“Go Fuck Your Face Abbot”…Derrida.
This weekend I dusted off a DVD of one of my favourite TV comedy show, the cult hit Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. It’s essentially a parody of TV shows from the 80′s which is intentionally made to look bad from the script and acting down to the the post production. The main protagonist is; as you can probably guess, Garth Marenghi, a self-important Horror paperback writer who; despite his own arrogant self belief, is completely inept. If you enjoy by dry, surreal and at times downright silliness this show should be for you. I leave with part of a parody press statement from the official Garth Marenghi Site and a few other sounds and colours (moving and static) which are related to the series; a series that I can’t recommend enough to people.
“Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was 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).
Darkplace 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 in a standard-sized hellmouth underneath a hospital in pre-apocalyptic 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 several 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.”
(I couldn’t get the video clips I wanted as Channel 4 has taken most of them down… but you can watch whole episodes on youtube.)
I hate this current series of Home Office adverts that are currently being played on various TV and radio stations. Does the Government really need to tell people to lock their doors?
I’ve recently been watching the sky arts coverage of the Hay festival, which incidentally was an accident in the first place. I’ve known about the festival for sometime now but have never really taken an interest in it, particularly as it always comes across, at least via TV coverage, as being rather pompous. However flicking through the vast amount of TV channels I came across it, and the only reason I actually continued to watch it was due to the presence of Chris Addison, a comedian that starred in the recent satirical film In The Loop. I’ve gone on to watch many more episodes and really been rather interested in the book themed conversations. What has really struck home of late is how much of a book worm I’m slowly becoming, which I blame; and it’s no bad thing, on university.
I’m currently reading The English by Jeremy Paxman, but in a pile awaiting me I also have the following treats to go through:
Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Prince by Machiavelli
The Metamorphosis by Kafka
Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
The Foucault Reader edited by Paul Rainbow
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
The Book with No Name by Anonymous
Flat Earth News by Nick Davies
Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
In addition to this I have a load more saved in my amazon basket yet to buy. As many may know, I’m very much into my gadgets, but I really cant see the printed word dieing out anytime soon, at least not in book form anyway. And should I do poorly at my degree; which I of course would not wish to be the case, at least I can credit always the university experience for nudging me into doing more reading than ever before.
I really do enjoy watching/reading Charlie Brooker material, his latest TV series is called Newswipe, a program which provides a satyrical yet insightful look at the world of news, a spin off from his look at TV content called Screenwipe. Below are some youtube videos of the latest episode (episode two) that someone has handily, and swiftly put on youtube.
In this Episode “Charlie Brooker sets his satirical sights on news and current affairs. In charting the rise of the public’s role in making the news via vox pops and mobile phone footage, Brooker examines the good, the bad and the absurd in citizen journalism. Plus, reviews of two big stories making the news, controversial authored pieces, a poem and much more.”
If you do live in the UK and fancy watching it, (not that i’ve particularly sold it) i’ve handily provided a link the show on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00jks6r/Newswipe_Episode_2