Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Season 1 Episode 1

Once Upon A Beginning

Aired Thursday 10:30 PM Jan 29, 2004 on Channel 4
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Once Upon A Beginning
New doctor Liz Asher arrives at Darkplace Hospital, where a mysterious cat portends disaster. Can Dr Rick Dagless M.D. act in time to prevent all sorts of unspeakable evilness leaking out from the standard-sized hellmouth under Darkplace Hospital itself? It's not going to be much of a series if he does.moreless

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  • We meet doctor rick dagless MD and his sidekick sanchez We also discover that ick and his old friend have opened the gates of hell in the canteen.

    Welcome to My darkplace

    The Eriest hospital in Romford

    opens its doors

    and takes on a new staff member doctor liz.

    We soon lean that the dashing doctor dagless(fat, selfish stupid ,with thick rimmed glasses)is also an ex warlock with a strange and uncanny insight into the occult.

    When his insane ex best friend asks to see him he explodes just as dagless arrives.

    At his friends funeral dagless is mourning with the rest of the cast when his insane old buddy comes back from the dead.

    Fortunately they all produce weapons from nowhere(rather like the highlander series when the short jacket wear McLeod would produce a samuri sword from out of the ether).

    Shot guns magnums and flame throwers are all used.As well as exceptionally poor action matching.

    A tour de force of bad telly and fantastic to bootmoreless
Alice Lowe

Alice Lowe

Madeleine Wool / Dr Liz Ascher

Matthew Holness

Matthew Holness

Garth Marenghi / Dr Rick Dagless, M.D.

Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade

Dean Learner / Thornton Reed

Matt Berry (II)

Matt Berry (II)

Todd Rivers / Dr Lucien Sanchez

Stuart Silver

Stuart Silver

Anonymous hospital worker

Guest Star

Daniel Riste

Daniel Riste

Boy on ward

Guest Star

Lawrence Michelowski

Lawrence Michelowski

Larry Renwick

Guest Star

Kim Noble

Kim Noble


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • xk73 adds: In response to the comments about Quantum Leap, the charater Dean Learner might just be lying about thinking that at the time. (Show Editor adds: ...or he's just plain mistaken, of course. But I still reckon this is a goof - getting the date of Quantum Leap wrong seems too obscure a mistake to be a deliberate joke.)

    • Dean says that his response to being shown the first script for "Darkplace" was that it was going to be the most significant televisual event since "Quantum Leap". Quantum Leap debuted in 1989, so when was "Darkplace" supposed to have been made? Most references suggest c.1984/5, but this one is way out of kilter.

    • The plot thickens regarding the C4 ident. The ident itself is definitely one of the original batch from 1982 - but the jingle that accompanies it may date from c.1988/9. For different animations and lots of different jingles, see TV Ark's C4 Blocks Page.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Lucien Sanchez: You and he were buddies... weren't you?

    • Dean Learner: I said this is going to be the most significant television event since Quantum Leap.

    • Lucien Sanchez: Tell me something; Is this hospital called St. Crock of Shit?

    • Garth Marenghi: I don't believe that any living thing should be harmed in the making of a television program or film. Be it human, animal or plant. That's why I personally feel sorry for the cat we killed.

    • Dean Learner: I had a cat once. I dropped a sofa on it. It was a write-off, so I stood on its head.

    • Dean Learner: Now I don't know whether someone close to Garth had exploded - whether it was a colleague or a pet - but you could tell that scene meant a lot to him. There were tears on set. Not from Garth. He was strong for the crew. But I wept. I'm not ashamed of that.

    • Rick Dagless: Maybe if everyone who had ever been close to you had died, you'd be sarcastic too.

    • Thornton Reed: Wait, I have more things to say.
      Rick Dagless: Go on. Sorry for the interruption.
      Thornton Reed: Don't mention it.

    • Garth Marenghi: I have never exploded. But I know what it is like.

    • Garth Marenghi: I'm one of the few people who have written more books than they have read.

    • Garth Marenghi: Dim the lights, or switch them off if you don't have dimmers.

    • Dr. Rick Dagless MD: Alright, I'll pay you though. It'll make it bona fide and you could probably use the extra pocket money for clothes and make up.

      Liz: Thanks Rick.

    • Garth Marenghi: Something was pouring from his mouth... He examined his sleeve... Blood? Blood... Crimson copper smelling blood; his blood... Blood... Blood... Blood, and bits of sick.

    • Liz: I know you're lying to me, protecting me, but I'm a big girl now. In a year's time, I'll be a woman.

    • Priest: I'm sure we all feel that he exploded too young, but the lord moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes he'll come in at an angle, other times he'll hover and swoop. Sometimes he can come in from beneath like a worm or a mole. The lord, it's his call how he chooses to manouvre...

    • Rick: We're doing all we can, but I'm not Jesus Christ - I've come to accept that now.

      The following exchange delivered at high speed:
      Sanchez: He's the best damn doctor on the wing, or any other wing for that matter.
      Reed: He's a wildcard.
      Sanchez: But I'm glad he's in our deck.
      Reed: Let's hope he plays a fair hand.
      Sanchez: He'll come up trumps.
      Reed: If there's not a joker in the pack. (beat) And sometimes, there is.

      Rick: He saved my life once. I saved his twice, so I was one up.

      Reed: If that's how you treat your friends, imagine how you treat your enemies. Worse, I expect.

      Rick: Sanch, I suggest you and I pay a visit to Larry before it's too late. Because it's eight p.m. now...

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode holds a Darkplace record for the biggest use of violence/Guns/Blood.

    • Here are the fake credits seen at the beginning of every episode:

      Written and directed by Garth Marenghi
      Produced by Dean Learner
      Special Effects by Deanamatronix
      Music by Stig Baasvik
      Based on melodies originally whistled by Garth Marenghi

      And the voice-over at the end:
      "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a Garth Marenghi production in association with Dean Learner".


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