ORBzine - Garth Marenghi's Darkplace TV Review

[Darkplace !Man to Man ]

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
  • Matthew Holness as Garth Marenghi / Dr. Rick Dagless M.D.
  • Matt Berry ( Snow White And The Huntsman ) as Todd Rivers / Dr. Lucien Sanchez
  • Alice Lowe as Madeleine Wool / Dr. Liz Asher
  • Richard Ayoade ( The Watch ) as Dean Learner / Thornton Reed
  • Julian Barratt ( A Field In England ) as Padre the chaplain
  • Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 1] Once upon a Beginning
    Shown Autumn 2003

    This is a wonderful parody of UK horror novels and TV shows, possibly inspired by the works of Shaun Hutson .

    The show is basically a Medical drama set in a hospital in Romford. However, it is a nexus of supernatural activity. The result is a mix of Twilight Zone and X-Files - with 1980s fashions and 1970s SPFX!

    Of course, to make it clear that this is a parody, the stars - writer Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness) and publisher Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade - The Watch ) - give their input in a series of interviews.

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 2] Hell hath Fury
    Shown Autumn 2003

    Liz ( Alice Lowe ), the token female doctor, develops telekinesis. The result is an OTT parody of 1970s flicks Carrie, The Fury .

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 3] Skipper the Eyechild
    Shown Autumn 2003

    Dr Rick Dagless (Garth Marenghi AKA Matthew Holness) takes a giant eyeball as a substitute son.

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 4] Apes of Wrath
    Shown Autumn 2003

    Dr Sanchez (Matt Berry - Snow White And The Huntsman ) turns into an ape. Soon, everyone in the hospital is following suit. Does the chaplain (Julian Barratt - A Field In England ) have anything to do with it?

    This is a piss-take on the best UK TV show never made.

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 5] Scotch Mist
    Shown Autumn 2003

    This is a parody of The Fog - it even has John Carpenter music.

    The supernatural mist being Scottish, this might be taken as being anti-Scottish. Marenghi, in the interview, states that he intended the message to be one of anti-racism.

    Compared to the racist propaganda of Braveheart , this is mild stuff indeed. And while the statements made about Glasgow are inaccurate and misleading, they are a perfect fit for Dundee!

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Garth Marenghi's Darkplace [Season 1, Episode 6] Creeping Moss from the Shores of Shuggoth
    Shown Autumn 2003

    Dr Sanchez (Matt Berry - Snow White And The Huntsman ) gets a love interest. Unfortunately she turns into Alien brocoli.

    Like most TV shows in the 1980s (and Baywatch in the 1990s!) this ep contains a music video!

    
    
    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 1] Garth Marenghi
    Shown 20th October 2006 [Friday]

    Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade - The Watch ), publisher and actor, now has his own chat show.

    Special Guest this week is Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness), Dean's co-star from Darkplace.

    We get a clip of Marenghi's new film - he and Sanchez (Matt Berry - Snow White And The Huntsman ) save Romford from giant wasps from outer space.

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 2] Steve Pising
    Shown 27th October 2006 [Friday]

    This week the guest is race-car driver The Accellerator (Matthew Holness) - the antithesis of Holness' usual character, Gareth Marenghi. This is a wonderful encounter between two ludicrous characters who both take themselves very seriously.

    The video insert, Pising in the Driving Seat, is excellent too. There is a second insert, The Learner - a hilarious Office-style take on The Apprentice!

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 3] Glynn Nimron
    Shown 3rd November 2006 [Friday]

    This week the guest is Glynn Nimrod (Matthew Holness), an actor in Scientifical Fiction for the Home Video market. He is quite a bizarre figure, really, and the interview takes a strange turn for the worse.

    We get to see some great clips of Glynn's movie, his autobiographical DVD and documentary footage of him at a Media Convention in Uxbridge. There is also a clip from Dean's previous show.

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 4] Merriman Weir
    Shown 10th November 2006 [Friday]

    This week the guest is Merriman Weir (Matthew Holness), an English Folk -music singer.

    Dean is the same as ever, a sort of watered-down Borat-type inept interviewer. The ep's real revelation is Matthew Holness. He is always been associated with Marenghi-type characters, but here he gets a chance to actually act. And he can play the guitar, too!

    The music video to Weir's new album is hilarious, and features the co-stars from Darkplace.

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 5] Amir Chanan
    Shown 17th November 2006 [Friday]

    This week the guest is a Uri Geller-style showman. He is, of course, played by (Matthew Holness).

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode 6] Randolph Caer
    Shown 24th November 2006 [Friday]

    This week the guest is an actor who starred in Bitch Killer, a horror film Dean produced. Unfortunately he is dead - so Dean calls in the film's writer, Gareth Marenghi (Matthew Holness)!

    Dean shows a documentary that the actor appeared in. Typically, things went from bad to worse for poor old Randolph. His fellow actor, Glynn Nimron, is interviewed by satellite video-link. Even Steve The Accellerator Pising, Randolph's former neighbour. Amir Chanan takes time to appear and use his supernatural powers to communicate with Randolph's spirit.

    Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner Man to Man: An Evening with Dean Learner [Season 1, Episode ]
    Shown th November 2006 [Friday]

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

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