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02nd Aug 2019

QUIZ: How well do you remember Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace?

Wil Jones

A show so dangerous that powers that be refused to let it be shown

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is the definition of a cult hit. The 2004 Channel 4 comedy purported to be a ‘lost’ 1980s horror show, suppressed by the television establishment for being too radical and extreme for broadcast. Written by and starring pompous Stephen King-like author Garth Marenghi (in real life, comedian Matt Holness), it was a wonderful pastiche of cheesy 1980s genre shows, complete with ropey special effects, badly overdubbed lines and a complete disregard for basic continuity between shots.

It created a whole universe, with the cast being ‘played’ by fictional actors, all with their own backstories. Interspersed within Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace were contemporary interviews with Marenghi and his publisher/co-star Dean Learner, adding to the mythos of the fake show.

Originally shown late in the evening on Channel 4, it was not a ratings hit, but word of mouth slowly grew after it was released on DVD. It was also a launchpad for a host of British comedy talent – Richard Ayoade would go on to be an acclaimed author and film director, Alice Lowe would have cinema success with Sightseers and Prevenge, and Mark Berry now stars in Toast of London. Other names making early appearances in supporting roles include Noel Fielding, Julian Barrat and Stephen Merchant.

So, here is a quiz on how much you can remember from Garth Marenghi‘s Darkplace.