'A 12-year-old girl is found chest deep in the freezing waters of a South Island lake. She's five months pregnant and when asked who the father is she insists: "No one". Then she disappears. Detective Robin Griffin's obsessive search for Tui unravels both Robin and the compromised town of Laketop.' (Source: Screen Australia. Sighted: 13/6/2013)
'Top of the Lake Season Two: China Girl is a crime mystery story concerning the unidentified body of an Asian girl that washes up on to Sydney's Bondi Beach. The case seems hopeless, until detective Robin Griffin discovers that China Girl didn't die alone.' (Source: Daily Life. Sighted: 24/3/2016)
Award-winning and individually published episodes are indexed on AustLit.
The opening episode of the series.Sydney London : See Saw Films , 2013
'The twenty-first century has seen an increase in scholarly interest in the discursive construction of women film practitioners, yet much of this literature focusses on women at the younger- or middle-aged ends of the spectrum, leaving the positioning of older women directors unexamined. Taking Jane Campion as an important case study, this paper explores how Campion is depicted in critical discourses including journalistic responses from Cannes, comments by female industry peers, her self-construction in interviews, and via the television show Top of the Lake, with its unique focus on themes of women and aging. While there is consistency within each discourse in which Campion is situated, each emphasises different facets of Campion’s career. This article explores counter-discourses around aging as uttered by Campion and as apparent in Top of the Lake and provides evidence of an intensified biographical focus in critical commentary from this stage of Campion’s career. While not definitively attributable to Campion’s biological age, the critical recourse to biography may be enabled by the sheer longevity of Campion’s career and many decades in the public eye. Taken together, these constructions of ‘Campion’ are contradictory, however many succeed in putting pressure on hegemonic notions of gender and aging.' (Publication abstract)
'This article examines the role that locality, cultural specificity and authentic voice play within current television industry shifts and transnational developments. Focussing on Top of the Lake, I explore its thematic and aesthetic preoccupation with place, voice and nation by spotlighting issues of accent and vocal in/authenticity, detailing the controversy sparked when US star Elisabeth Moss was cast as New Zealand native, detective Robin Griffin. The adopted Antipodean accent furnished by Moss creates a highly ambivalent foregrounding and re-negotiation of the national within the particularly transnational space of post-broadcast ‘quality’ television. Presenting a ‘sonic spectacle’ (Holliday, Christopher. 2015. “The Accented American: The New Voices of British Stardom on US Television.” Journal of British Cinema and Television 12 (1): 63–82), Moss’ wobbly accent makes audiences doubly aware of the effort being expended to cue regional specificity and locale. In the following discussion, Moss’ vocal crafting in Top of the Lake is linked to the increasing importance given to authentic place and on-location shooting within post-broadcast television, as a means of fostering emotional pull and deep levels of viewer engagement. In Top of the Lake, links between place and authenticity are further interrogated via its self-aware invocation of touristic imagery and desires – made all the more nuanced due to Campion's presence as auteur and New Zealand's role as media-tourism mecca.' (Publication abstract)
'Jane Campion’s latest foray into television, while featuring admirable performances, sees the writer–director stray too far from what she does best. '
'Gwendoline Christie watched Top of the Lake four times before she finally summoned the courage to email the director, Jane Campion, pleading to be cast in the sequel. But first, she ran a draft past a friend: “If you read this and think I sound like an idiot, I won’t send it to Jane and we’ll never speak of it again,” she said.' (Introduction)
For series two, China Girl.
For series two, 'China Girl'.
For season two.