TV Crime Log: Lake, Run

There’s a couple of new telly dramas coming up that you may want to keep an eye out for.

Unknown Top Of The Lake is set amid the astonishing scenery of New Zealand’s South Island.

A twelve-year-old girl walks into the waters of an alpine lake. Saved before she freezes or drowns, she is found to be pregnant. The police are called. The girl disappears.

Detective Robin Griffin, a child-protection specialist, recently returned to the area to care for her sick mother, is pulled in by the local police force to help with the case. The whole community is under a cloud. Chief suspect is Matt Mitcham, the girl’s father, who is in dispute with a Women’s Camp over a piece of land called Paradise. Robin’s investigation will send shockwaves through the town and dig up a personal history she had hoped to keep buried.

The drama was co-written by Jane Campion, and has her signature all over it. It’s lyrical and mythic, and ramps up the drama  over its six episodes, becoming steadily darker. If you stick with it, it delivers very satisfactorily on the thriller side of things. Top Of The Lake has also got a terrific cast, as well. Elizabeth Moss, her off Mad Men, is the detective, and she’s brill. Peter Mullan plays another charming character, and Holly Hunter – who appeared in Campion’s best-known film, The Piano – barks uncompromising truths from within a steel container.

Top Of The Lake is on BBC2, Saturday night, at the oddly-pernickety time of 9.10pm.

Plenty of crime, too, in Channel Four’s Run, which is serialised from Monday to Thursday at Run_A210pm.

Run features four interconnected stories, intended to deliver ‘a compelling and surprising portrayal of modern British life,’ innit.

In the first episode Olivia Colman plays a tough single mother striving to keep her family together. When her teenage sons commit an act of random violence that results in the death of a stranger, Carol faces the impossible choice of protecting her children or doing the right thing. And in the second, a Chinese immigrant finds herself in debt to a gang.

It looks really interesting and you can safely bet one of your children on the fact that Colman’s performance will make the critics go all tingly inside. Again.

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