Top of the Lake (2013)

TV Mini-Series  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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When pregnant, 12-year-old Tui tries to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake, Detective Robin Griffin has plenty of questions for the girl. But when Tui suddenly disappears, Griffin finds herself knee-deep in small-town secrets.


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2   1  
2016   2013  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
 Robin (8 episodes, 2013-2016)
 Johnno (7 episodes, 2013)
 Matt (7 episodes, 2013)
 Al (7 episodes, 2013)
Skye Wansey ...
 Grishina (7 episodes, 2013)
Geneviève Lemon ...
 Bunny (7 episodes, 2013)
 Anita (7 episodes, 2013)
 GJ (7 episodes, 2013)
 Zena (6 episodes, 2013)
Kip Chapman ...
 Luke (6 episodes, 2013)
 Prue (6 episodes, 2013)
 Mark (6 episodes, 2013)
Alison Bruce ...
 Anne-Marie (6 episodes, 2013)
Lauren Dawes ...
 Mandy (6 episodes, 2013)
Georgi Kay ...
 Melissa (6 episodes, 2013)
Jacqueline Joe ...
 Tui (6 episodes, 2013)
 Officer Pete (6 episodes, 2013)
Calvin Tuteao ...
 Turangi (5 episodes, 2013)
Gavin Rutherford ...
 Officer Joy (5 episodes, 2013)
Oscar Redding ...
 Sarge (4 episodes, 2013)
 Jude (4 episodes, 2013)
Erica Englert ...
 Narelle (4 episodes, 2013)
Luke Buchanan ...
 Jamie (4 episodes, 2013)
 Simone (4 episodes, 2013)
Eddie Campbell ...
 Putty (4 episodes, 2013)
 Penguin (4 episodes, 2013)
 Terry (4 episodes, 2013)
Layne Opetaia ...
 Daniel (4 episodes, 2013)
Sam Dickson ...
 Jase (4 episodes, 2013)
James Blake ...
 Shotover (4 episodes, 2013)


When pregnant, 12-year-old Tui tries to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake, Detective Robin Griffin has plenty of questions for the girl. But when Tui suddenly disappears, Griffin finds herself knee-deep in small-town secrets.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No ordinary place. No ordinary crime.


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

18 March 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beршина озера  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation was set to co-produce and help fund the production but pulled out of its deal when Jane Campion cast American Elisabeth Moss in the lead role. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation had only agreed to help fund the project if an Australian or New Zealander was cast in the lead role. After they left the project, UKTV stepped in to co-produce and replace the lost funding. See more »


Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

4 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am drawn to movies and TV shows that get the Golden Globe, Oscar, and Emmy nominations. So when TOTL received 8 Emmy nominations, I wanted to see it. (I had never watched Sundance channel before...but will now!).

I was not disappointed with this mini-series. In fact, I loved it! I'm perplexed by the many negative reviews here, but to each his or her own. I'm wondering if most of the dislikes came from males as there were a lot of negative male stereotypes in this series. Having said that, I am male and I enjoyed TOTL very much.

I thought the acting and cinematography were amazing. What a beautiful country New Zealand appears to be! Having been a Mad Men fan from the beginning, I am also a huge Elisabeth Moss fan. She is superb here and I found myself constantly comparing her to Jodie Foster in Silence Of The Lambs (not a bad comparison!). Peter Mullan and David Wenham were also incredible and both gave chilling, creepy performances! Several people here said that the plot was predictable and slow. I have to disagree. Yes, the viewer could guess about some of the plot developments early on but until all is revealed, you are not sure what will happen or how each character is involved...and I loved that! The action is not fast paced but that allows each development (and there are many shocking ones!) to sink in. The viewer really does become part of this world.

I do understand the comments regarding Holly Hunter's character GJ and her compound. Although she and her female "campers" were not central to the plot, they did provide a support system for Tui and Robin throughout the series.

There were a couple of jaw-dropping moments that I cannot imagine anyone predicting. I do wish there was a little more resolution at the end (e.g., actual paternity of Robin), but I will assume that everything revealed about the three paternities is actually correct. I also wanted to know what happened to April Stevens. Was she going to turn Al and the boys in or was she pregnant and killed off by the group? However, in the end, I was satisfied and it truly was an outstanding mini-series.

I am glad I am not deciding who will win the Best Actress in a Mini-Series Emmy because I am torn between Moss, Jessica Lange in American Horror Story: Asylum, and Laura Linney in The Big C: Hereafter. It would be nice to see Moss win a richly-deserved Emmy for TOTL or Mad Men!

19 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Male Characters and Appeal to Male Viewers. JoeSchmoe19941997
Returning for a second series! ufx187
Elisabeth Moss' Performance. JoeSchmoe19941997
Top of The Lake: Aggressive Feminist Agenda? JoeSchmoe19941997
Hands down, the best television I've ever seen gildababy
Too many loose ends ... here's my list of top 20 theonemoviebuff
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