Greetings friend, I hope you’re sitting — uncomfortably — for we bring portentous news: the cult comedy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace has risen from the void to haunt Amazon Prime. Via BrooklynVegan, except for a brief run on the Seeso app, this will be the first time the cracked horror parody has been available to stream in the United States.
Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace aired six perfect episodes in 2004 before its premature cancellation. But despite underwhelming viewership, it was watched through clouds of bong smoke on both sides of the Atlantic, and over the intervening 17 years its legend has only grown.
Created by and starring Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness, the show purported to follow Garth Marenghi (Holness), a self-described “author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor.” Marenghi aspires to be Stephen King but comes across as a delusional jester, with a bibliography full of such questionable thrillers as “Afterbirth, in which a mutated placenta attacks Bristol.”
Darkplace presented a show-within-a-show, as the character Merenghi offered commentary on a television series he had supposedly filmed in the 1980s. It finds Marenghi playing one of his own creations, Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D. As the gun-wielding doctor, he battles cosmic horrors and clumsy production values alongside his publisher, Dean Holness (Ayoade), who plays hospital administrator Thornton Reed with some of the worst acting ever committed to film. Rounding out the cast are Matt Berry, who would go on to star alongside Ayoade on the long-running sitcom The IT Crowd, and Alice Lowe, who would later be seen in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
All six episodes are currently streaming on Amazon Prime. You can also find them on YouTube for the time being, which means you can revisit the pilot, “Once Upon a Beginning,” below.