Neri is a 13 year old friendly extraterrestrial from Ocean Planet/Planet of the Oceans, although she has been living on an uninhabited jungle island on Earth (known as 'Opal Planet' to her people) for several years. She has a younger sister called Mera and is of royal descent on her planet. Her name is derived from the word 'Nerida', which is Greek for "sea nymph".
She has a great respect for nature - in particular having a strong bond with a Humpback whale (called Charley) that saved her when she was younger. She has also learned how to make natural medicines.
Like her people, she appears physically human in appearance but has many abilities. These include having superhuman powers such as lung capacity, strength, hearing and healing capability. She is able to swim to great depths, can 'see' things even when blindfolded and can sense danger. However, her most notable power is something called 'The Gift', which is a very rare power (even among her people) that can be used to harness the powers of the universe to help bring harmony and peace. It is mainly used for healing, as she used it to save Brett from the brink of death. It also allows Neri to telepathically communicate with Charley - to the point of been able to 'see through his eyes' (regardless of how far away he is).
Despite her amazing powers, Neri does have her weaknesses. Neri must have sunlight to stay in good health, as well as keep well hydrated otherwise she will get sick. If this separation from both sunlight and hydration was prolonged, it would eventually result in her death.
In regards to how she is, Neri appears to have a mixed personailty. She is kind and feisty, sometimes appearing wise beyond her age, while other times she is like a lost and bewildered child. Due to her upbringing, she is strong-willed and independent - althought this unintentionally means she can be abrasive due to having lived doing what she wants without social restrictions. She is willing to fight for what she believes, and - although been told to hide away from the 'outsiders' by her father before he died - she shows curiosity of the world beyond her island home after meeting Jason and Brett.
She is portrayed in the series by Marzena Godecki.
Arrival on EarthEditNeri first arrived on Earth with her father, sister and other 'shipmates' during a search for planets to colonise. Their ship crashed, however, with Mera placed in a pod that was set adrift while Neri and her father ended up on a deserted island. The other shipmates either perished in the crash or died due to illness and injury. Neri's father taught her to live on the island. During the days, Neri would help her father find food and wood to make fire. At night, he would sing to her and tell her stories. As she got older, however, she forgot what the stories were about. Her father also taught her to respect nature as well as how to live on the island - including teaching her many other things such as which plants were edible and how to make medicines among other knowledges she would need.
One day when she was young, she was playing too close to the cliffs while flying a kite she or her father had made out of twigs and other materials. Falling off the cliff, she landed in the ocean - with her nearly dying (presumably due to not been able to swim). This event, however, triggered her 'gift' - with a male humpback whale sensing her distress and coming to her rescue. Since then, Neri has formed a strong bond with the Humpback Whale - which she later named Jali (her people's word for Whale). After she had learned how to swim, she would swim with him everyday.
Many years later, however, her father became very sick - with him warning Neri of the outside world beyond their island. He explained to her that the 'outsiders' would not understand her and warned her of the things they would do if they ever found her (telling her to hide if they ever came and that Jali would take care of her). He later passed away (known to Neri as 'moving on') - leaving her on her own with Jali and the island animals been her only companionship.
First Meetings and New FriendshipEditHer first meeting with the outsiders would soon occur, however. In the Pacific Ocean, an underwater marine research facility known as ORCA (Oceanic Research Centre of Australia) was set up to study the marine life on and around the Great Barrier Reef. Among its inhabitants were Dianne Bates (who was studying humpback whales) and her two sons Jason and Brett. Brett, the younger of the two, was happy been on ORCA and enjoyed it. Jason, however, was less then happy as he had to leave behind his friends, his home and his possessions - as well as not getting to see his dad Paul (who his mum had divorced after she found out he was cheating on her with a woman from his workplace).
Hoping to get away from ORCA quickly, Jason decided to help her to do her work - starting with him learning how to use a crossbow so her could help her tag a lone male humpback whale (with the hope of studying its song and brainwaves to learn how Whales communicate). On the day, Jason, Brett, Dianne and her colleague Dr Winston Seth took out a boat and followed the whale. Unbeknown to them, the whale was Jali. Seeing through Jali's eyes and thinking Jason was going to hurt him, Neri swam out to the boat. When Jali surfaced and Jason prepared to fire the tag, Neri surfaced and shouted at Jason to stop - much to his shock. Neri dived back underwater before Dianne ran out and took the shot herself - succeeding in tagging the whale. Although Jason claims to have seen the girl in the water, his mother refused to believe him - thinking he was deliberately trying to sabotage the mission. Angered, Jason stated to Brett that he would find the girl again - no matter how long it took.
Neri's next encounter would be with Brett, who (along with two of his friends) had played a trick on a new girl called Vanessa. Angered and learning he was checking out a boat on the surface, Vanessa untied the rope that secured the boat to the dock. With the boat been automated with no steering wheel and under repair, Brett is unable to control it and ends up stuck in the middle of the ocean after running out of fuel, as a tropical storm rolls in. Surviving the storm, Brett wakes up the next day on an island and goes ashore - drinking some water and eating berries that he finds. However, the berries are very poisonous and cause Brett to pass out.
When Neri later returned after fishing underwater and came across the boat, she checked out the island and found Brett - quickly realising he'd eaten the 'bad berries' and made a natural medicine to cure him Neri told him to drink it or he would 'go away forever' - meaning he would die. She then told him her name was Neri when he asked her, as he realised she was the same girl that Jason had seen. Later seeing through Jali's eyes, Neri saw ships searching for Brett. Putting him back in the boat and making him promise not to tell anyone about her, Neri pushed the boat back out to sea - with Brett later been recovered. Despite his promise, he did tell Jason about Neri - with the two promising to keep it between themselves. In order to try and find Neri again, Jason tried and suceeded to get a boating license.
After acquiring his boating license, Jason's first job was to deal with an illegal underwater driftnet that was trapping wildlife - with Jason taking Brett with him so they could talk in private. Neri later learned of the net also after Jali came across it - with her swimming out to it and trying to cut through it using a shell. In the process, however, Neri got her leg tangled in the net and accidentally dropped the shell - with her stuck underwater and unable to free herself. When Jason and Brett arrived and started doing their job, Brett pointed out seeing bubbles coming from underwater and convinced Jason to check it out in case it was a trapped animal. To his surprise, Jason found Neri underwater and used his knife to cut her free.
Meeting back with him and Brett on the surface, Neri accused both of them of hurting her friends - referring to the animals caught in the net and Jali - but the boys convinced her otherwise, with Jason asking about seeing her island as he did save her from drowning due to been stuck in the net. Neri replies that she will talk to Jali about it and reply to them the next day at noon at the same place. When the boys meet her the next day, she happily says that Jali (who the boys think is called 'Charley') has said yes and leads the two boys to her island - where the trio have fun together (despite Jason and her having to save Brett from quicksand when he wonders off to explore). When the boys go to leave (learning that Charley is the humpback whale that Dianne tagged), Neri tells both of them not to bring any more people to her island - making them promise. Back on ORCA, both boys agree to keep Neri a secret - with Jason believing they will have some 'great times' ahead.
In the time that followed, Neri grew to trust Jason and Brett more - with her warning Jason of an earthquake before it happened (although when jason was questionned how he knew it was going to happen afterward, he claimed it was because the fish were acting oddly - to which Dianne confirmed the humpback whale they were monitoring was acting strange too). Meeting with Neri on her island by himself, Jason reveals some of his life regarding his mum and dad splitting up due to his dad having an affair - with Neri learning about crying (something she had never seen before). In turn, Neri told him about what little of her past she remembered - including the day she was rescued by Charley when she was a little girl. Talking to Brett later about his conversations with Neri, Jason puts forward his belief that she has a telepathic link with Charley (especially since during the day, Neri saved him from a shark that Charley had seen swimming towards them).
A new issue soon arose, however, when a pair of property developers arrived at ORCA - explaining how they planned to turn one of the unihabited islands into a tourist resort with a Hotel and golf course among other things. Jason volunteered to go with them as a tour guide after realising the island they had chosen was Neri's island - lying that he had been scouting the island some time back. Brett warned Jason that Neri would be furious at Jason for others arriving on the island, but Jason explained it was the only way to warn Neri in advance as he had been banned from using the boats. Not long after arriving on the island, and as Brett predicted, Neri angrily confronted Jason - thinking he had broken his promise about not bringing others. However, Jason convinces her that the men were coming anyway and that he has come to help stop them building on the island.
Believing him, Neri and Jason begin to work together to scare the developers away - including Neri throwing a beehive at them, putting a snake in their tent, Jason going missing at night, creating eerie noises, etc. The plan works, with the developers deciding that the island is not the paradise they thought it was - been more than happy to get away from the island and never to come back. Neri, however, had gained a new interest about the world beyond her island following her encounter with the developers and talks to Jason about seeing where he lives - although Jason refuses for the time being and returns to ORCA with the developers on their helicopter. When asked about where he went by his mum and ORCA's commander, he lied by claiming that he must have sleep-walked.
Some time later, however, Neri would eventually head to ORCA anyway - although her reason was due to concern. Charley had been poisoned by a chemical called Chyolem - which severely affects an animal's nervous system. The toxin had come from four barrels of the chemical having accidentally falling off a ship after breaking loose during heavy seas (with one at least cut open on its side and spilling its contents into the water). Swimming to ORCA, Neri managed to get Jason's help, with Jason marking the co-ordinates of the spill while Neri drew a picture of the logo that was printed on the barrels (which Jason recognised as been the same logo as a mining company called Zenco - who was in the process of forming a partnership with ORCA).
Although Charley was able to recover from the poison due to his thick skin and the sea water flushing away all the remaining residue through his system, Neri had also been poisoned as a result of swimming in the spill and began to feel the effects herself - with her skin becoming discoloured at first. Thankfully, Jason was able to help Neri using a bottle of Antitoxin scrub to counter the poison - with Neri been cured faster then Jason thought. Zenco, meanwhile, were shown up at a PR meeting between them and ORCA as several of the children recovered one of the barrels and placed it in the meeting - with Zenco later paying for the damages caused and cleaning up the barrels. Meeting Brett and Jason on the ORCA dock, Neri thanked them for helping her and Charley before again asking if she could come to ORCA and see inside, to which Jason reluctantly agreed that it would be soon.
In order to help get Neri prepared for coming inside ORCA, the boys managed to get a fake ID and day pass for her as well as stealing a uniform for her to wear (unbeknowingly stealing a new uniform belonging to Vanessa) - although Brett planned to make Neri's tour of ORCA boring so that she want to leave quickly. Meeting her outside on the dock, they give her the uniform to change into - with Neri hiding while she changes into the uniform (although she does complain about wearing the boots as she is used to been barefoot). Almost immediatley when heading into ORCA, she is amazed by the littlest things that the boys are used to - such as her listening to a water pipe as she can 'hear the ocean' through it. When anyone asks about her, the boys lie and say she is a cleaner who has started recently to come in on a day pass.
Upon her request, the boys show Neri their room as well as their mother's room, before taking her for some food to eat - although Vanessa takes an interest in Neri after seeing she is wearing a new uniform. During their attempt to get away from Vanessa, Neri ends up seperated and wanders around ORCA by herself (briefly meeting Dianne in the process). The boys manage to find her in the Recreation room as Vanessa again confronts her, before managing to get her back to the dock - as the day pass users are called to return to reception before their departure from ORCA. Despite getting lost inside, Neri declares it was a good day. After getting changed back into her normal clothes, she says goodbye to the boys before leaving - with both Jason and Brett knowing she'll be coming back before long.
Sure enough, Neri kept returning to ORCA and enjoying her visits, even though it put Jason and Brett under strain as both worried she'd get caught. Soon, Neri again arrived at ORCA - this time on a day when many of the children onboard the underwater station were going on shore leave for the day, which included Jason and Brett. Realising they couldn't leave Neri at ORCA by herself, the boys took her on the boat with them to the Australian mainland, with Neri encountering more new discoveries - such as seeing kissing for the first time and watching a movie, although the movie wasn't a pleasant experience as Neri ended up running out of the cinema due to a scary scene.
Exploring the mainland, she watched a young boy get harassed by a trio of bullies - who take a bracelet from the boy that his mother made for him (it been special to him as his mother had passed away). Learning this from the young boy, she and him both headed to the shipping docks where the bullies were. Neri's first attempts at getting it back failed, as the bully's leader threw her into the water. However, while the leader taunts the boy by preparing to drop his bracelet into the water, Neri grabs it and throws it back to the boy before pulling the bully into the water. As the bully's friends try to pull him out, Neri shows her greater strength by pulling all three back into the water. Waving goodbye to the boy who she helped, Neri leaves with Jason and Brett (who have managed to find her). Returning to ORCA, Neri tries kissing for the first time by kissing Damien - one of Jason's friends - before later leaving and returning to her island (bringing with her a music box from the mainland that Jason bought for her).
Although the boys had tried to keep Neri a secret from their mother, that would soon end. New equipment that ORCA had received began to show a clearer image as well as picking up Neri's 'conversation' with Charley. Unfortunately during a meeting with Jan - a woman from the head bureau who states that what ORCA has found must be substantial as it's in the firing line for budget cuts - the tag on Charley malfunctions and stops transmitting. With the realisation that an equipment failure is all that would be needed to put her out of a job if ORCA loses its funding, Dianne decides to locate the whale and replace the tag as soon as possible as Jan will be soon leaving and needs a positive report. Heading out on a boat with Jason and Brett, Dianne and Dr Winston manage to attract the whale to them using the sounds they have recorded, with her and Jason diving together. As charley arrives, Jason gets back on the boat as his mum requested beforehand.
However, as Dianne tries to get close to Charley, she begins to suffer from nitrogen narcosis and passes out - dropping the replacement tag. Seeing through Charley's eyes, Neri sees she is in trouble and swims to her aid - managing to rescue Dianne, but revealing herself both to Dianne and Winston in the process. Talking to Neri later on her island, Jason and Brett thank Neri for saving their mum but also warn that the tag on Charley needs to be replaced otherwise Dianne will lose her job - which will mean that Jason and Brett will have to leave ORCA with her and won't see Neri again. However, if she does fix it, then Dianne and Winston will easily be able to locate her. Deciding to help due to her friendship with the boys, Neri locates the tag on the ocean floor and replaces it herself - saving Dianne's job, with Jan returning to head bureau with a positive review. However, having learned about Neri and the boy's friendship with her, Dianne tells them to bring her to ORCA in the morning - with the belief that what Neri can do could cut short their research by decades.
When Neri does arrive back at ORCA the next day, she is met by Dianne - who had been waiting for her to arrive. Thanking Neri for saving her life the previous day, Dianne convinces Neri to help her and Winston in their work in learning to communicate with Charley as well as learning what Neri's capabilities are by having her undergo numerous tests. From what they learn, Neri is capable of several 'superhuman' traits including her swimming speed, her hearing, the depth she can swim and her lung capacity. Despite Dianne's eagerness to learn more about Neri, Jason is forced to remind her that Neri is a person and not a specimen - adding that what attracted Neri to ORCA was the idea of been part of a family.
Following this, the two women become closer together, with Dianne convincing the commander to let Neri stay for a few more days (lying that Neri's mother is in hospital and that she has no relatives on the mainland). Although Neri states she doesn't mind the testing, both Jason and Brett agree that they must slow down the tests - with both boys comparing their mum to becoming like Doctor Frankenstein when she gets into her work. Brett, meanwhile, is distracted by hearing someone in the lab where Dianne and Winston work despite the door been locked - with Dianne and Winston's whale recordings been in the wrong order or some even missing. He and his friends try to catch the one responsible - a boy called Billy Nelson - but he escapes on one of the ORCA boats to the mainland, with him revealed to be an industrial spy for a rival organisation called UBRI; who want to capture Charley for study and learning how to communicate with him before the whale's migration begins.
During her stay at ORCA, Neri learns about dancing - with all the children been invited to a dance night on ORCA. However, both Jason and Brett begin to feel that Neri is changing as she is wanting to spend more time on ORCA helping Dianne with her tests and is staying away from Charley - with her having not gone back to her island for over a week. The boys go to her island again to try and have some fun, but both agree that without Neri it's too ordinary - with Neri making it seem more 'magical'. Neri also begins to miss Charley - especially after having a nightmare, but feels he can wait for her a little longer. During one test, Dianne and Winston find Neri has the ability to use echolocation - allowing her to see without her eyes been open. They also take a 'vital fluid' from her - which Winston checks over to see the results for.
Later, Dianne helps Neri prepare for the dance - including doing her hair and giving her a dress to wear, with Jason dancing with her on the night (impressed by her appearance). However, UBRI have managed to use the recordings that Billy stole to lure Charley into a bay before trapping him with an electrified fence. Hearing Charley's cries for her, Neri runs from the dance and returns to her island. However, due to Charley becoming weak from calling of her, she cannot hear him and doesn't know where he is. Jason blames his mum for what happened, although Neri blames herself for 'staying too long in Jason and Brett's world'. Another issue soon occurs as the Commander confronts Dianne and Winston over Neri as he has been looking through their research - now knowing about her.
Trying to help Neri locate Charley using the scanning equipment, Winston and Dianne push it to the limit and manage to get a brief fix on Charley, learning he is around 80km southwest of ORCA - although the equipment shorts out as a result. Relaying the information to Neri, she swims out and locates Charley but cannot free him as he is trapped behind the electrified net. Returning to the boys and explaining what she has found out, Jason and Brett decide the only option is to get the rest of the kids at ORCA to help out. Getting the group together and telling them about Neri, the kids all agree to help out. Meanwhile, due to the Commander stating he will be making a report to his superiors about Neri and following Winston's advice, Dianne makes a tough decision and deletes all the information she has gathered on her - essentially making it look like Neri had never existed.
On the day, the children - led to Charley's location by Neri - each take a different position; two groups waiting to detach the net and one group (led by Jason) to distract UBRI's staff and turn off the electrical charge, while Neri waits outside the net. Inside, UBRI staff are planning to insert a brain probe into Charley before he gets any weaker - scrambling both a helicopter and several boats to do so. However, the children manage to distract the staff and trap them. Confronting Billy Nelson, he admits he never intended for Charley to be harmed and helps the children turn off the electrical charge to the net. Following this, the other two groups detach the net - freeing Charley. As the UBRI Helicopter tries to prevent Charley's escape, Neri and Charley both dive down and escape - with the children celebrating before returning to ORCA.
Following Dianne's deletion of Neri's files, the Commander tells her he won't be filing his report as he has nothing to go on. Winston, meanwhile, reveals the results of Neri's blood test to Dianne and the boys - with it revealing that Neri isn't human and that her blood contains certain DNA structures never before seen on Earth. Although Dianne wonders where Neri really came from considering the results, Jason declares it doesn't matter - with the boys, Dianne and Winston going to see Neri on her island. Once there, Neri states she will be leaving for a while to go with Charley on his migration. Although Dianne is reluctant to let her go, she does - with Neri referring to her as 'mother' as she says goodbye. Giving each of them a hug with the exception of Jason (who she kisses to say goodbye), Neri - crying for the first time - heads off to join Charley, although she tells them to watch for her for when she comes back.
Family HistoryEditWith the Humpback Whales returning from migration and the realisation that both Charley and Neri will be among them, Jason and Brett head to her island to clean up for her. During their visit, however, Brett finds an unusual metal object inside one of the flowers and keeps hold of it for the time being. At the same time, the boys are forced to deal with the arrival of a new female commander called Commander Burns and some new kids (including the Commander's son, Mick, who is almost immediatley hated by all the kids due to his personality and ego) as well as a new captain - Captain Sam Phillips - who is only working at ORCA on a short term contract for the money so he can buy a new boat. Meanwhile at UBRI, Dr Hellengren - the leader of the organisation - heads out in a helicopter to try and find Charley to lure him back again (believing there is something special about Charley in particular). However, his mission fails as his helicopter's engine explodes and causes it to crash into the sea. Dr Hellengren makes it onto a life raft, but UBRI's search for him also cannot locate his position.
Neri returns soon after. Seeing through Charley's eyes, she sees Dr Hellengren in trouble as he is dehydrating from been stuck out in the sun on the raft. Swimming out to him, she brings him some fresh water to drink. However, seeing as she has seemingly come out of nowhere, Dr Hellengren grabs her and ties her wrists to his to prevent her escaping. Talking to her to try and learn about her, she refuses to answer him and slwoly works on freeing herself. When a search and rescue boat deployed by ORCA gets close to their position, Charley rams the liferaft while Neri - who has managed to free herself - disappears into the water. Upon his return to UBRI following his rescue, Dr Hellengren (despite the skeptism of his colleagues) declares that what he saw was real and that he will find the girl again while their work continues as usual. At ORCA, the new commander has put a ban on using boats until further review, but Jason and Brett are able to get around it by using waverunners (which have not been banned) and head to Neri's island - happily reuniting with her. Following the discovery made previously about Neri not been human, Neri states she is ready to find out more about her heritage - with Jason and Brett agreeing to help.
Heading to ORCA, Neri reunites with her family and friends onboard - with Dianne showing Neri a new idea they've been working on; making a 'dictionary' of sorts with Charley's singing been matched up to meanings in the hope of moving a step closer to human/whale communication. Not long after, Neri returns to the island with Jason and Brett to search for clues - with Brett remembering the metal object he found in one of the flowers and giving it to her - with Neri stating it as been an amulet that belonged to her father and that he must have put it in the plant before he died. Checking the object over with HELEN (ORCA's computer), HELEN declares that the object shape matches the shape of Neri's island - which intigues Jason as to how Neri's father knew the exact shape of the island. Helen also points out there is a deliberately placed indent on the object - with the boys realising that Neri's father has left a trail for her to follow.
At UBRI, Dr Hellengren becomes intrigued when observing the tapes of Charley and noticing another creature swimming alongside him every time - bringing a computer expert called Parker Forsyth to UBRI to enhance the video files and find out what the other creature is. Back on the island, Neri, Jason and Vanessa reach the area marked on the object and find several symbols; realising they read as "Look for water where no whale swims and look for an arrow". Seeing this, Neri realises it means the water coming from the 'Badlands' area of her island, where she herself has not gone. Back on ORCA, Mick locks a boy called Rocky in the recompression chamber as a practical joke - with Brett and his friends finding him just in time. Although the kids tell Commander Burns about what Mick had done, she refuses to believe them.
Meanwhile, HELEN analyses the symbols Vanessa wrote down and states there are two writing formats; the first a pictogram type similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics, while the second is a form of script that is unrecorded in HELEN's memory banks. As such, she is unable to read it as it doesn't equate with any known dialect - further confusing the group as to Neri's origins, although Jason has a basic theory that Neri and her father didn't come from Earth. When the group join Neri to search the Badlands, they find the arrow drawn across several rocks and follow it to the beach. On the beach, Neri seemingly begins to remember and begins to dig in the sand - with the group finding something large and metal underneath. Checking in the water, Neri finds it goes under the rocks and into the ocean, while the rest of the gang find it stretches across the beach - making it too big to be an aeroplane. Piecing together all that they've found out including the results of Neri's vital fluids, the amulet, the symbols and now the object under the sand, Jason realises that his theory is correct and tells it to Neri - that the object under the sand is a spaceship and that she is an alien.
Ocean Girl/Ocean Odyssey - TV Series (4 Seasons)