darkplace | interviews | actor
biographies | episode synopses
| character biographies
Apologies for the late post but I’ve been busy writing my
new novel Return of the Coil in which a woman circumnavigates hell
via a cursed contraceptive device, so the last week’s been
chokka. You may be aware that my long-awaited telly-terror is now
out there. As expected, no-one as yet has fully understood
it. Keep thinking and you might crack its code. Below is a press
release which I don’t approve of, but couldn’t be arsed
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 (rats learn to drive).
In addition, Marenghi starred as the show’s lead character,
Dr. Rick Dagless M.D., a maverick doctor battling against the evil
forces lurking in a standard-sized hellmouth underneath a hospital
in pre-apocalyptic Romford.
Darkplace was funded by Marenghi’s publisher, business associate
and co-star, Dean Learner, who plays hospital boss Thornton Reed.
The programme also features cult horror star Todd Rivers as Dr.
Lucien Sanchez, and Madeleine Wool as Dr. Liz Asher (who vanished
during the production and remains missing, presumed dead).
Controversy has surrounded the show since its creation, leading
to rumours that the production was cursed. When Darkplace was originally
cancelled, it had already claimed several lives, caused three nervous
breakdowns and been subject to at least one visitation. Marenghi,
however, blames the government for the show’s troubled genesis:
“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.” Dean Learner, however, blames
its creator: “Not since Orson Welles had one man so many fingers
in so many pies, and been the chef as well. And then looked like
he went and ate them all. The guy was out of control.”
Finally, almost twenty years later, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
returns for its first UK screening. Channel 4 will show six of the
fifty or so half-hour episodes, repackaged by Avalon Television
and carefully restored and re-mastered by Marenghi himself, along
with technical help from Learner and his one-time brother-in-law.
Included within the new versions are recent interviews with its
key players, and an appeal for any information which might lead
to Madeleine Wool’s discovery.
At last, those who made Darkplace give you the facts behind the
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…