Adventure mystery set in the midst of New Zealand's 1860's gold rush period it has all the stuff that makes a good drama murder, love and revenge as men and women travel the world making their fortunes.
139 ( 684)




2020   Unknown  




Series cast summary:
Eve Hewson ...  Anna Wetherell 6 episodes, 2020
Eva Green ...  Lydia Wells 6 episodes, 2020
Himesh Patel ...  Emery Staines 6 episodes, 2020
Ewen Leslie ...  Crosbie Wells 6 episodes, 2020
Marton Csokas ...  Francis Carver 6 episodes, 2020
Benedict Hardie ...  Alistair Lauderback 6 episodes, 2020
Erik Thomson ...  Dick Mannering 6 episodes, 2020
Richard Te Are ...  Te Rau Tauwhare 6 episodes, 2020
Callan Mulvey ...  George Shepard 6 episodes, 2020
Joel Tobeck ...  Ben Lowenthal 6 episodes, 2020
Paolo Rotondo ...  Aubert Gascoigne 6 episodes, 2020
Matt Whelan ...  Cowell Devlin 6 episodes, 2020
Matthew Sunderland Matthew Sunderland ...  Joseph Pritchard 6 episodes, 2020
Byron Coll Byron Coll ...  Charlie Frost 6 episodes, 2020
Mark Mitchinson ...  Thomas Balfour 6 episodes, 2020
Yoson An ...  Sook Yongsheng 5 episodes, 2020
Erroll Shand ...  Harald Nilssen 5 episodes, 2020
Kieran Charnock ...  Edgar Clinch 4 episodes
Gary Young ...  Quee Long 4 episodes
Charlie Corrigan Charlie Corrigan ...  Graves 2 episodes, 2020
Nic Sampson ...  Sinclair 2 episodes, 2020
Michael Sheasby ...  Walter Moody 2 episodes
John Leigh ...  Majestic Hotelier 2 episodes, 2020
Jed Brophy ...  Captain Raxworthy 2 episodes
Jack Barry ...  Deputy 2 episodes
Chelsie Preston Crayford ...  Crown Maid 2 episodes
Learn more

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Adventure mystery set in the midst of New Zealand's 1860's gold rush period it has all the stuff that makes a good drama murder, love and revenge as men and women travel the world making their fortunes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama

User Reviews

It was a dark and mediocre night...
17 May 2020 | by random-70778See all my reviews

Those of us with NZTV "On Demand" have been able to binge The Luminaries.

Yes, I have read the book. When I have read the original work, I believe in taking care not to be overly critical of film, or in this case, mini-series, adaptions, as that is a difficult process. That said, I found this adaption simply awful even in that forgiving context.

The best aspect of the novel, is a technical one: a somewhat fresh structure within the otherwise standard and well trod genre of romance novel, or combined romance+crime-drama novel. Ingenious? No. Fresh? Yes. Specifically the central 12 astrological symbol based men whose aspects are the core part of the story telling mechanism of the novel.

Sadly the mini-series adaption keeps the overly worn romance/crime drama tropes, and there are just an endless stream of them, and completely glosses over the clever technical aspects of the original work. In the end what we have is a standard soap opera. It is profoundly dumbed down to the point of being an insult to the audience; who the makers and adapters must think are generally idiots. It is not as if some of the complexity, nuance, are gone -- they all are gone.

The acting, cinematography and certainly the art direction, are above average. But the narrative structure is for the simple minded, with all the inventiveness it seems carefully removed. The dialogue is has had every element of irony, subtlety removed. The most interesting book characters are turned into shallow two dimensional cut-outs. One character, who in the novel is a essentially a catalyzing impetus, bizarrely becomes the lead character in the adaption,. Yet she is given no compelling, or interesting story. Also the novel refreshingly did not moralize in a heavy handed way. The bigotry for example are presented matter of fact, which is effective. Yet the adaption is patently moralizing, and hamfisted at it as well. It is just a cheap shot to be saying -- "look at this! 1860's era New Zealand setters had bigoted views!" Really? Who on the globe did not at that time."

In the end this is a hollow and superficial viewing experience. We are not in the 1970s or 1980's television era, but in the golden age of series and limited series work. The age of Fargo, True Detective, Chernobyl, Rome, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, and a litany of smart and very well written work.

Sadly, "The Luminaries" mini-series adaption, specifically the plot and screen writing, takes us back to the junk age of television.

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Release Date:

17 May 2020 (New Zealand) See more »

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The Luminaries See more »

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