an NFSA website

Ocean Girl – Series 2, Episode 3 (1995)


Able to swim like a fish and telepathically communicate with a humpback whale called Charley, ocean girl Neri (Marzena Godecki) is searching for the secret of her past. With the Bates brothers Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker), and friends Vanessa (Jacalyn Prince), Zoe (Cassandra Magrath) and others from the underwater research station Orca, she discovers a buried spaceship on her island. It brings a compelling message from her long-dead father (Robert Cooper). He tells of their doomed environmental mission to Earth and entrusts Neri with taking up this task. In a final revelation, he also tells her that she has a younger sister named Mera. He wants Neri to find her.

On Orca, Commander Byrne (Pamela Rabe) instructs Dianne Bates (Kerry Armstrong) and Winston (Alex Pinder) to commence a survey in preparation for the building of a new underwater Orca city. Hellegren (Nicholas Bell), the head of the sinister and powerful Ubri organisation, is determined to uncover the mystery of the whale’s companion.

Curator’s notes

This is the third episode of the second, 13-part series of Ocean Girl. A pivotal episode, it firmly establishes the story arc for the rest of series two. This science fiction-fantasy show now has a space travel dimension. The messages from Neri’s father send the series in a new direction. He gives an environmental message about colonising under the sea, and explains (for new viewers) why Neri can talk to Charley or Jali the whale. The mission of the obsessed and ruthless scientist Hellegren to capture Charley and Neri sets up the elements of danger and intrigue.

A quality children’s drama with high production values, Ocean Girl has a stellar Australian cast. The adult lead, veteran actor Kerry Armstrong, is supported by the highly experienced Nicholas Bell, Pamela Rabe and Alex Pinder. Veteran child actor Jeffrey Walker’s first TV role at the age of seven was in The Flying Doctors (1992), followed by a leading role in Round the Twist, series two (1992) before his first series of Ocean Girl. He has since starred in The Wayne Manifesto (1997) and Thunderstone (2000). Walker now works as a television director. David Hoflin began his acting career at the age of nine alongside Meryl Streep and Sam Neill in the film Evil Angels (1988). His other credits include Head Start (2001) and Stranded. Young actor Cassandra Magrath, who began her acting career with the first series of Ocean Girl, went on to costar in the children’s series Crash Zone (2001) and The Wayne Manifesto (1997) as well as Sea Change (2000) and the feature film Wolf Creek (2005). Another newcomer, a young Samuel Johnson (The Secret Life of Us (2004), Crackerjack (2002), The Illustrated Family Doctor (2005)), appears as Rocky in one of his earliest television roles. He later voiced the male hero, Prince Jobah, in the animated spin-off The New Adventures of Ocean Girl in 1999.