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Top of the Lake

Sat Jul 20, 9.10-10.10pm, BBC2

Episode two
Making New Zealand’s landscapes look striking is a task so simple as to be slightly beneath Jane Campion. So instead, she makes them look stark and at times almost pitiless. Under these huge, empty skies, Elisabeth Moss’s Robin is still trying to track down the forlorn, pregnant schoolgirl Tui.

All the while, her father Matt looks on: a baleful yet messianic figure, aided and abetted by his sons Mark, Luke and Jonno. Elsewhere, the other enigmatic messiah GJ is consolidating her territory; we can’t wait for the inevitable meeting of these two beautifully conceived and realised Alpha figures.

‘Top of the Lake’ is increasingly mesmerising and rapidly shaping up to be one of the year’s telly highlights. Its sinister mystery is taken as read, but it’s surprisingly and winningly droll too mainly thanks to the bewildered paradise ladies and hapless cop Al. Masterful.