‘We all love a happy ending’: Aussie heart warmer Top End Wedding gets a TV rom-com series spin-off

Miranda Tapsell celebrated five years of marriage to fellow comedy writer James Colley in December.

Miranda Tapsell celebrated five years of marriage to fellow comedy writer James Colley in December. Photo: Prime Video

When the Australian romantic comedy Top End Wedding made its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2019, actress Miranda Tapsell was front-and-centre sharing her original story of love and marriage.

Tapsell revealed she hadn’t written a script before, spoke about making a feature film in the Northern Territory and said “the biggest challenge” was to squeeze in all her favourite locations in a 90-minute film.

“There’s so many beautiful parts to the territory, we really had to make sure the ones were spectacular … I’d grown up in Kakadu, I had been to Katherine, I grew up in Darwin … this is where we should be looking and these are the traditional owners we should be in contact with so that we’re doing things right.”

She did just that.

The film was critically acclaimed and a box office hit, with Prime Video commissioning an eight-episode sequel series, Top End Bub, which joins the streamer’s slate of 28 Australian original series and features.

Tapsell reprises her role along with British co-star Gwilym Lee (Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Brian May) who return as the married couple Lauren and Ned, with production starting in the NT and Adelaide next month.

“Words can’t describe how excited I am to bring Lauren, Ned and the Top End back to your screens!” she says.

“We all love a happy ending, but what happens after happily ever after? We can’t wait for you to find out!”

‘Uplifting, funny and wonderful’

The story goes that Adelaide lawyers Lauren Ford and Ned Pelton have just become engaged … Ned doesn’t want a long engagement, and Lauren wants to get married in 10 days in her hometown of Darwin after being about to get time off work.

When they land in the Top End, the find out her Indigenous mother  Daffy left her father Trevor Ford for undisclosed reasons six months earlier, and her present whereabouts are unknown.

In a stunning Top End showcase that celebrates Indigenous culture, the leads point them in the direction of the Tiwi Islands, Daffy’s homeland, from which she fled at 18 to escape an arranged marriage.

“Uplifting, funny and wonderful,” wrote one reviewer, Jane Lewis after the film’s premiere.

“This is one of the most brilliant movies of all time and set to be an Australian classic.

“Much of this movie reflects the lead actor’s real life making it even more interesting. The idea of Country is introduced in an understandable way for us non indig people.

“The respect for humanity is a powerful theme. I feel good about myself, and our Country but I have a lot to learn. I am going to watch this movie again as soon as I can. And maybe again soon after. Truly amazing.”

These days, Ned’s making croissants

In the sequel series, Lauren is still married to Ned and they live back in Adelaide. She’s working and he’s happy to bake.

But when her eight-year-old niece is orphaned, the show follows the couple abandoning their big-city goals and moving to the Top End to raise the child.

“While Lauren and Ned juggle the responsibility of becoming unexpected parents and try to keep their marriage together, Lauren must come to terms with her responsibilities within her culture as she transforms from an individualist to the linchpin of her family,” reads the official logline.

Tapsell and Tyler have created a series “that speaks straight to the heart, and celebrates the messiness and beauty of family, love, and community”, says Sarah Christie, senior development executive at Amazon MGM Studios.

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