TOP OF THE LAKE

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UKTV, Sun­day, 8.30pm ★★★★ Top of the Lake’s key plot line — the mys­tery dis­ap­pear­ance of preg­nant 12-year-old Tui — achieves its aim of leav­ing you feel­ing de­pleted. The mini-se­ries’ ef­fec­tive­ness in steer­ing you into emo­tion­ally treach­er­ous wa­ters can be at­trib­uted to the fact it’s a work of bril­liant cre­ative syn­ergy. Top of the Lake has a surety in writ­ing (Jane Cam­pion and Ger­ard Lee) and sense of di­rec­tion (Cam­pion and Garth Davis) rarely seen in TV drama. But those qual­i­ties alone are just part of the success story. Crit­i­cal to the telling of this clas­sic, mythic tale of strug­gle is the mas­ter­ful cine­matog­ra­phy of Adam Arka­paw and a per­fectly as­sem­bled en­sem­ble cast fea­tur­ing Mad Men’s Elis­a­beth Moss, Peter Mul­lan, Holly Hunter, David Wen­ham and Jac­que­line Joe, who plays miss­ing child Tui. In this sec­ond episode, drug lord Matt Mitcham (Mul­lan) re­veals his lack of faith in a po­lice-led (Moss and Wen­ham) search for his lit­tle girl in re­mote New Zealand. You get the sense that if she’s been ab­ducted, the po­lice had bet­ter get to the cul­prit be­fore Mitcham does. He is one fright­en­ingly in­tense in­di­vid­ual.

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