Top of the Lake: BBC Two mystery drama starring Elisabeth Moss

by SteveRogerson

When a 12-year-old girl goes missing, detective Robin Griffin discovers ghosts from her past in Top of the Lake, a six-part drama due to start on BBC Two on Saturday 13 July 2013.

Award winning actresses Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter team up in Top of the Lake, a haunting six-part drama due to start on BBC Two on Saturday 13 July 2013. Moss plays a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl while Hunter plays GJ, the spiritual leader at a local camp for women. A local drug baron and an ex-boyfriend add to to the mix.

Jacqueline Joe as Tui Mitcham
Jacqueline Joe as Tui Mitcham
Image Credit: BBC/See Saw Films/Parisa Taghizadeh

A powerful and shocking mystery provides the basis for Top of the Lake, a new six-part drama due to start on BBC Two on Saturday 13 July 2013. Set in New Zealand, the show starts when a 12-year-old girl walks out into the freezing waters of a mountain lake. When she is rescued, she is discovered to be five months pregnant but won’t name the father. The mystery depeens when she disappears.

Enter detective Robin Griffin (played by Elisabeth Moss), who starts to become obsessed with the case as she finds similarities to her own childhood, especially when an old boyfriend turns up. Adding confusion to the situation is a group of women that have set up a camp on nearby land. Their spiritual leader is GJ, played by Holly Hunter.


Actors in Top of the Lake

American actress Elisabeth Moss was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 for her part as Peggy Olson in Mad Men, a role that also earned her two Golden Nymph nominations at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival and four Primetime Emmy nominations. She won a director’s choice award at the 2004 Sundance International Film Festival for playing Jessie Reynolds in Virgin. Other roles have included Cynthia Parks in Picket Fences, Christina in Invasion and Zoey Bartlet in The West Wing.

Top Of The Lake is about her search for the girl but she also dives into the world of this town and its secrets and starts unearthing the story of a bunch of characters,” said Moss. “It becomes a search for herself as she’s also diving into her own past that she’s been running away from. It’s a detective story, it’s a mystery, it has all these elements about it that are sort of tried and true. But what makes it different is it’s got the Jane Campion touch. So everything is just a lot darker, a lot stranger, a lot more complicated than that.”

Holly Hunter won an Oscar for her role as Ada McGrath in The Piano. She has also received three other Oscar nominations, for Jane Craig in Broadcast News, Tammy Hemphill in The Firm and Melanie Freeland in Thirteen. The Piano also earned her Bafta and Golden Globe wins and The Firm and Thirteen Bafta nominations.

Jacqueline Joe plays the missing 12-year-ol girl Tui who is the daughter of local drug baron Matt Mitcham, played by Peter Mullan. Mitcham’s son Johnno, a former boyfriend of Griffin, is played by Tom Wright, and Griffin’s long-time friend and fellow detective Al Parker is played by David Wenham. Also in the production are Lucy Lawless, Genevieve Lemon, Robyn Nevin, Robyn Malcolm, Jay Ryan, Kip Chapman and Madeleine Sami.


Team Behind Top of the Lake

Top Of The Lake is an original drama for BBC Two, made by See-Saw Films and co-produced with UKTV in New Zealand and Australia and Sundance Channel in the USA. The series was co-written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, co-directed by Campion and Garth Davis and executive produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films and Lucy Richer for the BBC. It was produced by Philippa Campbell of Escapade Pictures.

“Robin Griffin is returning home, to a place where traumatic events happened to her,” said Campion. “She feels strong, invincible, she has become an accomplished detective, but she discovers she can be brought to her knees by her past, by what she has denied and is hoping to forget.”

The series was commissioned for BBC Two by Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama commissioning, and Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC Two. Screen Australia and Screen NSW provided investment with Fulcrum Media Finance funding the New Zealand Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF) and the Australian Producer Offset.

Updated: 07/11/2013, SteveRogerson
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WriterArtist on 07/11/2013

I love suspense and mystery, the BBC serials certainly look promising.

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