Top of the Lake (2013– )
26 user 7 critic

China Girl 

In the wake of New Zealand's devastating events, troubled Detective Robin returns to Sydney for a fresh start, however, the wounds of the past are deep and angry, moreover, a suitcase with a rather appalling content summons dark memories.


Jane Campion


Jane Campion (created by), Jane Campion | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ling Cooper Tang ... Dang
Kim Gyngell ... Bootie
David Dencik ... Alexander 'Puss'
Angjee Douangphoumy Angjee Douangphoumy ... Joy
Michelle Ny Michelle Ny ... Mahlee
Linda Ngo ... Sinn
Merlynn Tong ... Caramel
Elisabeth Moss ... Robin Griffin
Kathleen Haynes Kathleen Haynes ... Sophie
Clayton Jacobson ... Adrian Butler
Hoa Xuande ... Walker
Gwendoline Christie ... Miranda Hilmarson
James O'Connell ... Officer Sizzla
Ben Wood ... Officer Badger
Alice Englert ... Mary


The detective needs to get away from NZ and goes to work in Australia. A daughter that she gave up when she was 16 is also in Australia. An Asian girl in a suitcase is found on the beach which begins the detective's first case in her new home. Written by MBP

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

10 September 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

See-Saw Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Mary is played by Alice Englert, the daughter of series creator/writer/director Jane Campion. See more »


As Robin passes the massage table after Daniel gets up, Robin goes into her room, closing the door. However, when Liam comes into the Robin is in, he has to pass through a hanging beaded curtain. See more »


Alexander 'Puss': The destiny of man is to enslave women...
See more »

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User Reviews

Chinese water torture
5 September 2017 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

After watching the first two episodes of "Top of the Lake: China Girl" I feel this mini-series suffers from auteur overload. When one person is the producer, the writer and the director, there aren't too many people around to say, "Hold it, we've got a problem here".

Jane Campion's "China Girl" is heavy going. Some reviewers feel that it has a feminist agenda, however that in itself would not be a problem for me; the thing that undermines "China Girl" is that it is tedious.

Full of depressing, brittle characters, it's a total wallow, there isn't a light touch anywhere.

"China Girl" is a drama, but it's also a cop show. However it comes up short against British series such as "Shetland", "Lewis", "Wallander" and "Vera". The main characters in those possess a quality lacking in "China Girl" - empathy. They are cops, but they have an understanding of human frailty and they identify with other people's pain. I don't get that from "China Girl".

Detective Robin Griffin, the central character played by Elizabeth Moss is a victim, her personal problems overwhelm her, she shrugs nothing off. The other characters are also dealing with issues. Her partner, Constable Miranda Hilmarson (Gwendoline Christie), the character who goes closest to saving the whole thing is also overly complicated. Nicole Kidman's neurotic Julia may have seemed like a great role, but it's acting with a Capital 'A'.

Maybe those who watched the first series will relate to it more, but the drama in "China Girl" is woven into a tight circle of implausible connections. Griffin investigates the murder of a prostitute while at the same time seeking out the daughter she allowed to be adopted at birth. Then we discover that the daughter is deeply involved with the king pimp of the brothel where the murdered girl worked. Really?

As for the men in the show, the hyper guys in the cafe talking about brothels, even Robin's police colleagues, seem fixated on sex. If they are actually supposed to represent real males, Campion should know that they would be just as interested in food.

I'm not sure how many more episodes of "China Girl" I've got in me. I may have to get a life instead.

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