Top of the Lake
|Top of the Lake|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6 (7 on Sundance)|
|Location(s)||Queenstown, New Zealand|
|Running time||60 minutes (45 on Sundance)|
|Production company(s)||See-Saw Films
|Original channel||Sundance Channel|
|First shown in||United States|
|Original run||March 18, 2013– April 22, 2013|
Top of the Lake is a 2013 television miniseries written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, and directed by Campion and Garth Davis. It marks Campion's first work for television since An Angel at My Table in 1990. Filmed and set in New Zealand, the drama series follows a detective (Elisabeth Moss) investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl. Top of the Lake was co-produced by BBC Two in the UK, UKTV in Australia/NZ, and Sundance Channel in the United States.
- 1 Cast
- 2 Production
- 3 Release
- 4 Sundance Premiere Episodes
- 5 Six Episodes
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
- 8 External links
- Elisabeth Moss as Det. Robin Griffin, a Sydney police inspector returning to her remote New Zealand hometown of Laketop, facing the crimes surrounding the pregnancy and disappearance of a local 12-year-old girl.
- David Wenham as Det. Al Parker, the oldschool and well-liked head of the local police station, who also helms a café where juvenile offenders are given a second chance.
- Peter Mullan as Matt Mitcham, head of the Mitcham family. The informal leader of the town, feared by the townspeople, but with a complex inner life.
- Thomas M. Wright as Johnno Mitcham, Matt's estranged youngest son, and Robin's highschool sweetheart. He recently returned to Laketop after serving a decade in prison for drug-possession.
- Holly Hunter as GJ, an androgynous spiritual leader, arriving at Laketop with a group of troubled women, who hope GJ and Laketop will help them rediscover themselves.
- Kip Chapman and Jay Ryan as Luke and Mark Mitcham, Matt's brute sons.
- Jacqueline Joe as Tui Mitcham, Matt's 12-year-old daughter who disappears after it is discovered that she is pregnant.
- Robyn Nevin as Jude Griffin, Robin's mother, suffering from cancer.
- Calvin Tuteao as Turangi, Jude's caring maori boyfriend.
Actress Jennifer Ehle auditioned for the role of GJ, which went to Holly Hunter. Jane Campion originally offered the role of Robin to Anna Paquin, who had worked with her before on The Piano. Paquin declined due to her pregnancy.
The series was originally intended as a co-production with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but the network pulled their funding when American-born Elisabeth Moss was cast in the lead role. Australian-based channel UKTV, wholly owned by BBC Worldwide, filled the funding gap left by the ABC. Philippa Campbell was the New Zealand-based producer.
Filming took eighteen weeks and was shot entirely on location in Queenstown and Glenorchy in New Zealand. While Queenstown is referred to during the series, Glenorchy doubles as the fictitious town of Lake Top. The scenes in the women's commune were filmed at Moke Lake.
Series co-creator Jane Campion says that Top of the Lake comes to a distinct ending and there will not be additional seasons.
The series first screened in its entirety at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January 2013. Sundance screened the miniseries as a seven-hour program with one intermission and one lunch break. It was the first miniseries ever screened at Sundance. It was additionally shown at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.
Sundance Premiere Episodes
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||Sundance Channel premiere|
|1||"Episode 1"||Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||March 18, 2013|
|In the small town of Laketop, New Zealand, a young girl named Tui Mitcham tries to drown herself in a lake. After she is rescued, a school nurse notices that Tui is pregnant. Robin Griffin, a police inspector from Sydney, is called to interview Tui at the police station.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Garth Davis with Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||March 18, 2013|
|Robin encounters two women from Paradise. They tell her Tui was with them the day before she disappeared, but was gone in the morning. Robin organizes the local authorities to search for Tui. During the search, Robin walks into the lake and has a vision of Tui doing the same, clenching her fists in the water.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Garth Davis||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||March 25, 2013|
|Matt Mitcham goes to Paradise and sits in on a session with GJ, the enigmatic leader of the camp. In a mocking tone, Matt asks the group about the human mind. GJ tells Matt that the human mind schemes. Later, Al meets Matt in the middle of the lake in for a secret meeting.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Garth Davis with Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||April 1, 2013|
|Robin has dinner at Al's ultramodern, clean house. Robin tells Al she thinks Tui's note, that said "no one", really means there are multiple rapists. Al tells Robin that she is getting too involved in the Tui case, likely because of her own personal rape history.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Jane Campion with Garth Davis||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||April 8, 2013|
|Robin asks Johnno what he wanted to tell her about the night she was raped. Johnno describes how he heard Robin screaming and he peed himself. He says he found a latch to get out of the dog cage in the back of the truck, but was too afraid to try to stop the men from raping her.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Garth Davis with Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||April 15, 2013|
|Robin reveals to Johnno that she plans to make a case against Matt Mitcham, in hopes of encouraging Tui to come home. Robin refers to a type of "rape" drug that she suspects Matt manufactures. Johnno warns Robin against pursuing this path as Matt's drug business provides much of the town with a livelihood.|
|7||"Episode 7"||Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||April 15, 2013|
|Robin goes to work, at the police station, the next day and tells Al that Matt said he was her father. Matt, certain that Tui could not be pregnant, searches for and finds her with her newborn baby. As he is about to kill the baby, Tui appears and kills Matt. As the final twist, Robin discovers Sgt Parker has been providing young girls, including Tui, to other men for sex.|
|#||Title||Directed by||Written by||BBC2 UK premiere|
|1||"Paradise Sold"||Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||July 13, 2013|
|Tui's pregnancy is discovered, and the Paradise community moves in.|
|2||"Searchers Search"||Garth Davis||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||July 20, 2013|
|Robin's search for Tui begins.|
|3||"The Edge of the Universe"||Garth Davis||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||July 27, 2013|
|Robin makes a breakthrough. Over dinner at Al's place he warns her about her past being known.|
|4||"A Rainbow Above Us"||Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||August 3, 2013|
|Robin thrown off the case. Her passionate affair with Johnno intensifies.|
|5||"The Dark Creator"||Garth Davis||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||August 10, 2013|
|Robin is back on the case, Matt gathers troops to hunt Tui down. Tui's friends celebrate her birthday in the mountains.|
|6||"No Goodbyes Thanks"||Jane Campion||Jane Campion & Gerard Lee||August 17, 2013|
|Matt reveals his secret about Robin and the investigation concludes.|
Reviews of Top of the Lake have been positive, referring to the series as "masterfully made", "beautiful", "mysterious", "riveting" and "a masterpiece". It received a score of 86 out of 100 from Metacritic and a score of 93 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. There were some less positive reviews. Mike Hale of the New York Times wrote that the series contains "elaborately introduced plotlines" most of which simply "fizzle out" and that it contains "the worst kind of twist ending". That said, "Top of the Lake" has also been lauded by feminist critics for its explicit effort to analyse rape culture  as well as its radical construction of narratives entirely foregrounding the experiences of single women.
Awards and nominations
|2014||Best Telefeature, Mini Series or Short Run Series||Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jane Campion and Philippa Campbell||Won|
|Best Direction in a Drama or Comedy||Garth Davis for "The Dark Creator"||Nominated|
|Best Guest or Supporting Actor in a Television Drama||Peter Mullan||Nominated|
|Best Guest or Supporting Actress in a Television Drama||Robyn Nevin||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography in Television||Adam Arkapaw for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Won|
|Best Sound in Television||Richard Flynn, Tony Vaccher, John Dennison, Craig Butters, Danny Longhurst and Blair Slater, for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Won|
|Best Original Music Score in Television||Mark Bradshaw, for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Nominated|
|Best Production Design in Television||Fiona Crombie for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design in Television||Emily Seresin for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Nominated|
|Best Editing in Television||Scott Gray for Episode 5: "The Dark Creator"||Nominated|
|Best Movie/Miniseries Actress||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor||Peter Mullan||Nominated|
|Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor||David Wenham||Nominated|
|Best Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actor||Thomas M. Wright||Nominated|
|2013||Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Outstanding Miniseries or Movie||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie||Peter Mullan||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special||Jane Campion, Garth Davis||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special||Jane Campion, Gerard Lee||Nominated|
|Creative Arts Emmy Awards|
|Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie||Episode: "Part 1"||Won|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or Movie||Episode: "Part 5"||Nominated|
|2014||Best Miniseries or Television Film||—||Nominated|
|Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|Best Actor - Miniseries||Peter Mullan||Won|
|Best Actress - Miniseries||Elisabeth Moss||Won|
|2014||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Elisabeth Moss||Nominated|
|2014||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Holly Hunter||Nominated|
Best Television Feature or Drama Series (won)
2013 Screen Producers Australia Awards
Drama Television Production of the Year (won)
- "Top of the Lake and Two Mothers selected for the Sundance Film Festival" (Press release). Screen Australia. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "BBC Two - Top of the Lake". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- "Elisabeth Moss, 'Top of the Lake' interview", Vulture
- "No funding from ABC for Top of the Lake after it learned Mad Men actress Elisabeth Moss was in cast". Daily Telegraph. News. 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "David Wenham: "Top of the Lake is ABC's loss"". TV Tonight. David Knox. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Gone Girl: Inside ‘Top of the Lake,’ Jane Campion’s gritty new thriller". Daily Beast. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- Yuan, Jada (2014-02-12). "Sundance: Campion’s Seven-Hour Top of the Lake". Vulture. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- "Top of the Lake: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "UKTV Announces Air Date For Top Of The Lake". Foxtel. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Jane Campion: Lady of the lake". NZ Herald. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Seitz on Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: A Police Procedural, Masterfully Made". Vulture. 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "Review: Jane Campion's 'Top of the Lake' mysterious, beautiful". Los Angeles Times. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "David Bianculli's Take on Jane Campion's New TV Drama: Top of the Lake". NPR Fresh Air. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "Top of the Lake – first look review". The Guardian UK. 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "A View from the Top: A Review of Sundance Channel and UKTV's Top of the Lake". Joe Hubris. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "Review: Jane Campion's 'Top of the Lake' a riveting long-form mystery". Hitfix. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "Pregnant Girl Vanishes, and Story Lines Fork". The New York Times. 2013-03-17. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
- "Top of the Lake: A Non-Watered Down Depiction of Rape Culture". Ms. Magazine Blog. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Can We Talk About How Damn Good Top of the Lake Is". Jezebel. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "The 2013 Winners of the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- "Goalpost Pictures Awarded Media Super Production Business of the Year". Screen Producers Australia. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
- Sundance Channel Page
- BBC Programmes Page
- Top of the Lake at the Internet Movie Database
- Top of the Lake at Rotten Tomatoes
- Top of the Lake at Metacritic