Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (TV Mini-Series 2004) Poster

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A different, inventive and, most importantly, hilarious comedy. Shows there is still hope for TV.
wierzbowskisteedman7 April 2004
Hospital horror Dark Place is the creation of awful writer Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness), who wrote, directed and starred. He claims it is deep and inspirational, when in fact it is just shoddy and awful.

Darkplace isn't joke orientated, its the terrible production and acting that provides all the laughs, that mainly come from Garth's publisher, Dean Learner (Richard Ayocade) who plays the hospital boss Thornton Reed. His inability to do two things at once when it comes to acting (for example deliver a line and hang up a phone) is hilarious to watch.

Some of the highlights include a "dirt bike" chase through a forest (using tiny children's bicycles), a doctor being attacked by a steam iron and another being chased by a possessed stapler, a woman turning into broccoli and Dean Learner trying to justify how he punched a child actor. However, you have to see it to realize how funny it really is, my words can't do enough.

Darkplace won't appeal to everyone's tastes, but still it looks like it will probably be a cult hit. If its ever repeated, its worth a look just to see what you think. It provides a refreshing change from awful reality TV and soap operas.

I, for one, can't wait for the DVD and/or a second batch of episodes "from the Channel 4 vaults". I give it a solid 10/10.
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The BEST COMEDY since The Office
englandfan66_198514 February 2004
"In the 1980's the horror writing genius and self confessed "sooth" Garth Marenghi penned a ground-breaking series of tele-plays. Of the 64 episodes written, only 50 managed to make it into production during the two-month filming. Marenghi's aim was simple: "To change the evolutionary course of mankind over a series of half-hour episodes". However, Merenghi claims that his series was too ground-breaking, and too shocking for the public, and for the past twenty years direct government intervention prevented the shows from ever seeing the light of day. That is, until now. Channel 4 (and E4) are now for the first time running six episodes from the series, and Garth Marenghi has said he is willing to be personally held accountable to God for the consequences."

Garth Marenghi's Dark Place is a spoof of all horror films, tv and action tv from the 80's. Its set up as if the series was made in the 80's and was banned and is now eventually being shown. Throughout the episodes we get to see the cast and crew's comments on the episode's scenes. This is the best comedy since the office.

9/10 (and I've only seen 3 episodes from the first series so far)

"the pube on the pipe idea came from a real life situation" Garth Marenghi
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what they said
Sarah-6012 February 2004
glad to see here that I'm not the only one already hooked after just 3 episodes.

I've tried to explain to people why they must watch it, but the only way they will understand is to watch it!

Its hilarious: terrible acting, atrocious script, wobbly sets, appalling dubbing, and some very alarming wigs.

And lots of slow motion (well, its hard to fill a half hour slot with story all the time)

I'm looking forward to saying 'I told you so' to lots of people when they 'discover' this show in 6 months!
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Best UK show on TV at the moment.
ShadowKnuxx26 February 2004
When The show 'Little Britain' ended, I felt that TV was lacking in any hilarious new comedies. Then I saw an advert for 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' so I decided to watch it.

Since then I've been hooked, I have never seen anything like this show before. It is truly amazing. This proves that you don't need clever scripts, great acting or impressive special effects.

Highlights for me include, Episode 4's bike chase, Episode 1's graveyard shootout and well, pretty much the entire show.

This show is pure comic genious.

I'll finish with a quote...

"She was like a candle in the wind ... unreliable"
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1980's TV at its funniest
richteabiscuit9 February 2004
This is a comedy spoofing the best and worst of TV from the 1980's. Garth Marenghi is a horror writer who created a show during the 1980's so deep and meaningful that the networks banished it to storage. Now in 2004 the vaults have been opened unleashing it for the world to enjoy. By taking inspiration from classic shows including "Twin Peaks" and "The A Team" a fantastic show has been created. It centers on a Hospital where the docs carry guns and fight supernatural beings. The scripts are deliberately cheesy, the editing is poor and the acting is very wooden. But that is what makes it so funny. There are even those alwful end tags popular with American shows were the main characters laugh at some rubbish joke. If you lived during the 1980's you must see this!
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I bloody dare you!
brownfish27 April 2004
All hail Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness), his creation "Darkplace" is true comic genius. In my estimation it is right up there with the likes of "Brass Eye", "Jam", "League of Gentlemen" and "The Office".

Although this programme may not be suitable for all audiences i.e. people who don't understand or appreciate great comedy when it comes along and would rather watch "My Family". This is the ultimate for fans of contemporary comedy, shows that look to push the boundaries and limitations of the human mind.

I dare you, or maybe not you but anyone who hasn't seen Darkplace yet to watch it. It will develop you as a human being.

Oh and by the way i was hooked on Darkplace after 1 minute.
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Innovative and refreshing
Chris Dillhole5 February 2004
I watched this show with trepidation expecting it to be another hit and miss, or even plain miss, of a mini-series. I was more then pleasantly suprised when the show proved not only to be hilarious but a much needed break from the vapid 'reality' shows that have come to expunge any palatability from our viewing pleasure. The 'bad acting', or 'showing the truth' as Garth puts it, is amazingly funny. This is especially true in the character of Garth's boss and the chef (The Office's Stephan Merchant). Overall, it can tend to be a bit tedious by the end but at the moment it is hysterical and I can't wait to see where they go from here.
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PoHakk6 January 2011
Recently I came across Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. And I am glad I did. I will try to keep this short, this show is one of the funniest shows.... No, this IS the funniest show I have ever seen. Hilarious puns and story lines, outrageously obvious usage of miniatures, its just all around great. The editing is fantastic and really helps push the already funny dialog over the top. After I watched the series I found myself unable to sleep! All I could do was lay there in bed and giggle. And when I woke up it just started all over again. All day at work I just kept remembering funny dialog. And laughing out loud like a madman. The show is great. Its just too bad there's only 6 episodes! Search until you find it, take a day off from work, make your favorite lunch, turn your damn cellphone off and watch Garth Marenghi's Darkplace!
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say you were there first time round - watch it now
sscsgh16 February 2004
I wasn't fully sure what to expect and nearly didn't watch it at all, that would have been a mistake. Three episodes in and I'm hooked and I'm slowly working on all my friends too as it would be a shame if this slipped by without getting the audience it deserves. I was a bit concerned after the first episode that the jokes would quickly wear a bit thin but this hasn't proved to be the case. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea but well worth trying because if it is you're in for one of the funnier half hours of television you'll see all week.
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nujuv5 February 2004
Imagine a place between tuseday and purple - between the eighties and chest wigs. Now think back to Saphire and Steel, Deathwatch and certain episodes of Dr Who. Welcome... to Darkplace

Dodgy effects (forgivable - and amusing) and dodgy scripts (unforgivable - and hysterical) ruled the roost shamelessly and here they are aped to the max. I've only seen the first episode (as well as the 'Official' Garth Marenghi website) and I screamed in a miasmous catatony - I gaped shudderously at the incomprehousity of the spectacle - I laughed till I stopped laughing. It's looking good - and I hope it's a short run, as these things can be flogged silly.

As it stands, it is refreshingly sarcastic about nerd orientated broadcasting - and amazingly would stand as a series from the period. Whiffs of Michael Mann, William Friedkin, HP Lovecraft, Starsky & Hutch and hospital based soaps should have folk wincing and laughing till doomsday.

Plot snippets so far: the guy went axe happy in a trout farm. Nuff said.
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cool, a classic
piffel20 February 2004
This is one of the best things on tv today, if you ever get half a chance to watch it then DO!!!! so cheep it's priceless! 9 out of 10
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F*ckin A. An awesome powerhouse of a series. Americans wont understand this
same2far29 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
An epic drama dealing with the day to day problems of your average hospital. Dark Place gives a fascinating insight into the mind of your average NHS institute. With comedy, tragedy and romance it deals succinctly with all possible issues, be it Broccoli, Green Fog, or Chimpanzees. Many have struggled to deal with the true awesomeness of this series, that was a mere 6 episodes long before the characters died in a horrific plane crash, and so excerpts are included of the director's and actor's views and thoughts on the filming of each episode. Sanch is an absolute legend and really helps make this, an ox in a storm helping the poor farmer plough his field. Sanch is a legend, if at all possible watch this episode, sit back and be prepared to be blown away and rethink your view on life. I leave you with a few quotes from the deceased legends... "If my arse is grass then won-ton's got a lawn mower." "You and he were buddies... weren't you?" "maggotts, maggots, maggots, blood, vomit and sick."
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Unexpected delight
info-113-6341793 April 2015
Someone sent me a link to an episode and I reluctantly clicked it expecting the worst. From the initial intro I started smiling and found that the humor in this connected right to my funny bone. I spent the rest of the day watching the rest of the episodes and forgetting all my responsibilities. After getting to the last episode a frown crossed my face as there were no more. I ended up watching "interviews" with the cast which were also very funny. It reminded me of so many shows in the 80's and really nailed the titles and music. Sometimes it went really over the top for groaners, but they quickly got back on track. A wonderful find from someone in the US who has never heard of this before. Wishing for more!
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Jeremy_Urquhart19 May 2011
Words cannot describe just how good Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is. But I'll give it a shot regardless. Darkplace is an intentionally poorly made surreal and nonsensical medical drama show within a show. It follows a group of doctors tackling supernatural oddities, with hilarious commentaries by the real life actors who play the actors in the show who play the doctors in the show within the show. I know that's a little confusing. What makes Darkplace so unbelievably brilliant is the continuity errors, bad acting, awful dialogue, gaping plot holes, and absurd story lines (all deliberately done, mind you). Highlights include a woman turning into broccoli, an awesome bike chase through a forest (with out of place motorbike sound effects), some incredibly offensive Scottish stereo- typing, and the unforgettable fake 80's song "One Track Lover," which must be heard to be believed. There's so many more hilarious moments, but most are so absurd that their really difficult to try and explain, so I'd just say watch the show for yourself. It's a pity this show was cancelled so soon, and unfortunately, there's only six episodes. Maybe that's to be expected when a show is as unique as this one. Still, those six episodes are filled with so much awesomeness that they must be seen.
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Garth Marenghi's Darkplace has ruined my TV watching forever - only the other day i was watching a serious hospital drama/horror and i couldn't stop laughing. This is a direct result of Darkplace. The acting is atrocious, the sets are remarkably poor and the story lines are too far fetched for the non-Star Trek fan to understand. It has blown the whole hospital horror genre into the wind.

This is why Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is the best television programme that has ever been screened!

The script is so bad its good - after all thats how its meant to be - the same with the story lines and the sets; it all adds up to make a winning formula.

I begged my friends to watch it - and now we have a massive following in the midlands - it is that great. The creators of Darkplace really deserve a pat on the back for creating a television programme that enters reality - honestly now, how many of you have gone into a book retailer and asked for 'Ooze, can water die?' or another of Garth's books. There is more people answering yes here than you may think.

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is the best ever television programme to be aired. 10/10
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Funniest show in ages
hmaytag6 August 2006
This show is by far the funniest thing I have seen on TV in a very long time. The concept of the show is genius, and the acting and props are all so perfectly bad (in a good way). The way they spoof the various 80's hospital dramas,actions shows, and blend them with some b-movie horror w/ some low budget sci-fi thrown in, is just amazing and works so well. The over-dramatics, the intentionally bad acting, the low budget look, and the interludes with the actors speaking about their vision for the show, blends into this comedic over the top, ridiculousness. Every line in this is either a hilarious well placed cliché, a silly premise, or utter silliness, all perfectly coming together to make a spoof piece that lampoons a variety of eighties shows and kept me entertained laughing out loud. It is also one of the most quotable shows ever. It is like the Spinal Tap of 80's television. The show is done so well, with every subtle little thing imaginable thrown in. You can watch it over and over and find even more jokes. Everyone who has a dark sense of humor needs to watch DARKPLACE.
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"You know me Dag, I'm too busy just staying alive!"
HieronymousMerkin1 February 2005
This is one of the best British comedy series I have ever seen! Seriously. It is Instantly quotable, hilarious, and perfect for repeat viewing (especially when trying to spot as many technical mistakes as you can). It is criminal that this show hasn't got the following on the scale that it deserves (though, like Family Guy, that may be rectified when the DVD comes out and word of mouth helps sales). Here we see, like Spaced before it, comic actors marrying their love for film and the horror genre (noticeable homages to Stephen King, John Carpenter and even H.P. Lovecraft) with the TV sitcom format. This is all wrapped in a cheap, tacky, TV studio production design reminiscent of the late 70s/early 80s which works brilliantly and is done better than any spoof spoofing that period I have ever seen, on the small and silver screen. The title sequence is incredible with regards to this, and the crappy synthesiser music throughout the series is just brilliant (especially the Rivers/Lerner song in episode six: The Creeping Moss From The Shores of Shuggoth). This is unmissable TV. Go unto Garth Marenghi and shudder.
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Best comedy of 2004 (may contain spoilers)
lord-Flasheart13 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I'm basically recapping what other people have commented on, but I'm desperate to share my love for this truly hilarious and original comedy that I'm stuck on like a pube on a pipe. It's a take off of cheap 1980's horror/sci-fi shows such as Dr. Who with acting and sets that make crossroads seem like a big budget Hollywood production and with more cheese than an Emmenthal festival in Vienna. Matthew Holness has created a very dark macabre comedy , sometimes with disturbing scenes (the giant eyeball) but always excruciatingly funny ones (the giant eyeball). I find the originality of the show refreshing and the situations and spoofs are genuinely funny (Thornton Reed's lack of emotion and terribly timed cues are a prime example). It's hard to explain why I find Darkplace so funny.
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The Greatest televisual event since Quantum's Leap.
savedarkplace28 June 2005
From the very first moment I saw it I was hooked. I saw one advert for it and decided that I would watch it (as I really like spoofs of any nature after the success of Look Around You) but I missed the first episode. However after taking advice from my friends who saw it I decided to watch it and I was hooked forever. I brilliant spoof and so much more. It takes comedy to a new level with a little something for everybody. Cleverly bad story lines and mistakes, painfully bad acting and special effects to put Dr. Who to shame. I managed to see the first episode on the Avlon website and I watched the rest of the series. It could have been so much more if it was shown at a proper time rather than 10:30 on a Thursday, but then again why would we want to share something so good with the rest of the world? Stay Holy.
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I'm a one track lover, down a two way lane
sebpopcorn22 February 2009
This show is brilliant and so clever. On first glance it looks like a cheap spoof but the more you watch it the more details you notice. The film used is authentic 80's quality, there's a million tiny deliberate errors and the whole show is a brilliant stab at horror writers that take themselves way too seriously. There's recognisable bits of many a horror writer in there.

The cast is fantastic and nearly every line is memorable and funny. What's really annoying though is that Ch4 did their usual balls up with the show. Because it won't sell overseas (see some of the comments from the colonies on this one) and because it's hard to categorise by dull marketing types the show got next to no advertising and was thrown on at something like 11pm on a Thursday evening. Viewing figures where therefore low and the dull marketing people could nod and feel they were right in not backing it in the first place.

Seriously, it deserved a second series on the strength of it's one song alone! In these sad days when tripe like Three Pints of Lager and a Packet of Desperation gets 7/10 on here it's good to see original and very funny comedy, even if it doesn't last long.
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lhabla6 February 2004
As I post this we are only 2 episodes in, but this is the funniest spoof I have ever seen! A lot of bad dubbing, god awful acting, even worse special effects make this program what it is, a spoof on 70s/80s sci-fi/horror programs mixed in with dark comedy. I can see this getting a cult following, its sure as hell not for everyone.

You may recognise 'Garth Marenghi' from doing a cameo as that computer geek who corrected a comment on Bruce Lee on the classic Office. You can see the links between the programs, and co writer Stephen Merchant has a cool part on episode 2.

Overall, brilliant program that can only get better as it goes on! Roll on the DVD!
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Watch it again
delamorinierejh25 January 2010
I first watched this show about 4-5 years ago, I had bought it on DVD because I had heard such great things about it. I was amused, but slightly disappointed. It didn't immediately appeal to me. However, about 1 year ago, my friend convinced me to give it another shot.

When trying to describe how this show is produced, it is impossible not to contradict oneself. The point of this show is to laugh at the shoddy production, writing and acting. However, the way this show is acted, written and produced is, for me the best, the most observant, yet ridiculous, that I have ever seen on British comedy television. My favourite example of the writing has to be in episode 3, 'Skipper the eye child', when Rick Dagless m.d. (Garth Marenghi) says:

You know what Sanch, you can dissect a heart, but you'll never know what makes it skip a beat

This programme, for me is pure genius, because Matt Holness, has really nailed the genre on its head. This programme not only makes me think of and laugh about shoddy horror shows, or appalling writing, it also makes me think of the times that I thought that I was a talented writer when I was younger, and wrote lines similar to the one above, feeling very proud of myself.

This show should not be missed, and if you were unsure about it the first time, give it another shot. You will not be disappointed. It comes second to Arrested Development for me, and that is the only show that I would ever rate 10/10.
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Best show ever
Debbie_G19 October 2011
Me and my husband came across this entirely by accident one night while flicking through the channels and couldn't stop laughing at it. we were devastated when it was only on for a few weeks and we still talk about it now. It really needs to be brought back onto the telly for people to enjoy it all over again. I would love a new series too but just seeing the original would be just about good enough. All the cheesy '80's'style bad wobbly sets and stilted acting are spot on. Trying to explain the premise to people is impossible, the only way to get it across is to watch it. If you watch the IT crowd you will be familiar with some aspects of it. The boss in the IT crowd will point you in the direction of the amount of cheese.
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The most UNDERRATED comedy series ever!!!
Ornsack24 January 2006
(HEY!) I seriously can't believe how badly this series has been treated by Channel 4. A simple repeat and an early DVD release would have turned this show in to a huge success. (If only it wasn't cancelled for a re-run of Who's The Boss) This show is one of the extremely few shows I can watch over and over again, and it still remains funny. Scrap that, it gets funnier. (It is funny. It is funny. Oh my goodness, ohhhhh yessss) And just the fact it's shot on old 16mm gives the whole show a surreal epic production value to the thing whilst still maintaining the fact it was supposed to be shot on no money in a garage.

It's not often you see a show where every line is a work of genius. You can skip to any part of any show and you'll instantly be at something hilarious. Me and my friends have had proper Darkplace tourrettes since we first saw this show, and it never gets old.

I'm hoping people will still buy the DVD (When it comes. IF it ever comes) despite the fact I can't find many people who haven't seen an illegal download of this show.

You WILL love this show. If you don't, you're a FREAK.

This review is littered with quotes. And I'm off to the quote section to read some more.
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Hilarious! - Quality television.
Billy_ouk18 December 2005
Channel 4 has really gone down hill since the days' of 4later (Adam & Joe, Vids etc)... it seems too obsessed with reality TV and American drama/sitcoms. So I was well chuffed with the gem that is DARKPLACE. I sat down and watched the first episode, I laughed so hard... wee came out. I thought "If only more TV was this imaginative and funny", I haven't seen anything quite like it.

It's so bad its good, yet it knows it's bad and so its great at being bad... on purpose. The acting, the dubbing, the poor sets, the action and effect... Its just hilarious. The show also contains some of the best dialogue ever! I hope they bring it out on DVD soon.
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