darkplace | interviews | actor biographies | episode synopses | character biographies

Dear cyberjourneyman/cyberjourneywoman,

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 to rewrite.

Garth Marenghi

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 fiction…

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…