Queenstown TV series earns top reviews

American actress Elizabeth Moss (pictured) is earning rave reviews from critics for her role as a troubled detective in Top of the Lake, the six-hour television drama series, shot on location in Wakatipu last winter. Photo from UKTV.
American actress Elizabeth Moss (pictured) is earning rave reviews from critics for her role as a troubled detective in Top of the Lake, the six-hour television drama series, shot on location in Wakatipu last winter. Photo from UKTV.
The international buzz surrounding the Wakatipu-shot thriller Top of the Lake continues to grow with creator-director Jane Campion telling The Times of London the miniseries is part of a revolution in television.

In a piece headlined ''Why Jane Campion's Top of the Lake will be must-see TV'', journalist Kate Muir tells readers that the six-part series starring Elizabeth Moss and Holly Hunter has ''a touch of Twin Peaks, a landscape from The Lord of the Rings and a heroine from Mad Men''.

Campion said in the article she was inspired by such long-form TV dramas as Deadwood and The Killing.

''I was at home watching Deadwood and I suddenly stood up and said: `Who is commissioning this stuff?' ''This is a revolution. Something is really happening in television . . .

''It's harder and harder to make the film you want. Feature film-making is now quite conservative.''

Ms Muir said Campion's first episode ''delivers puzzles and red herrings in equal measure, and immerses us in a small lakeside town in her native New Zealand. There's an eerie feel to this closed-in world, its Maori and frontier past eliding with the present, in a magnificent mountain landscape that hides all manner of squalid sins.''

Top of the Lake had its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier in February after its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The series debuts on Sky on UKTV on March 25 and is shown on BBC Two in the northern hemisphere summer.