Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace Brightens Up My Day!
You have to watch Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, or the least, the opening to the show. It’s part ’80s throwback, part mockumentary and it’s really quite a work of genius. Is it perfect? No. Is it inspired and wonderful? Yes.
It’s now airing on SCI FI on Thursday nights, and I believe it aired on some British channel beforehand. I don’t know why SCI FI isn’t promoting this as heavily, but it’s amazing and here’s why.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise, so take it in dribs and drabs. Here’s the first info I’ll share, from the show itself:
Garth Marenghi’s “Darkplace” was originally filmed in the 1980s and has since earned a cult reputation as one of the most terrifying and radical television programmes ever made. Despite this, none of the episodes have ever been seen before now (although the show enjoyed a brief run in Peru).
Darkplace was scripted and directed by the best-selling horror writer Garth Marenghi, known to thousands as the author of such classic chillers as The Ooze (can water die?), Afterbirth (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol) and Black Fang (where rats learn to drive). In addition, Marenghi starred as the show’s lead character, Dr Rick Dagless, a maverick doctor battling against the evil forces lurking beneath a hospital in Romford.
Even now, Garth warns that the show, an effort to “radicalise men’s minds”, may prove “too subversive, too dangerous, too damn scary.” The wait for the most famous ‘lost’ project in horror goes on, but not for much longer…
Okay, if you’re still with me, you’re either a little confused or come along with the joke. There is no Garth Marenghi, there was no show in the ’80s – it’s just a ridiculous send-up of a show like Kolchak set in a “creepy” hospital. It’s rife with continuity errors, actors looking into the camera, terrible awful dialogue that is delivered terrible and awful, and amazingly low-rent special effects. Yes, it’s all played for laughs; some of it brilliantly, some of it just okay. It has a total Heat Vision and Jack quality about it, though I think that one pilot as a whole was superior, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace spins in a low production zone more than that did.
Highly recommended for all to see at least once. And for sticking this long, make sure to click this “official” site link for an addtional laugh.