Before IT Crowd and before any of the Mighty Boosh there was Darkplace. What is Darkplace? Well it’s probably the biggest mind f**k in existence.
It stars Richard Ayoade (YES IT ACTUALLY IS HIM), Matt Berry, Matthew Holness and Alice Lowe. This was Richard Ayoades directing debut and an impressing one at that. Though it only lasted a single series in 2004 and never saw more than 6 episodes. It is now lost in TV history and hardly anyone remembers it, but it really should be remembered for generations to come.
Darkplace is a spoof on an unearthed 80’s horror TV show, complete with poor production values, awful dialogue and hilarious violence. It’s set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.
It stars Garth Marenghi (played by Matthew Holness), an Author, dreamweaver, visionary plus actor who is show casing his TV series Dark place. He introduces Darkplace with a little introduction where he sets the tone reading a segment from one of his many horror books. He is one of the few authors who have ‘written more books then read’ which gives you some idea of how the introduction goes.
The show of Darkplace is one of outrageous parody, awkward humour and most importantly 80s hair. Its comedy is like no other on TV, it have moments of Airplane!, tones of Mighty Boosh, influence of Brass eye and it’s typical of the weird, strange and alternative comedy of the modern age.
It is a typical “WTF” show many will love and adore it but others will really hate it and find it too strange to handle. It’s surprising it was ever commissioned, it’s so over the top, outrageous and way ahead of its time it was a gamble that didn’t prove to pay off for Channel 4 with low viewing figures. But over the years it has gathered a huge cult following. And petitions are on-going to record a second series.
The show has so many famous faces including, Stephen Merchant, Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and even Graham Linehan. It seems that it was set to be a hit with the cast who was on board but it seemed to just fade from existence never to be mentioned again.