Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.
“I’m Garth Marenghi. Author. Dreamweaver. Visionary. Plus actor. You’re about to enter the world of my imagination. You are entering my Darkplace.” – Garth.
Well that was amazing. What a unique viewing experience that was. That was without a doubt one of the best TV series I have ever seen.
“What was I watching?” you ask.
Let me tell you.
I have just finished watching all six episodes (I know a short TV series.) of Channel 4‘s, dark-comedy, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. How does one explain a series as unique as this? Well, the best place we can start is at the beginning. (Who saw that coming? -Ed.)
“I need to crack this, Dag, cos if not, Won Ton will be all over me like knockers in a wind tunnel.” – Thornton.
Before, The Mighty Boosh. Before the IT Crowd. Before most of the other comedy shows that you love, 90% of your beloved modern British comedians worked on Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace revolves around Garth Marenghi, a writer, actor, and so forth, who writes terrible horror books and creates and stars in an 80’s TV show based on his books… hence the title of the show.
The show, our show, takes place in 2004, with Garth Marenghi “rediscovering” his long lost, unbroadcast, hospital set, horror TV show.
Essentially it’s a show about actors, pretending to be “real people” who are pretending to be actors. The show features cut-scenes, terrible dialogue, horrific special effects, essentially it features every type of cliche in the film/horror world.
The show stars now famous, well some of them are now famous, actors.
Garth Marenghi is played by British actor and comedian, Matthew Holness. (The Office.) Now Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is based off of Holness’s two low-budget stage plays Garth Marenghi’s Fright Knight and Garth Marenghi’s Netherhead.
Dean Learner, Garth’s publisher who also acts in the show, was played by Richard Ellef Ayoade. (IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh.) He also co-wrote the stage plays.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez, was played by Matthew Berry. (IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh.)
As you should have guessed by now, most of the show is filled with actors from a number of today’s most popular comedy shows. Noel Fielding and so forth.
“If you use anti-perspirant it clogs up your pores, if you clog up you’re pores you’re gonna sweat elsewhere… and if you block up everything well then you’re gonna sweat inside, and get cancer.” – Garth.
Like most of the shows I enjoy, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace received poor viewing figures and very little love, thus instantly becoming a cult classic, enjoyed by weirdos around the world.
Since its broadcast on American TV, and a few reruns in the U.K, a petition to create a second season has begun. Hopefully it’ll succeed.
And that scene was the tip of the iceberg.
“An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the wires. A pedant, might be able to see the wires. But I think if you’re looking at the wires you’re ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show you can see the wires. But it’s about the puppets, it’s not about the string. If you go to a Punch & Judy show and you’re only watching the wires, you’re a freak.” – Dean.
We have this little gem from the series. Yes, it is a music video. Yes, it is from the show. And yes, it is only one of two magnificent singalong’s you can enjoy.
“She was like a candle in the wind… unreliable.” – Dean.
Essentially, ladies and gentlemon-lemon, IF you like complete and utter wonderful nonsense, THEN this is the show for you.
A DVD boxset featuring commentaries, deleted scenes, interviews and a whole lot of other bits and pieces was released in 2006.
Have a look at the Official Site for more information and merchandise from this amazing series.
“Look, I’ll level with you: Linda’s dying, she’s turning into broccoli. It’s very contagious, she must be boiled.” – Dagless.