Top of the Lake Sequel SD on Sky

In an era when you can view 4K content regularly on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and stream in decent HD on Lightbox, Sky’s SD treatment of the Top of the Lake sequel, China Girl, is a disgrace and indicative of why increasingly more subscribers are dropping the satcaster in favour of streaming services.

Sky today announced China Girl would premiere August 22 on UKTV but won’t be available to stream in HD on its own platform, Neon.

“Viewers can catch up on season one with Sky On Demand from July 23,” a spokesperson said.

“Season two will also be available on-demand after each episode airs. The series won’t screen in HD and at this stage there are no plans for it to screen on Neon.”

Presumably Sky doesn’t have NZ streaming rights for the series but its on-demand service is a joke, with files too small to be even remotely regarded as near-HD resolution.

If you can access the BBC iPlayer, view Top of the Lake on that platform, when the entire series will be released on July 27, or catch its NZ premiere on the NZ Film Festival circuit.

But it’s ridiculous that Sky subscribers should have to opt for either just because Sky doesn’t have the capacity, after all these years, to offer a flagship entertainment channel like UKTV in HD when it can allocate HD bandwidth for numerous pop-up channels and a preponderance of sports channels.

Making it even more of a travesty is the fact this is a series from one of NZ’s finest filmmakers, Jane Campion.

Here’s Sky’s press release:

JANE CAMPION’S TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL NEW ZEALAND AIRDATE ANNOUNCED

With its sharp writing, superior cast, evocative locations, seductively seamy subject matter and delicious performances, Top of the Lake is decidedly back in a major way,”  The Hollywood Reporter 

UKTV today announced that See-Saw Films’ next instalment of the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Top of the Lake, will premiere on 22 August at 9.30pm on UKTV, SKY Channel 007.

The series received rave reviews and a standing ovation at its international premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the first time the festival had screened a television series.

Following its Cannes debut Indie Wire called it the ‘highlight of the festival…as beautiful and soul-stirring as anything you’ll see this year’, The Times described it as a ‘complex delicious drama’ while The Sydney Morning Herald said it was ‘one of the festival’s unarguable triumphs’ and Variety applauded the series for offering ‘plenty of surprises, gorgeous cinematography, a compelling Australian urban backdrop, and a mystery that keeps audiences guessing’.

Top of the Lake: China Girl sees Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Men) reprise her Golden Globe winning role as Detective Robin Griffin. She is joined by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Nicole Kidman.

Also joining the cast are David Dencik (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Alice Englert(Beautiful Creatures, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) and Ewen Leslie (The Daughter).

Prior to its television premiere on UKTV, the series will screen in its entirety at the New Zealand International Film Festival in Wellington on 29 July and Auckland 30 July. Both screenings will feature an introduction by Jane Campion and co-writer Gerard Lee.

Top of the Lake: China Girl is a crime mystery story that finds Detective Robin Griffin recently returned to Sydney and trying to rebuild her life. When the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin realises “China Girl” didn’t die alone. Robin looks to the investigation to restore herself, but her problems are personal. Haunted by a daughter given up at birth, Robin desperately wants to find her, yet dreads revealing the truth of her conception. But her search to discover “China Girl’s” identity will take her into the city’s darkest recesses and closer than she could have imagined to the secrets of her own heart.

Top of the Lake: China Girl is directed by Oscar-winner Jane Campion (Bright Star, The Piano), and Ariel Kleiman (Partisan) and co-written by Campion and Gerard Lee.Top of the Lake is being produced by Philippa Campbell (Rain, Top of the Lake season one) and Libby Sharpe (Jewboy). Executive producers are Campion with See-Saw’s Emile Sherman, Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) and Jamie Laurenson, alongside Lucy Richer for the BBC.

The highly anticipated mini-series is co-produced by BBC UKTV together with BBC Two, See-Saw Films, BBC First and Foxtel in Australia, SundanceTV and Hulu in the United States, ARTE in France and BBC Worldwide.

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