It's really hard to describe why Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is so good. Yes, it is incredibly funny. It is inteligently written and perfectedly performed. It shows astonishing attention to detail and a pitch perfect understanding of the material it is lampooning. But really, I think the biggest success of Darkplace is its wonderful collection of characters and a exceptionaly talented group of actors who brought them to life.
At only 6 episodes long, it's surprising just how varied the episode are. From the opener which features the doors to hell opening up in a hospital in Romford, through to the finale with its infection of cosmic broccoli, you simply know that Darkplace is something different.
The real strength of Darkplace is Garth Marenghi himself. Not merely content to be a successful writer, he has seen to the need to spread his genius via the medium of television. The sheer egotism of Garth Marenghi is hilarious enough, but his all round brilliance in everything he touches is even more so. Really, Darkplace is the biggest ego trip of any actor/writer/producer/director/etc, in the history of mankind.
But what really makes Darkplace such a joy to watch is the wonderful one liners that pepper the scripts and elevate ordinary scenes into the absurd. From Garth's publisher Dean Learner, possibly one of the greatest comedic creations since Alan Partridge, through to the ditzy Dr. Liz Asher suffering the un-PC world of Garth, and onto the trigger happy Dr. Lucien Sanchez, Darkplace pokes fun in a way that makes you realise that it is only a few edited cuts from complete seriousness.
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace may not have set the world alight as Garth himself predicted, but its lasting lecagy is 6 of the finest pieces of episodic comedy to come out of the UK in years. I could feel bitter and annoyed that it was never allowed to continue, but knowing that we have at least been giving the opportunity to step into the mind of Garth Marenghi himself for even a brief tour is simply more than enough to last a lifetime.