Top of the Lake (2013–2017)
2 user 12 critic

Paradise Sold 

In New Zealand's rugged and mountainous South Island, an unripe 12-year-old pregnant girl is found up to her chest in the lake's glacial waters. She is already five months pregnant, moreover, she keeps the father's name to herself.




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jacqueline Joe ... Tui
Dra McKay Dra McKay ... Delia (as Dra Mckay)
Luke Buchanan ... Jamie
Philippa Archibald Philippa Archibald ... Nurse
Jay Ryan ... Mark
Kip Chapman ... Luke
Erica Englert Erica Englert ... Narelle
Peter Mullan ... Matt
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Bunny (as Genevieve Lemon)
Robyn Malcolm ... Anita
Holly Hunter ... GJ
Alison Bruce ... Anne-Marie
Sarah Valentine ... Prue
Skye Wansey ... Grishina
Griz Pomirska Griz Pomirska ... The Naked Lady


Tui, a 12 year old girl, walks into a remote mountain lake on New Zealand's South Island as if to drown herself. She's pregnant and she's the daughter of Matt, a tough guy who leads what's probably a criminal gang. A police detective, Robin Griffin, who has her own history with the lake, investigates Tui's plight. We also meet a collective who are establishing a make-shift lakeside retreat for damaged women over Matt's objections and claims they are trespassing. Written by <>

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Did You Know?


The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries or Movie. See more »


When Tui arrives at the ladies' settlement, she sits on the other end of the container 'room' from GJ, but when GJ stands to light a cigarette, she drops Tui's dog into her lap and she is sitting directly across from GJ. See more »


GJ: You've got a time bomb in there. It's going to go off. Are you ready, kid?
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Alternate Versions

Originally shot and screened in countries such as Australia and the UK as 6 episodes. In the US, the Sundance Channel airing was re-edited into 7 shorter parts. See more »


Opening Credits
Written by Mark Bradshaw
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User Reviews

Really disappointing
17 March 2016 | by markfranhSee all my reviews

Jane Campion must live in a depressing world where all women are victims of male brutality as that is the way this first episode came across.

Tui is a victim. That is made clear 5 minutes into the episode.

All the women in the container camp are victims. That is the point of their being there after all.

Robin's mother is a victim in a violent relationship where she makes excuses for the behaviour of her partner.

Even late in the episode, we find out (no surprise by now) that even Robin is a victim at some time in her past.

The men in this episode are -- with only one exception -- all total jerks capable of violence and disgusting behaviour with little provocation. No need to go into details as this is self-evident from watching.

The one exception was the character Johno. And by his own admission he is only now the way is his for getting all the badness out of his system after spending 8 years in a Thai prison.

Apparently until men are locked up for 8 years they are all violent insensitive beasts looking for any excuse to assault the female of the species.

There is one amusing twist to this. One of the women at the camp recounts a story where she is the victim of a bad relationship in which she ends up showing a scar where her partner bit her. Her partner? A chimpanzee obviously. I don't recall that it was specified but no doubt the chimpanzee was male.

My wife and I discussed this episode and decided we didn't want any part of this world so have decided not to bother with the rest of the series. The scenery and cinematography are great, as you'd expect. However, we live a few hours drive from Queenstown where the series was filmed so will content ourselves with visiting the venue rather than having to sit through another 7 hours of this depressing world that Campion is portraying.

Sorry, it's just not for us.

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Release Date:

18 March 2013 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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