Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

television series

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004) is a comedy series shown on Channel 4. Created by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade, it is a parody of the horror genre and revolves around the character of Garth Marenghi himself, a writer of pulp fiction played by Matthew Holness.

Season One


Once Upon A Beginning [1.1]

Garth Marenghi: (sitting at his desk, reading from one of his novels Slicer) Something was pouring from his mouth. He examined his sleeve. Blood!? Blood. Crimson copper-smelling blood, his blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. (Checks line)...And bits of sick.

Garth Marenghi: Greetings traveler. I'm Garth Marenghi, horror writer. Most of you will probably know me already from my extensive canon of chillers, including Afterbirth, in which a mutated placenta attacks Bristol. Back in the 1980s, I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a television program so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy, that the so-called powers that be became too scared to show it, and gypped me. Much in the same way women have done ever since they sniffed out my money.

Garth Marenghi: Only now, in the worst artistic drought in broadcast history, does the channel come crawling back, cap in hand and suitably ashamed, asking if your humble fabulist, could once more retrieve Darkplace from the boxes in his spacious basement, and let it loose on its unsuspecting public. That's you.

Dr. Liz Asher: Hi, I've come to apply for the doctor's job. I can assure you my credentials are top-notch, I've just graduated from Harvard College Yale. I aced every semester, and I got an 'A'.
Receptionist: (wooden) Well that sounds excellent. Our last doctor only just recently died in horrific circumstances. Can you start immediately?
Dr. Liz Asher: Sure, do I have time to go to the toilet?
Receptionist: (wooden) Not really, I've just paged Dr. Sanchez. He should be here any minute now.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez: I'm Dr. Sanchez! You're a woman.
Dr. Liz Asher: Yes, I hope that's not a problem.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez: Not at all. There's plenty of skirt on the ward, this is the 20th century after all though some don't like to admit it. Welcome to Darkplace, Liz.

Dean Learner: I, got a script, read it. Scared me senseless, comme d'habitudes. And I said to Garth, I looked straight into his face, I've never been afraid of holding a man's gaze - it's natural. I said "this is going to be the most significant televisual event since Quantum Leap." And I do not say that lightly.

Garth Marenghi: We're doing all we can. but I'm not Jesus Christ. I've come to accept that now.

Dean Learner: I warned Garth, erm, I said, "I'm not an actor". And erm, he said, I'll always remember this, that he didn't want an act, he wanted the truth. So erm, here is, er, Dean Learner, playing Thornton Reed. Not putting on an act, but putting on the truth.

Reed: Listen up ladies, we've got a situation. A little lass has just cracked her nut, and if she croaks,(pauses while he bangs his fist on the desk) my arse is grass.
Dagless: (voice over) That was Thornton Reed, my boss (cuts to Reed nodding). Head of the department - a ball-buster. But then, he had to answer to Won Ton.
Reed: She's here on the express say-so of Won Ton, a star pupil you might say, and one that Darkplace has high hopes for.
Sanchez: So far we've given her some Lucozade and that seems to have helped, but she says she's having visions - blood, guts, a real horror show.

Liz: I wasn't planning on falling on my fanny Dr. Dagless, I had a vision - I'm a psychic.
Dagless: And I'm Bo Derek.
Liz: No you're not.
Dagless: You're right, I'm not. I guess I use sarcasm as a defense.
Liz: I see the past, the present and the future.
Dagless: Tough gig!
Liz: Stop being sarcastic!
Dagless: Maybe if everyone who'd ever been close to you had died, you'd be sarcastic too.
Liz: (thinking) Yes, that makes sense

Thornton Reed: (about Dagless) I hope he heeds my words about dealing with this in an orthodox manner.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez: He will. He's the best damn doctor on the wing, or any other wing for that matter.
Thornton Reed: He's a wild card.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez: But I'm glad he's in our deck.
Thornton Reed: Let's hope he plays a fair hand.
Dr. Lucien Sanchez: He'll come up trumps.
Thornton Reed: If there's not a joker in the pack, and sometimes there is!

Sanchez: So let me get this straight. When you crushed my hand, you had a vision that something terrible has either happened, is happening, or will happen to a patient in Darkplace.

Liz: I know you're lying to me, protecting me, but I'm a big girl now. In a year's time I'll be a woman. Come on, who's Renwick, Rick?
Dagless: I dunno what you're talkin' about.
Liz: Yes you do
Dagless: You're right. I do. Larry Renwick was admitted here last week. The guy went axe-happy on a trout farm, he killed 60 fish.

Sanchez: You and he were...buddies...weren't you?
Dagless: Once.
Sanchez: Listen. When I first joined this hospital I was strictly solo. (Badly out of sync) You were first real buddy I ever had. But if you and he wish to be best buddies again, I won't stand in your way.
Dagless: I've got a best buddy Sanch, but some shit sticks no matter how hard you scrape. Hang back.

Garth Marenghi: I have never exploded. But, I know what it would be like. Don't ask me how, I just know. I've always, just known.

Dean Learner: I don't know, whether someone close to Garth had exploded, um, whether it was a colleague or a pet, but you could tell that scene meant a lot to him, there were tears on set. Not from Garth - he was strong for the crew, um, but I wept. I'm not ashamed of that. It's, I s'pose one of the many, burdens he has to bear, as an artist, in bringing us this gift.

Thornton Reed: If that's how you treat your friends, imagine how you treat your enemies. Worse I expect!

Dagless: Listen! This ain't another exploding patient you can sweep under your rug! Now look, when Renwick exploded it reopened the portal to hell and so we must close it before it's too late.
Sanchez: WHAT!? Am I holding a crock of shit!? Tell me something. Is this hospital called "St. Crock of Shit"!?
(Long pause)
Reed: Alright, calm down, emotions are running high. Dag, what do you suggest?
Dagless: The only way to close the portal is to burn what remains of Renwick.
Sanchez: (poorly dubbed) Get Lost.
Thornton Reed: (The shovel he was holding has changed to a cup of coffee) Cool it, Sanchez, or you'll get a knuckle supper! Look, Dagless, you're an excellent doctor (cup is now the shovel again), but you're also a livewire maverick, who when he's not bucking the system, is biting the hand that feeds, which in your case, is this hand (he holds up his free hand, the camera slowly follows). Now I'm not about to tell the immediate family of the deceased that we're going to have to burn what remains of his body in order to close the portals to another dimension. I just won't do it. This hospital's got a reputation, which I intend to keep. I've yet to see any demons on the ward, and I'm particularly observant. So go back to your lab and make a pill that can cure madness, or I'll kick your arse so hard you'll be able to build a pool in the footprint. Understood?
Dagless: As crystal.

The Padre: Larry Renwick will be remembered for his wit, and laughing eyes. And for being above-all a good friend. I'm sure we all feel that he exploded too young, but, the Lord moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes, he'll come in at an angle. Other times, he can hover, then swoop. Sometimes he can even come in from beneath, like a worm, or mole. The Lord, it's his call how he chooses to manoeuvre.

Dagless: (voice over) The doors of Darkplace were open. Not the literal doors of the building, most of which were closed. But evil doors. Dark doors. Doors, to the beyond. Doors that were hard to shut because they were abstract and didn't have handles. They were more like portals really. From this day on I'd have to fight these forces of darkness, and deal with the burden of day-to-day admin.

Garth Marenghi: I do not believe that any form of life, be it human, animal, or plant, should be hurt in the making of a television programme. So I personally feel really bad about that cat we killed.
Dean Learner: I had a cat once. I dropped a sofa on it, it was a write-off, so I stood on its head.

Garth Marenghi: All I do, is sit down at the typewriter, and start hittin' the keys. Getting them in the right order, that's the trick. That's the trick.

Sanchez: So what happened between you and this Renwick customer?

Hell Hath Fury [1.2]

Garth Marenghi: (sitting at his desk, reading from one of his novels: Slasher) Mike stared in disbelief as his hands fell off. From them rose millions of tiny maggots. Maggots!? Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. Maggots. (Checks line)...Maggots. All over the floor of the post office, in Leytonstone.

Garth Marenghi: Greetings friend, I hope you're sitting uncomfortably. Be it on your sofa, armchair or beanbag if that's how you choose to live your life. I'm Garth Marenghi, horror writer. You know everyone has a special talent. Mine is being able to write, produce, direct, act, paint. Other people are good plumbers, that's their gift.

Liz: Where's this flippin' chicken!?
Chef: Who said that!? Was it you Missy? Get this into your pretty little face, I said "5 minutes"
Chef: But nothing! Women like you are the reason this chicken's late in the first place. You'll be lucky if you get any of my lovely chicken if you keep up this kind of behaviour. (He turns, turns back to Liz and knocks her tray to the ground then walks back to the kitchen) Goddamn son-of-a-bitch! This is great chicken, getting nothing but flack. "Wah wah wah! When's the chicken?" Chicken's ready when I say it's ready. Ugh! Now I don't even know what I'm cooking I'm so angry. Seasoning. Hmm, now, what do I need, what do I need? Tarragon? Hmm maybe. Oregano, never heard it of it. Italian seasoning? Too vague. (Liz's PK abilities begin to move the ladle about) Old cloves, yes, bung some of them in. Sage? Nah, sage is for pork, ah I could do pork tomorrow, little bit of pork... (the ladle flies across the kitchen and knocks the chef down. Then a fork flies across into the chef) Son-of-a-bitch!

Dean Learner: I call Garth the "Orson Welles of horror", and that's not just because of his weight - he is a titan of terror. I call him that as well.

Dean Learner: Liz that bulb's gone again, you couldn't fish another one out from the drawer could you?

Sanchez:The guy's got a fork through his kernel. He's gonna make it, just, but the chicken's off!
[they all laugh]
Reed:That's a shame! I was looking forward to the chicken!

Reed: Look Dag, this temp was the personal recommendation of Won Ton's. He may look like he's just fallen off the back of a turnip truck, but he wouldn't run if his ass was on fire. He goes with you. And that's a deal breaker!

Dean Learner: Now I've seen Garth bend a fork, so er, he knows what he's talking about. I mean we all have abilities. I mean I once learnt how to hypnotise women. But with that power, must come, responsibility.

The Temp: Did you attack the chef? (The interrogated shakes their head) Thanks for your time. (He does this down the line)
Sanchez: I'll say one thing for the guy - he's very thorough.

Reed: (Picks up phone) Uh-huh. Bye! (puts phone down) Good gravy! A small bunch of objects are flying of their own accord in E Wing. (Picks up phone, then puts it down immediately) And apparently more objects are heading this way! (looks at phone, stuttering) Good...bye.

Reed: Flying objects? It beggars belief!

Dagless: Of course! That's why these attacks are mysterious they're not conventional attacks.
Sanchez: What is it?
Dagless: I've got two words for you Sanch, "telly kinesis"

Dean Learner: An eagle-eyed viewer might be able to see the wires. A pedant, might be able to see the wires. But I think if you're looking at the wires you're ignoring the story. If you go to a puppet show you can see the wires. But it's about the puppets, it's not about the string. If you go to a Punch & Judy show and you're only watching the wires, you're a freak.

Sanch: Yeah, it's me Dag, I'm in a dead-end. I've been cornered by some cutlery. I think I can take them. A whisk, a tin opener, and a spatula. Yeah, I'll take the whisk out first and hold them off as long as I can. (The whisk attacks him) Argh! I'm hit! I'm down, yeah, got me in the leg. They'll be after you next, bye! (Sanchez adopts a martial arts stance) Let's do this!

Dagless: I ran the only way I knew how. By placing one leg in front of the other in quick succession. I had to help Reed, trapped in his office by a desk he could no longer trust. I had to help Sanchez, locked in a primal struggle 'twixt man and whisk. And I had to help the Temp, who was probably doing some filing or data entry. I pressed on, chased by a staple that had my name on it. This was unbelievable, Liz was now turning my own stationery against me.

Dagless: Liz, hide your shame.

Dagless: What's your name, son?
The Temp: (dying) Clive.
Dagless: That's a strange name for an American.
The Temp: I'm from Bermuda.
Dagless: Ohhh, that explains it: British principality.
The Temp: It's actually a dependent territory.
Dagless: What's that?
The Temp: The queen appoints a governor in charge of internal security and external defence, but she's still the de facto sovereign.
Dagless: We have so much to teach each other.

Liz: I s'pose I owe you all an apology. And Sanch?
Sanchez: Yes Liz?
Liz: Thanks for the lobotomy.
Sanchez: Not a problem. The procedure to extract psycho-kinetic ability is in its infancy, though surprisingly simple all the same.
Liz: I guess being told I couldn't get a chicken supper was the straw that broke this camel's back. It was unprofessional and girlish, it won't happen again. Buns?

Dagless: I just can't believe the Temp is dead
Reed: It's alright Rick, we'll get another one.

Sanchez: C'mon Dag, what say I buy us all a drink down the drip?
Dagless: I'd appreciate that, I could use a drink.
Liz: As long as it's not a screwdriver! [In reference to her killing the temp by stabbing him with screwdrivers psycho-kinetically]
[They all laugh]
Reed: Yes! I'd prefer a beer!
[They all laugh even more]

Garth Marenghi: I think what this episode shows above all is that the human spirit cannot be overcome. You know, as a writer, if you took away my paper, I would write on my heart. If you take away my ink, I'd write on the wind. (Pauses) It wouldn't be an ideal way to work.

Dagless: We'd seen a new side to Liz. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." They can get upset at the slightest thing: whether it's forgetting to acknowledge them in front of your friends or dividing a restaurant bill in proportion to the amount of food ordered by each party, which is only fair. I had to change. Tomorrow I'd tell her she's lost weight or I like what she's done to her hair. Whichever seemed the most plausible.

Skipper the Eyechild [1.3]

Garth Marenghi: (sitting at his desk, reading from one of his novels Tomb Boy) Tina screamed for nurse. But Little Miss Nurse didn't come. Little Miss Nurse was out in the backroom having a cigarette and flirting with doctor. The pain shot through her like a big bullet. She knew babies were meant to kick, but were they meant to scratch? No, they weren't.

Garth Marenghi: (singing) Day draws into nightfall, yonder stars shine bright.You can be my baby, I hope that is alright.
Dead Skipper: (singing) Daddy, don't forget me.
Garth Marenghi: (singing) I haven't' but you're dead. You have a little brother now. And someday we'll all meet. In Valhalla.

Garth Marenghi: Salutations friend. I'm Garth Marenghi, horror writer, although I prefer the term "dreamweaver". When I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace for television back in the 1980s, I drew deep draughts of inspiration from the dyke of my dreams. Other times I copied the plots from dead authors on whose work the copyright had lapsed. (Shrugs) Bite me.

Reed: As I'm sure you people are aware, Won Ton's gamma radiation mumps program went west, and created a horny giant eye on legs.
Liz: I heard about that, did they ever find it?
Reed: It was found dead last night. It'd been shot in the eye.

Dagless: I, don't know anything about it. Besides, I think there are more important matters at present.
Reed: Could you give me an example?
Dagless: Like hospital bloody hygiene. I went into the gents and there was a big pube on the pipe so I had to use the one in E Wing.
Sanchez: It's true I went there two month back and there was a piece of shit stuck to the seat.

Dagless: Anyway, I'm outta here.
Reed: Not so fast, mister. Where were you last night?
Dagless: Nowhere.
Reed: Nowhere?
Dagless: That's right, nowhere.
Reed: Nowhere can be a lonely place to be.
Dagless: I get by.
Reed: It's just that I've been hearing some things.
Dagless: What things?
Reed: A lot of things. Strange things, crazy things. Things, Dag.
Dagless: Things?
Reed: Things.
Dagless: Well, shouldn't believe everything you hear Thornton.
Reed: You're hiding something Dag, I could swear it. I'm gonna give you 24 hours to get your sorry ship to shore. After that I'll do whatever it takes to 'unt you down.
Dagless: I dunno what you're talking about.
Reed: 24 hours Dag, 24 hours. 23 hours 59 minutes, don't make me stand 'ere and count.
Dagless: See ya later. I would stay, but the air's starting to stink round here.
Reed: Not from me it's not, I just went.

Garth Marenghi: This episode is really about my own desire to have a son, um, I have four daughters, and, whilst I don't blame them as such, I don't really feel they're on my side.

Sanchez: Good God! Knocked my bloody tooth out!
Dagless: (He picks up a chair) Keep away from me! Keep away! (He smashes the chair, which smashes, across the back of the doctor who went off the roof) I said keep away! (He then drags this doctor back and punches him in the face again. This doc takes a lot of punishment!)
Sanchez: He's insane! He doesn't know what he's doing! (Jim grabs hold of Dagless, and the other staff come in to subdue him) Pin him down man for Christ's sake!
(Reed enters, and the drama abruptly stops)
Reed Calm him down! (He walks over to Dag) You're acting like an ape! A wild ape!

Dean Learner: I haven't acted since, (cheerfully) some would say I didn't act during, but er, er (cheeriness fades), those would be unkind people. I did my best.

Todd Rivers: (On Dean Learner) He couldn't actually interact with, you know, with another actor. I've never seen that before, and I've never seen that since. But I've just seen the tape, and it looks okay, though.

Garth Marenghi: In the end I picked up that pube, and I'm glad I did because it made that gent's a better place to be in. And that, is my question to the government (addresses the camera) Are you prepared to get your hands dirty, or are you gonna let things clog up the cistern.

The Apes of Wrath [1.4]

Garth Marenghi: (sitting at his desk, reading from one of his novels Black Fang) The moonlight shone down on the place, unhindered. The gnarled parapets jagged upwards, like a bony hand of icy indifference. In the background there was a pigeon. Who knew how long the place had stood there? 40 years? 50 years? Tempus immemoria, i.e. always? But it was a bad place, that much was certain. A very bad place indeed.

Garth Marenghi: Greetings traveller. Who am I? Perhap’ you have met me twixt sleep and wake, in the penumbra of uncertainty you call “unconsciousness”. Or perhaps you’ve met me at a book signing. I’m Garth Marenghi, horror author. My business is chill, impure and simple,

Garth Marenghi: If you use anti-perspirant it clogs up your pores, if you clog up you're pores you're gonna sweat elsewhere... and if you block up everything well then you're gonna sweat inside, and get cancer.

Garth Marenghi: You know, my books are all essentially about ‘what ifs’. In Black Fang I asked: What if a rat could drive a bus? And what if it and its rat brethren took over and ate Parliament? When I wrote, directed and starred in tonight’s episode of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, I was asking another ‘what if’. Now, I won’t tell you which ‘what if’ it is, but it’s basically along the same lines but with a different animal. Without giving too much away, think Planet of The Apes.

Daglass: I figure the following: Sanch is regressing to Homo neanderthalenus. Right now Sanch you're Homo erectus but who knows how long you’ve got?
Sanchez: I appreciate you being straight with me.
Reed: And you and I are Homo sapiens?
Daglass: Correct.
Reed: But if we’re all basically Homos, shouldn’t we get along?
Daglass: You’d have thought. But Homo erectus is famed for his meanness. How’re you feeling in here Sanch?
Sanchez: I’m bearing up… you know me Dag.
Daglass: Yeah. Yeah I do big guy.
Reed: Come on you two queers. We need to lick this problem before it turns round and slaps us in the nuts. We need data. Liz, fill these boys in if you pardon the expression.

Padre: Monkeys were created by God to entertain us. That's all we know Rick.

Sanchez: (Having had a patient die in surgery) Not my fault! Monkey bastard hands!

Todd Rivers: It wasn’t difficult for me to get into character. I mean, I know the beast in me, I’ve been drunk with him for fifteen years. So it was home from home you might say.

Sanchez: I’m afraid Rick. I’m afraid of what I’m becoming. (Dagless sniffs the air deeply) Yep… that’s me. (Points to his hair) And this is unmanageable. I used to have the best hair in the hospital. And I’m starting to get some pretty primal urges.
Dagless: I didn’t wanna say, but when I went into surgery this morning, you were waving your bits out the window.
Sanchez: I don’t even know I’m doing it. I thought I was helping attach a drip. I went to the padre to confess, ended up washing my arse in the font.

Dagless: (voice over) My bonce having been knocked, I fell into a strange fantastical dream, rich in imaginative imagery. I found myself alone in a primitive land where phantasm, spelt with PH not an F, abounded. I turned one way. Then the other. Then back. Then forward. Then I saw myself as a monkey.

Reed: They’ve taken over!
Dagless: Oh, no! Oh, Jesus! They've taken over! They've taken over!
Reed: I know!

Dagless: Don’t drink that! Look, it’s bright green.
Reed: Thank God I only took a tiny sip.
Dagless: Someone or something has been tampering with our water supply. I’m going to the water storeroom. I have a hunch that whoever, or whatever he, or she, or it is, will be in there.
Reed:Right! I’ll stay here and try and recuperate as fast as I can.

Garth Marenghi: I know writers who use subtext and they're all cowards. OK? What I was asking in that scene is: what if politicians continue to pay doctors peanuts, could they literally turn into monkeys? And no-one's asked that before.
Dagless: (voice over) It was here that I found the fiendish fount of this fear. An Apeloid micturating – which means urinating – on my erstwhile – which means former – buddy. I had a hunch this guy was the head honcho.

Liz: True enough, but if you boys make another crack about my taking a shit in Dag’s car, I’ll give you the thick end of the wedge.
Sanchez: Okay Liz, no need to go ape!
Liz: HEY! I thought I told you…
Reed: She’s going bananas!
(The guys start laughing, joined eventually by Liz.)

Dagless: (voice over) We laughed to protect ourselves, to mask the awful horror. Although I thought what Reed said about Liz going bananas was genuinely witty. Each man must acknowledge his beast, whether through sport or violent films. But a man must not let his beast be his master… otherwise you're no better than Bill Wyman.

Dean Learner: It’s so hard to watch this episode, knowing that she’s now missing, presumed dead, with the presumption heavily on dead. I don’t think they’ll find anything. But, then again she was like a candle in the wind… unreliable.

Todd Rivers: I've stood in Dean's front room and watched him make a lot of love

Scotch Mist [1.5]

Garth Marenghi: (sitting at his desk, reading from one of his novels The Told) Nina's eyes popped out of what was left of her back. Why oh why had she opened that tomb? The sand turned red. This was because she was bleeding on it. Blood - ruby-red blood, her blood. Blood… and piss and shit. This was the worst day of her life.

Garth Marenghi: Welcome, friend. You know, a lot of people say: 'Garth Marenghi? Isn’t he the guy who writes all that horror crap?' Well, good luck to you, you’re an idiot. Because my books always say something, even if it’s just something simple like: 'Don’t genetically engineer crabs to be as big as men', there's always a message or a theme. When I wrote, directed, and starred in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace back in the 1980s, I gave every episode a theme—even when we were running out of time, or I was really tired.

Dean Learner: He had a very ambitious script. I said: "Garth, this is a very ambitious script for the money we've got. Seeing as we've got no money, it's extremely ambitious." We were filming it in my garage. I had a big garage, but still it was ambitious to film a TV show in a garage.

Dagless (voice over): My name is Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D. It's 3 a.m. and it's misty—too misty. And the weatherman had said, and I quote: 'More mist to come'. And once you added that to the mist that was already here, you were looking at a whole mess of mist. I'd been called out to the grounds of Darkplace; it was taking ages because of the mist, though. There was something about this mist. What? I hadn't the foggiest.

Reed: Well, all I know is that I've got a hospital to run. You'd better do something, and fast, [thumps desk] 'cause I don’t want to be sitting here this time tomorrow with mist up my crack. Do I make myself clear? Good, now get!

Dean Learner: We found out that the mist was poisonous when two techies died yes. Now I don’t like see anyone die, but if someone has to die, it might as well be a techie. Because another one comes along; it's the same belt, it's the same hammer in the tool belt; you can barely tell the difference.

Dagless: Keep your headbands on; that way we won’t get lost. And use your fans sparingly, they eat through batteries and if you're not careful they can nick your fingers. Stay local.

Garth Marenghi: Listen to me: I am not prejudiced, all right? That's what I’m saying: I am not prejudiced. But Joe Public is. You probably are, you look like a dropout [shrugs]. Point being, I wrote this to heal Britain.

Dagless: The cabin crew suggested we all go out and club it. I had no option. It was that or one of their B&Bs. I figured it'd be safer on the streets. For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, and it weren't pretty. I'd seen them huddling in stations before, being loud but… this time I was surrounded. Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take 'em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole. A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes. I ain’t never going back… not never.
Sanchez: My aunt lives in Scotland; she says it's quite nice.
Dagless: Well, she's wrong.

Garth Marenghi: As a writer, I make my own rules up, okay? If I wanna start a sentence with a full-stop I will. If I want to highlight social prejudice, I will, but I’ll do it my way. And sometimes you actually have to be a bigot, in order to bring down bigger bigots.

Sanchez: I know "mon" means man, but I don’t think "och" means anything.

Dagless: Look, didnae get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Scotch people. I love Lulu, and if Taggarts on, I’ll tape it. I was very tired that night, and I was pissed off I was in Glasgow. Colleagues of mine have since visited it during the day, and they say they've had a cracking time. I'm sorry. I was wrong; I see that now. My life is yours.

Sanchez: I wonder what brought them here, Liz. Was it Rick? Was it this hospital? Or was it both?
Liz: Or all three?

Dagless (voice over): One mist had gone, but another mist remained… a worst mist. A mist that fogged men's minds: the mist of mist-understanding. Luckily this mist was just a metaphor and wouldn't really affect things that much. On a nearby rooftop a bird took flight, but not even that could spoil this beautiful moment, as rosy-fingered dawn cupped Romford in its hands and thumbed open the new day's crack.

Garth Marenghi I love Scotland. You know, I’ll take the high road, I’ll take the low road… I think both are valid.

Sanchez: Can I speak frankly?
Dagless: Of course.
Sanchez: If you act like a cheap arsehole, expect the shittiest portion.

Todd Rivers: Some thought it was quite racist; I didn't. But then again, I'd play anything: a Nazi, anything at all. I don't think I'd ever… kiss another man; not even… not even for the big boys.

Dagless: They want what all Scotch people want: To kill the Queen, and destroy our way of life.

The Creeping Moss from the Shores of Shuggoth [1.6]

Garth Marenghi: I’ve always loved the great tragedies; King Lear, the Poseidon Adventure, Superman 2, and when I wrote, directed and starred in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, I set out to continue that grand tradition. This eve’s yarn is a simple tale o’ heartbreak. An eternal story of love and loss, set against the backdrop of an abortive alien invasion. Though you don’t actually find out it’s abortive till the end of the show. It’s my Romeo and Juliet, but less whiny.

Garth Marenghi: Hold her gently, like you wouldst a lover, lying in a field, nestled in the shade of a mighty oak tree. Perhap you're gently petting - having just enjoyed a hamper of chilled white wine and a selection of continental cheeses. Bon Appetit.

Porter: Get me Dr Rick Dagless M.D., NOW! Yes I’ll hold.

Dean Learner: Garth is the most significant artist that I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with Lulu and four other people. So we’re talking crème de la crème.

Sanchez: What I do is sometimes get a tin of soup...
Dagless: Yeah.
Sanchez: ...Heat it up, poach an egg in it, serve that with a pork pie, sausage roll.
Dagless: I'll get a Wimpy.

Garth Marenghi: Todd’s wonderful in this episode, and there are scenes with him and me where I think you’re watching him as much as me.

Liz: Apparently she was in for a routine operation to have her toe shortened, which was really long, like a finger. Then next thing she knew this happened. All in all she’s a little off colour.

Reed: I’ll look after Liz, you get this skin sample analysed. And keep this shtoom, if Won Ton gets wind of this my arse is grass and he’s got a lawnmower. Ya dig?

Dagless: It’s taking her over. It’s very infectious Padre, and I fear the only way to stop this spreading will be to boil her.
Padre: You could... steam her.

Padre: You’ll know what to do. You’re the most sensitive man I know… and I know God.

Garth Marenghi: When I pray, and sometimes I do, I pray to myself. I pray that I can pull myself through. And if I’m lucky, I answer myself.

Dagless: Look, I’ll level with you: Linda’s dying, she’s turning into broccoli. It’s very contagious, she must be boiled.

Reed: You’re both out of line! Now I’m not going to stand here and dance for you, I don’t have to. I wanna see both of you in my office five minutes ago, (looks at watch) so you’d best hurry up!

Reed: Look Sanch, I know all about Linda and I’m sorry, God knows I am. But slapping Dag’s ass about the shop ain’t gonna bring her back any. Now if Dag thinks that the only way to contain this is to boil her, then I’m backing him a hundred and ten percent. That means I could backtrack ten percent and I’d still be completely behind him.
Sanchez: You have no idea what this feels like old timer.
Reed: I’ve been there hombre, when I heard my wife died I could barely finish my lunch.

Dean Learner: The next sequence in the show, alas, is lost. The pertaining can of film was destroyed in a drink-related misadventure in Fulham. It was an idiotic altercation which I bitterly regret both for personal and professional reasons. However, with the aid of some photographic stills taken by the girlfriend of the time, we have reconstructed the missing scenes with added narration from the available cast. I hope that this does not impair your enjoyment of the drama.

Dean Learner: I fear that we’re seeing an end to the quality of television that you and I should be able to take for granted. We are seeing a dumbing-down of television... I think we're living in dangerous times. The horror genre is in decline... Reading is in decline, Literacy, Numeracy; the three Ls are in decline.

Deconstructing Darkplace [DVD Extra]

Dean Learner: Art isn't a commodity that you haul in and out [pauses]-
Garth Marenghi: No.
Dean Learner: -like dildos.

Todd Rivers: Darkplace sums up television as we know it. By that I mean: to the untrained eye everything looks smooth, hugely entertaining, everyone looks good, you know, everything is tied up; the end. Yet the reality is far different; it was horrible to work on, I didn't get paid any money for it and to be honest I can't remember a thing about it now, and that's the way I hope it stays. Thank you very much.

Garth Marenghi: 'Cause I will not pay a licence. I believe that the gift of Darkplace is a [stutters] such a sufficient gift to television that I don't believe I ever should really have to pay a licence ever again, I really don't. That's my gift; I've paid my licence, a hundred times over with just one episode of Darkplace. So if they come gipping me again for a licence [pauses] up theirs.

Todd Rivers: A man who behaves like a beast, shall never know the pain of being a man. Yet a man without love is like an orchard without cherryblossom.

Garth Marenghi: They often say to people, ‘You've got a sweet tooth.’ With me they say, ‘You've got a meat tooth.’ And they’re right. I love meat. Pam loves meat. The children don’t love meat, but that’s what we cook them. And until they can afford to buy their own vegetarian food, they're just gonna have to lump it.

Dean Learner: My style is an eclectic mix. Some of it comes from 20s golf. Some of it comes from Al Capone. Some of it comes from the future. And some of it comes from fiefal[sic] landlords.

Dean Learner: We made this show without any channel's permission. So I just started making the show with Garth, paying for it myself - we didn't know you had to be asked. So we made it, gave it to the channel and they said "I'm sorry, but we didn't ask you to make this" and I said "What do you mean you didn't ask us to make this? Do you ask everyone before they make a show?" And they said "Yes we do". And I went "This is news to me sweetheart. I made this show with my sweat and blood. I've spent the last 4 weeks of my life making this show. Do you want it?". "No" they say. So I'm, you know, caught between the devil and the deep blue sea having to sell 40 episodes of a medical based horror show, erm, with no one buying it, thats why we had to put it out in Peru.


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