Bill Cummings 03/10/2006

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace gets its long awaited release on 4DVD on the 16th of October. Originally filmed in the 1980s and has since earned a cult reputation as one of the most terrifying and radical television programmes ever made. Despite this, none of the episodes have ever been seen before now (although the show enjoyed a brief run in Peru ).

Here's the lowdown "The series was scripted and directed by the best-selling horror writer GARTH MARENGHI, known to thousands as the author of such classic chillers as The Ooze (can water die?), Afterbirth (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol) and Black Fang (rats learn to drive). In addition, MARENGHI starred as the show's lead character, Dr. Rick Dagless M.D., a maverick doctor battling against the evil forces lurking beneath a hospital in Romford. Darkplace was funded by MARENGHI'S publisher, business associate and co-star, DEAN LEARNER, who plays hospital boss Thornton Reed. The programme also features cult horror star TODD RIVERS as Dr. Lucien Sanchez, and MADELEINE WOOL as Dr. Liz Asher (who vanished during the production and remains missing, presumed dead). Controversy has surrounded the show since its creation, leading to rumours that the production was cursed. When Darkplace was originally cancelled, it had already claimed six lives, caused three nervous breakdowns and been subject to at least one visitation. MARENGHI, however, blames the government for the show's troubled genesis: “MI8, which is actually three levels above MI6, pulled the plug. And they did it because I knew the truth. They had files on everyone. But mainly on me.” DEAN LEARNER, however, blames its creator: “Not since Orson Welles had one man so many fingers in so many pies, and been the chef as well. And then looked like he went and ate them all. The guy was out of control.”

Almost twenty years later, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace returned in 2004 for its first UK screening, carefully restored and re-mastered by MARENGHI himself, along with technical help from LEARNER and his one-time brother-in-law. Even now, GARTH warns that the show, an effort to “radicalise men's minds,” may prove “too subversive, too dangerous, too damn scary.” The wait for the most famous 'lost' project in horror is finally over.

According to the blurb "The new DVD is packed with over four hours of extras, including: commentaries on all episodes by MARENGHI, LEARNER AND RIVERS; MARENGHI'S original storyboards penned on the back of a breakfast napkin and shown alongside the final scene; a vast photo gallery; further interviews with MARENGHI, LEARNER and RIVERS; an extended 12” version of TODD RIVERS' classic One Track Lover; original radio advertisements; backstage footage shot by MARENGHI'S wife, PAM; and other previously unseen material. The DVD also includes an exclusive souvenir brochure."

Sounds pretty damn good, eh? Its out on the 16th of October, cert 15, at the retail price of 19.99 lets hope it was worth the wait!
Check out some exclusive preview clips below:

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