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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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When this initially aired it was heavily promoted on TV and Radio, but it never seemed to do very well and become one of those forgotten series.

Thankfully it had quite a dedicated cult following and the DVD release does justice to this truly original and purposefully 'bad' comedy.

This spoof TV series has all the 'cast' in character throughout. Providing talking head moments where they reflect on the `Horror Hospital Drama' they give their opinions and pad out the running time because many of the original tapes have been destroyed. Garth has an embarrassingly inflated idea about his own work and regularly explains how deep and powerful his message was.

The special effects are fantastically naff and the dodgy acting is captured to perfection. Especially that of Dean Learner who keeps glancing at the camera and having his scenes spliced together to cover up his mistakes, this leads to great moments where, for example; in a split second he is suddenly holding his drink in the other hand.

This DVD has great re-watch value. The plot of each episode is relatively funny, but it's the individual moments which ensure you have laugh after laugh.

In a nutshell: Remember the many cheesy American TV series of the eighties? Well this is the British version - lost for twenty years we can now see it in its (near) full(-ish) glory. Garth Marenghi's Dark Place looks shoddy - but it takes a lot of skill to make it look as natural as it does. This is an original comedy with a raft of features including a cast commentary (again all in character) and a full length version of the song "One Track Lover" which will have you singing it for days afterwards. I absolutely love this series - it's not often that you get something so unique, and - dare I say it? Yes I do ...genius!
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on 27 June 2006
Having been fortunate enough to catch this show during its brief Channel 4 run a couple of years ago, I can hardly wait for the DVD release of this classic horror-comedy. It's definitely an acquired taste, and there's not really anything to liken it with, but Darkplace is well worth watching. All manner of hilarity and stupidity (including evil flying staplers, monkeys riding pushbikes and "Scotch Mist" among others) is contained within this DVD. It is well worth buying if you like something a little on the edge...
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on 26 November 2011
I was one of the lucky few who stumbled across this amazing and unique Channel 4 series in 2004. Darkplace is a bizarre but brilliant spoof and is a show that is completely deserving of it's cult status... I'm glad to see it has survived Channel 4's appalling indifference to a show it commissioned then abandoned (boo and hiss directed at them in equal measure). Starring Matt Holness (son of Blockbuster's Bob), Richard Ayoade, Matt 'One Track Lover' Berry and the lovely and gorgeous Alice Lowe (widow of Arthur), Darkplace really did (does?) deserve a second series.
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on 6 July 2006
Have to agree with everyone here.This is possibly the brightest,most original comedy of the last 20 years, seriously.It ranks alongside "The Young Ones", "The Day today","Alan Partridge" and early Reeves and Mortimer.Matthew, please bring it back!
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on 18 October 2006
I caught this when it aired on channel 4 and was surprised at how funny and original and genius it was. All this and barely any adverts to tell you it was on? Whats going on?

Well that was a mistake for channel 4 as from what I gathered, hardly anyone saw it. Well now is your chance to catch on to one of the best comedy programes since the office.

Witty, sketchy, fast paced and with its tongue firmly in cheek, this will entertain even the most mundane of viewers. You cant help but laugh at the dodgy lip-syncing and 80's hairstyles. Or the amateur effects and flimsy sets. Of course this all adds to the overall affect the painfully short series has. (only six episodes).

This really is worth taking a look at, as it is one of the gems that was shamfully overlooked, but is all the better for it! I like the fact there is only one series, but wouldnt say no any future plans! Just remember, this is the scariest program you will EVER see!!!!!!!!!
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on 13 January 2007
...and not a drop to drink" - Coleridge, Samuel, T.

Darkplace is one of the best observed spoofs of 70's/80's tv shows I have seen. The badly edited overdubs alone had me in hysterics. It's up there with Funky Squad (fans of DarkPlace should check out Funky Squad as well by the way, it was an Australian parody of 70's cop shows that went out about 10 years ago).

The only criticism I have of the DVD is that the commentaries, done 'in character' by the actors, are not a way, the fact that the episodes are peppered by short inserts from Garth Marenghi and Dean Learner - explaining how they "made" Darkplace - mean that the shows have their own commentary in the first place. The extra documentaries, 'Darkplace: In Memorium', and 'Horrificata Illuminata' are highly amusing ("The bible is one of the first horror novels. It's certainly the first locust novel") There's a lot of other bonus material.

Another thing that made me appreciate Darkplace - having been a fan of trashy horror fiction in the past - is the uncanny similarities between Garth Marenghi's "novels" and those of the horror writer Shaun Hutson, right down to the concept of maggots emerging from people, and slightly corny one-word titles like 'Crabs' (re: Shaun Hutson - 'Slugs'), even his books' artwork and font are the can't be coincidence!

Overall, definitely worth buying, and ranks alongside the cream of UK comedy of recent years.
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on 22 September 2010
Having only recently discovered the Darkplace DVD, I decided that I must possess it so I could watch the episodes in the quality and style deserving of a product from the mind Merenghi -- and the first thing I must say is this DVD is NOT lacking for features. Read on!

Upon opening the box, you're greeted with a booklet giving the uninitiated a run down of the series, the cast, and the circumstances surrounding its
sudden disappearance in the 80's (it enjoyed a brief run in Peru) and triumphant re-release to the masses in 2004.

The DVD itself sports a load of wonderful features, including interviews with Garth Merenghi, Todd Rivers, and Dean Learner who go into great depth about the circumstances surrounding filming, the various cast members, some unfortunate and fortunate deaths (such as the disappearance and strongly suspected death of Madeleine Wool) and many anecdotes including the loss of over 60 of the episodes in the Thames.

Additional features include some rare behind the scenes footage of Garth and company, a list of beautiful cast and set photos, and the icing on the cake, a full playback of the 'One Track Lover' song as sung by Todd Rivers.

Finally, there is a full commentary for each episode featuring Garth Merenghi, Todd Rivers, and Dean Rivers. To round out the package is a slick dvd menu that looks like a shot from Garth's living room, complete with a flickering television.

If you are a fan of Garth's or just an admirer of the fantastique, I highly recommend you pick up the delightfully gruesome Darkplace DVD and hold it gently, as you would a lover.

Voici, you're welcome!

(Tongue planted firmly in cheek)
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on 7 July 2006
At last, the long awaited DVD of the funniest show since sliced bread was toasted. Personally, I think this is the best spoof since The Office- it is genuinely original and more than a little bit addictive. The spoof acting is nothing short of genius, as are the character names, 'Madeline Wool' being a particular favourite. True brilliance, and a serious cult classic- more consistantly good than Nathan Barley, more likeable than Little Britain.
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on 18 December 2007
Some people will watch this and say " i don't get! ", others will say is a comedy masterpiece, i as you can see by my stars think the latter.
You just don't often get a comedy that makes you laugh on so many levels.
I watched it first when it was on channel 4 years ago, and admit i though at the very beginning it was really an old 80's show, but after about a minute your sides are splitting with Garth Marenghi's reading of one of his terrible horror novels.
Honestly if you watch the first 5 minutes and don't laugh, turn it off as you ain't gonna get it.
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on 15 February 2016
I love this series but can't believe it came out in 2004. Both my wife and I are convinced we watched it in our old house pre 2001. Ricard Ayoade is brilliant throughout and look out for Noel Fielding dressed as a 'monkey man'.
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