Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is proof that poor marketing and a bad time-slot can spell out doom for a tv show before the first episode has even aired. I, myself was lucky enough to leave my tv on after an episode of Father Ted to find this.
It is a spoof, but a spoof with a background story. Supposedly, Garth Marenghi wrote, directed and starred in his Darkplace back in the 80s where around 50 episodes where made. The show was however considered too edgy to air. Now, during the worst plight in television history, the episodes have been dug out and mixed in with interview clips of the stars.
That is however all part of the spoof back up story that accompanies the show. The show is incredibly tacky, poorly written, poorly acted, poorly edited and poorly everything else. But it is done in such a way that it is nothing short of comic genius. It adopts a very similar style to that of spoof films such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun; not because of the spoofing (which is excecuted in very different ways), but because of how the show is played completely straight, but with constant cheesy or funny lines and hilariously bad special effects and wacky ideas.
This show is an undiscovered gem. When the DVD finally comes out (it's been over a year since the show aired and it's still not out yet) I recommend you give this show a try.
The show is not completely dead at the moment as FilmFour have commissioned Matthew Holness (aka Garth Marenghi) to write a movie screenplay based on Darkplace. Whether or not it gets made is another question, but still, there is life after death... to some degree.
Most of you should already know Garth Marenghi(author, dreamweaver, visionary, plus actor) from his extensive cannon of chillers, including 'Afterbirth,' (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol), 'The Ooze' (can water die?) and 'Black Fang' (rats learn to drive).
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a comedy set in a hospital in pre-apocalyptic Romford, Essex, which is situated over the gates of Hell.
Back in the 1980s, around 50 episodes were made, but were banned. In Marenghi's words, “MI8, which is actually three levels above MI6, pulled the plug. And they did it because I knew the truth. They had files on everyone. But mainly on me.” The show did, however, enjoy a brief run in Peru.
This, of course, is just all part of fun. The show was really filmed very recently, but due to it being set in the 80s, they could manage to do the best part of the show - exaggeration. All of the doctors carry guns, the acting is awful, the script is terrible and there is rubbish dubbing. All of this is obviously intended, and adds to the pure brilliance of the show.
I just cannot praise this programme enough. It's such a shame that it got a poor time slot when it was originally shown and not that many people have seen it. It is certainly much better than churned out "Americanised" comedy like 'My Family' and 'My Hero'.
And remember, Marenghi doesn't ask for much, he just hopes that, after watching Darkplace, you change the way you think about life.
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is a comedy set in a hospital. It has a very 80's sort of look to it and the action, the comedy and the gore are exaggerated a massive amount. But thats all part of the show's charm.
The central character Garth Marenghi is played by Matthew Holness. It took a while to figure out where I'd seem him before and then it hit me! He played Simon the computer geek who was in a few hilarious scenes in the second series of The Office.
One minor gripe I had with The Office (possibly my favourite show of all time!) was that Holness's character only played a minor role. So much could have been done with the character Simon. There is no doubt that the actor has a certain comedic charm that is quite different to many comedians today.
The support characters in this show are equally outrageous. Its a sensational comedy! I'm glad there aren't more like it because then it would become normal and it would lose most of its charm!
garth marenghi's darkplace is a funny comedy which is underapprciated here in the uk. if you mention the show not many people will know what your talking about. but dont let that put you off, the show is about strange paranormal goings on in a hospital and features great characters and funny story lines, give it a try.
Darkplace is absolutely brilliant. It is funny beyond belief. The way they spoof 80's television is perfect down to every little detail. You can watch the episodes multiple times and find new subtle jokes. Why they would cancel such a show is beyond reason, because besides being hillarious as hell, the show has some of the best characters and probably the most quotable lines ever. Even though there are only 6 episodes I would easily place this show in my top ten. It is pure genius, laugh out loud, pee your pants comedy at its best. In an age where TV has gone to crap, this show is an amazing relief. God I wish there was a US DVD.
The summary is based on little stories by a man named Garth Marenghi's Darkplace where it tells of all these weird things that go on at this hospital that these docters work at and find a way to stop it
Hilarious you cant describe it in a funny way you just have to see it to understand the humor because if you try to tell someone how it goes it isn't as funny as watching it because they as in the tv show have the acting part and I dont so when i try to tell a friend about it it's hard to get them to see the humor with you explaining it but I really enjoyed it alot it is one of the shows that I like to watch but I dont know what time or on what days it is on i've seen it a couple of late nights on the sci-fi channel but also one of my friends showed it to me on the computer and thats when I first saw it and loved it
I caught an episode of this last week on the Sci-fi channel and was immediately hooked. I hurriedly set my DVR to record anymore episodes. I was disappointed to find that the shows run was so short. I do hope that it finds its way to DVD soon, as my DVR is not showing it coming on again anytime soon. I saw the episode about telekinesis and couldn't stop laughing at the absurdity of the "show". It is very well written and does remind one of an 80's television show. I loved the cut-in bits from the writer and the producer. I eagerly await my for my DVR to tape me some more. Enjoy!
A few words sum up everything that makes Garth Marenghi's Darkplace great; poor acting, terrible effects, bizarre script, no real plot, but fantastic humour. Obviously the terrible acting etc is on purpose, and its odd to say it, but the actors do a great job.
Such is the extent of the greatness of this show that I will always remember such things as Dean Learner; the man who cannot act, One track Lover; fantastic song (and video) and finally a monkey on a bicycle being chased by a doctor on a bicycle. You cannot beat this type of comedy, its just pure TV gold.
This is one of those TV shows that just confuse you from the beginning, making you want to turn it off thinking "Is this real?"
But you continue watching it.
And realise that it is actually genius.
They've made it so bad that it's actually funny, on purpose.
Everyone should know Richard Ayodade from Channel 4's "The IT crowd". He's incredible with his alter ego "Dean Learner" i'd never heard of this until i was browsing Teleport TV, and it was above "Green Wing" in comedy. My friend and I decided to watch it.. 4 episodes later we're both splitting our sides with laughter.
It's pure comedy and fun.
R.I.P Skipper, Killed by wasps.
Any more series?
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is the brainchild of celebrated horror writer and self-styled "fabulist" Garth Marenghi, author of such genre classics as Afterbirth (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol) and Crab! ("One of the three best horror books about crabs I've ever read" - Hard Gore Magazine). Back in the 1980s, he branched out into television production, writing and starring in a series so radical, so scary and so downright crazy that when the bosses of Channel 4 saw what they had on their hands, they ran away screaming, like little girls. Only now, twenty years on and amid the worst programming drought in television history, have the station finally allowed the show on the air. Intercut with new interviews with Marenghi himself and his co-stars Dean Learner and Todd Rivers, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is perhaps the most disturbing vision of hospital life ever broadcast.
For anyone that is not sure of the premise of this series, its a show that was supposed to originally have been filmed in the 1980s and has since earned a cult reputation as one of the most terrifying and radical television programmes ever made. In-fact it wasn't but that is the premise. Instead it was made in 2004, so you really need to buy into the fact that the series has been made to look the way it looks on purpose, this is where most of the none verbal comedy comes from. You will notice props disapearing, actors stumbling lines & some of the most bizzare plot lines that you can imagine. This is a very underrated modern classic, try it out you wont be disappointed.
So manty people hate this programme and I don't know why, the immagination is brillaint and the spoof horror has had me crying with laughter. The way the show makes it self look bad is genius but some people just don't get it come on guys it's a comedy just sit back and enjoy. Actors playing actors playing characters is highly amusing and theres such a good cast including many of boosh fame, the ammount of cameos is brilliant Stephen Merchant turning up in episode two was a hilarious surprise and Jullien Barret popping up every now and then you have to love it. And to top it off the one and only Noel Fielding playing a monkey man!!
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.
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