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Obsessed with the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl near a freezing lake in New Zealand, a brave detective will find herself up against small-town secrets and a side of herself that was meticulously kept at bay.
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 14 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Robin Griffin (13 episodes, 2013-2017)
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 Al Parker (8 episodes, 2013-2017)
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 Matt (7 episodes, 2013)
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 Johnno (7 episodes, 2013)
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 Grishina (7 episodes, 2013)
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 Bunny (7 episodes, 2013)
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 Anita (7 episodes, 2013)
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 Luke (7 episodes, 2013-2017)
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 Tui (7 episodes, 2013-2017)
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 Pyke / ... (7 episodes, 2013-2017)
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 Miranda Hilmarson (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Mary (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Prue (6 episodes, 2013)
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 Zena (6 episodes, 2013)
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 Adrian Butler (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Mark (6 episodes, 2013)
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 Alexander 'Puss' (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Anne-Marie (6 episodes, 2013)
Angjee Douangphoumy ...
 Joy (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Mandy (6 episodes, 2013)
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 GJ (6 episodes, 2013)
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 Melissa (6 episodes, 2013)
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 Sinn (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Officer Pete (6 episodes, 2013)
Elaine Crombie ...
 Bev (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Caramel (6 episodes, 2017)
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 Julia (6 episodes, 2017)
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Storyline

In New Zealand's rugged and mountainous South Island, Tui Mitcham, a 12-year-old pregnant girl, has been missing in a vast area near a lake with glacial waters. She is already five months pregnant, moreover, she keeps the father's name to herself. For this reason, Sydney's brave, yet inexperienced Detective Robin Griffin who specialises in crimes against minors comes to her rescue, returning reluctantly back to her hometown and her well-hidden past. Inevitably, this alarming and mysterious case of disappearance will bring the determined detective up against long-lost acquaintances, and eventually, innocent Tui's uninvolved father Matt who has earned quite an unholy reputation in the region. In the end, as Robin gets gradually obsessed with solving the obscure case, her investigation will shortly lead her to a recovery camp led by the enigmatic sexagenarian silver-haired guru GJ, and a side of herself, that up until now, was meticulously kept at bay. Written by Nick Riganas

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One day, we won't be able to close our eyes anymore. See more »


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TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 March 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Top of the Lake: China Girl  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

First collaborative reunion of writer-director Jane Campion and Holly Hunter since The Piano (1993) twenty years earlier. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Beautiful Place Full of Horrible Men
3 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've been looking at the reviews of this mini-series, and I feel most of the negative ones are from people who simply wanted a very different show. There are inexplicable comparisons with Twin Peaks and complaints about the quality of the mystery, as though this is a series in which the central mystery is the selling point.

It's not a classic mystery story, but neither is it meant to be (and neither was Twin Peaks, so when people complain it's not a good mystery "like Twin Peaks" I am profoundly puzzled). Instead it is the exploration of a created world. The story is shambling, with odd strings that seem untethered, but so is life. Yes, you could strip out Holly Hunter's brilliant performance as a down-to-earth guru, toss out Robin's mother, toss out all sorts of things, and you could have a short, standard mystery, but why would you want to do that?

Top of the Lake is a fascinating look at a brutal, beautiful world. The beauty comes from the landscape, the brutality from the men, who are remarkably awful. I can see why some people would complain about a show where almost every man is a monster, except for a couple of crazy ones and one passably nice guy. It doesn't bother me, but it's the one criticism I've read that I wouldn't argue against.

The show is not about the mystery but about character. There is enough mystery and plot to keep that part involving, but this is more about Robin's inner struggles and outer determination and passion than anything else.

I wish more of the reviewers here talked about the mini-series that exists instead of the one they wanted.


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