seth

30’s. Indian born scientist with background in submarine geology, electronics and animal physiology. Graduate of Sydney University, Oxford and M.I.T. in America, he designs and constructs all the research and monitoring equipment for Dianne’s projects as well as acting as her assistant in whale research.

Professionally pragmatic by personally quirky, he likes to quote inscrutable and wise oriental sayings – many of which he makes up on the spot to suit the occasion. His view of the world has room for both Eastern mysticism and Western science, and he is often the one with the insight to propose views others would regard as irrational.

His gently, bi-partisan and often mischievous nature makes him a favourite with the kids on board Orca. He is like a big kid himself, at times, trapped in an adult body.

Winston doesn’t swim – he sinks.


Neri’s sister. About 13. When we first meet her, a strange, silent, and extremely withdrawn. In reality, a highly intelligent girl who feels she is very different to everyone around her – but doesn’t suspect how different! Has embryonic signs of some of Neri’s abilities, but unfussed and uncontrolled as yet. Mera is more accustomed to the “real” world than Neri, having grown up in it, and will take some time to adjust to life on the island. But she will eventually develop the extraordinary talents and feisty self-sufficiency to inherit her big sister’s role in the oceans.

Mick Byrne

15. A tough talking, bit-noting little bantam of a kid with an outward show of cocky arrogance and a taste for practical jokes in dubious state. Son of the new Orca Commander, who sees him through rose-coloured glasses, and refuses to accept that he is anything less than perfect. A cheat and a troublemaker who gets up almost all the other kid’s noses immediately he arrives. But Mick will eventually be revealed as being all obnoxious front. Inside, he is an insecure and unhappy kid who has spent most of his life shuttled from creche to baby sitter to boarding school by high-achieving parents who had little time to waste on him, so have alternated between neglect and over-indulgence in compensation. And Mick has a shameful secret – he is dyslexic and cannot read, though he hides this well by having an excellent memory. If there was a contest for the kid you’d most like to throw overboard on Orca, Mick would win hands down.

Robert “Rocky” Rhodes

15. A big, clumsy, genial boofhead of a kid. Physically strong, but too good-natured to ever hurt anyone. Genial and easy-going. Sometimes a bit slow on the mental uptake, but he does have one real talent – mechanics. Give him a pair of pliers and bit of wire and he could just about fix a jet engine. An avid video viewer who thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger is the greatest actor in the world and can recite the plot of every movie he’s ever seen. He also places great credence in tales of the paranormal – anything from little green men abducting humans to spontaneous combustion – and passes on the details with grave solemnity. A really likeable kid, but not one the others treat with a lot of respect, especially Mick.

Joanne Rhodes

15. Rocky’s sister and his opposite in nearly every aspect. A dreamy, bookish, romantic girl with a taste for literature and good music and a yearning for the manners of more genteel days Some, like Mick consider her a bit of a female nerd, but she ends up forming an odd couple with athletic and pugnacious Kimberley. She thinks all boys her own age could do with some lessons in manners, and when she meets the courteous Winston, she immediately starts to develop a teenage crush on him – much to Winston’s embarrassment. However, when the time comes, Joanne will discover that she is capable of action, too.

Kimberley McGuinnes

15. Athletic, super-fit, and spends half her life in the gym and rest lambasting the other kids for the appallingly unhealthy eating habits. Youngest and only sister to a tribe of wild older brothers she has responded to this with a militant attitude towards the opposite sex. To Kimberley, the battle of the sexes is a matter of “us against them”, and she relishes any opportunity to display female superiority. Good-hearted enough in her own way and a staunch, if sometimes critical friend.

Kate Byrne

40’s. The new Commander on board Orca. Unlike her predecessor, Kate comes not from a military background, but from the more murderous environment of the high-level executive boardroom. Has specialised at corporate level in big engineering concerns and the like, often in difficult areas involving public and company relations. A bit Ita Buttrose-y in type. Quite attractive, pleasant, but with a spine of iron. Used the disadvantage of being a woman in a man’s world, she can turn on silky charm when she likes but the bottom line is her career and she intends to succeed in achieving whatever she sets out to do. Married to a similar high-powered executive, they have virtually given up their home lives in pursuit of success. And, where Kate’s concerned, God help anyone who stands between her and the topmost pinnacle!

Sam Phillips

40. A rough-edged, independent man who has spent virtually his whole life on the sea. Has little experience of any other life, really. Used to doing things his own way and at his own pace, and doesn’t like being told what to do or when he should do it. He’s only taken the Orca job because he lost his last boat when the bank repossessed it and he needs the money to get started again. He has worked on jobs in the North Sea and the like, but he is on a potential big bonus here if any big mineral deposits are found. An apparently incorrigible bachelor, he didn’t realise that he would have to deal with women and children – both of whom he basically thinks have no place on a boat. A blunt, gruffly-spoken man, but he is really a rough diamond that just needs a lot of polishing.