Friday, November 1, 2013

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

I recently stumbled upon a hilarious television show called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, created by Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness. The show is presented as a lost classic: it claims to have been a television series produced in the 80's, although it was never broadcasted at the time because it was "so ahead of it's time." The show was actually produced in the 2000's for British television. Throughout the show, there is commentary by the "original cast" where certain characters reflect on the making and producing of the show. The show parodies numerous aspects of 80's low-budget television including special effects, lighting, and music.

Aside from being hilariously entertaining, the show is actually produced quite well from the costumes, sets, lighting, and music. Each element is put together meticulously and really makes the viewer believe the show is as old as it claims to be.

The lighting in particular is what stood out the most to me. Especially during the commentary excerpts, the lighting is spot on. The characters are over-lit with no clear direction of where the light is coming from.

Another aspect of the show which really helps to place the viewer in this recreated world is the set. The different sets are the perfect combination of being realistic and fake that they achieve the ideal level of cheesy-ness that was often seen in other 80's television shows. Here we see Dr. Dagless on a rooftop holding his eye child. Note the strong backlight and fake skyline.

All of the episodes (there are unfortunately only 6) are available on youtube in solid quality. If you are a fan of British/ dark humor i highly recommend you check this show out. It also airs on Adult Swim every friday night. I've posted my favorite one below.

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