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Characters / Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

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    Dr. Rick Dagless MD/Garth Marenghi
Played by: Matthew Holness
  • The Ace: Brilliant doctor, war veteran, master marksman and former warlock. Dag has done it all.
  • All First-Person Narrators Write Like Novelists: Justified in that Marenghi is a novelist.
  • Author Avatar: Dagless is a very obvious one for Marenghi.
  • Badass Longcoat: Is rarely seen without his doctor's cape and cowboy boots, even when he's not even wearing pants.
  • Black Hole Sue: Invoked.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Garth Marenghi is a successful novelist, but he's mad as a brush.
  • Captain Obvious
    I ran the only way I knew how - by moving one foot in front of the other in quick succession.
  • Carpet of Virility: It's the eighties.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: What he's supposed to be in theory. In practice, not so much (well, not the chivalrous part).
  • Combat Medic: Due to the frequent supernatural events in Darkplace Hospital, he spends more onscreen time using his revolver than he does actually treating patients.
  • Cool Gun: Keeps a Magnum revolver on his person at all times, but claims he Doesn't Like Guns.
  • Copiously Credited Creator: In-Universe. The show credits Garth Marenghi as writer, director, producer, star and even sneaks in a composer credit ('based on tunes whistled by').
  • Crazy-Prepared: Carrying a revolver at all times in a hospital aside, he brings a flamethrower to Renwick's funeral.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hinted at. He had a son, who was part-grasshopper, who jumped too high one day and didn't see the helicopter passing overhead.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Maybe if everyone who'd ever been close to you had died, you'd be sarcastic, too."
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Garth is quite fond of trying to sound erudite, and failing catastrophically (mostly due to explaining what any remotely exotic word means).
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!
  • '80s Hair: The show is pure '80's kitsch, so this trope is a necessity.
  • Friend to All Children: He's shown giving aid to small children around the hospital, ostensibly saving their lives and giving advice.
  • God-Mode Sue: Invoked.
  • Heartbroken Badass: He claims that he's lost everyone he's ever loved. We don't know what happened to his wife, but we do know that his half-grasshopper son jumped too high one day and was killed by a helicopter.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Has some pretty obvious problems with women and it bleeds through to the Darkplace characters, who often make chauvinistic comments totally out of the blue.
  • The Hero: Obviously. He's Garth's character, after all. What else?
  • Hurting Hero: Everyone he's ever loved has died, apparently.
  • Ignored Expert: His advice about burning Renwick's body is ignored by Reed, who rants at him telling him that he's a livewire maverick. It's only when Renwick comes back to life that he believes him.
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Marenghi is very fond of this trope.
  • Infallible Narrator
  • Informed Attractiveness: Sanchez claims Dagless is more attractive, even though, conventionally, it's the other way round. Dagless and both his fictional actor and his real actor aren't ugly, of course, but Dagless' attractiveness is rather overstated.
  • Informed Attribute: Doesn't Like Guns, even though he seems to always have one.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's supposed to be this due to the death of his son (and possibly his wife as well) and with his treating of child patients. However, the way he treats other hospital staff, he comes across as a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Insists he's an utter genius but this series tells otherwise. At the opening of one episode, he says he is "one of the few people who have written more books than they have read".
  • Large Ham: He takes a Serious Business approach to every line, treating even the most mundane of sentences as if it were the most important thing in the world.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Invoked in-universe. Dagless simply wears the same clothes as Marenghi does in the interviews, only with a doctor's labcoat instead of a leather jacket—He wears the leather jacket or one suspiciously like it to the funeral in the first episode.
  • Mage Marksman: Dag is apparently a former warlock and is shown in a flashback with Renwick in a Satanic ritual. He's also always in possession of a Hand Cannon, which he tends to use quite a lot.
  • Marty Stu: In-Universe. It's telling that being the world's greatest doctor is only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Mr. Exposition: He's effectively a mouthpiece for Marenghi's writing, with a heavy level of Purple Prose in his internal monologue.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Every word out of his mouth.
  • Narrator: Oh, boy...
  • The Napoleon: Not Dagless, for once. Garth Marenghi insists in interviews that he is six feet tall. Cut to Todd Rivers laughing hysterically.
    "He's barely five foot and wears lifts!"
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Dagless has one during the chase scene during "The Apes Of Wrath". Lampshaded, since apparently Marenghi didn't want to overexert himself as he sweats easily.
  • Parody Sue: Of both the heroes of old low-budget horror and sci-fi shows and films like Quatermass, and of shows like Casualty or E.R. He is more specifically a parody of a real Sue: Peter Rickman of Kingdom Hospital.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Rick expresses casually sexist and racist views obviously shared by the (fictional) writer Garth Marenghi himself.
  • Purity Sue: Invoked. "You're the most sensitive man I know, and I know God."
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: He's a reflection of his (ineptly bigoted) creator's views.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Briefly in the Scotch Mist episode. One of the mist's effects is to dye his hair ginger. It's only temporary, as the Scots assure him it'll grow out.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: It helps a lot that Dag's comes loaded with Bottomless Magazines.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: He states the he fought for his country in The Vietnam War.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: One of the more entertaining parts of the show is just how far up his own ass Garth Mahrenghi is and how outlandish his justifications are.
  • The Smart Guy: He's the world's greatest doctor and generally is the one who figures out the situation as required.
  • Stepford Snarker: "Maybe if everyone who'd ever been close to you had died, you'd be sarcastic too."
  • Sympathetic Sue: Invoked.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Punches Liz in the face when he tries to escape from the rooftop with his Giant Eye baby. He also slaps her to calm her down from her hysterics.

    Dr. Lucien Sanchez/Todd Rivers
Played by: Matt Berry

    Liz Asher/Madeline Wool
Played by: Alice Lowe
  • All Women Love Shoes: She's the only woman, they need to put all these clichés somewhere.
  • Author Existence Failure: In-universe, Madeline Wool is missing, presumed dead. Judging by the other actors' uncomfortableness about the subject, they may or may not have had something to do with it.
  • Boomerang Bigot / Female Misogynist: Due to Garth's chauvinistic writing, Liz often makes vaguely sexist comments towards herself, such as thanking the men for taking away her psychic powers and criticizing herself for basically expecting respect from them.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After her psychic rampage, Dag performs a lobotomy on her to disable her telekinetic abilities with no apparent side effects to her intelligence. However, she still retains Psychic Powers, such as mind reading.
  • Butt-Monkey: Is the victim of Marenghi's very blatantly chauvinistic writing. In one scene she screams and Dagless punches her in the face. She responds with "Thanks! I was hysterical!"
  • The Chick: She just sort of exists, except for the one episode where she went mental and rampaged with her psychic abilities. After that, and her lobotomy, the Aborted Arc is never returned to. She's the only main character that isn't always armed.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The (fictional) actress, Madeleine Wool, disappeared without a trace after the filming of Darkplace. She is (emphatically) presumed dead by her fellow cast members. Dean Learner speculates that she's "buried somewhere in the Eastern bloc. If she got a burial." The awkwardness of the remaining cast members around the subject and the fact that they're all incredibly shady to begin with suggests that there's a pretty sordid story behind the disappearance.
  • Dumb Blonde: Despite the fact she "aced every semester and got an A", she almost always acts as The Load. This may have something to do with her lobotomy.
  • Easily Forgiven: After she rampages with her Psychic Powers around the hospital and is given a lobotomy to remove her telekinetic abilities, the rest of the staff make light of the fact that she killed the temp.
  • '80s Hair: par the course.
  • Gaussian Girl: Used in most of her shots.
  • Informed Attribute: She's written as a Hysterical Woman, but Madeline isn't very good at hysterics, meaning that her boss's default response looks like a serious overreaction.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: In her own words, she attended "Harvard College, Yale."
  • Menstrual Menace: When she's on her period and everyone else berates her, her Psychic Powers are amplified to the point where every random object in the hospital is a threat to everyone.
  • Noodle Incident: Madeline Wool is implied to be murdered, and the other actors' hesitance suggests they had a hand in it.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Especially in episode two.
  • Psychic Powers: She can make use of telekinesis until Dag gives her a lobotomy to remove that power when she rampages around the hospital. Afterwards, she still retains some of her powers, such as the ability to read minds.
  • The Smurfette Principle: A symptom of Marenghi's sexist writing.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Every single time she cries.

    Thornton Reed/Dean Learner
Played by: Richard Ayoade
  • Ambiguously Gay: Learner is quite camp, but denies in almost a Suspiciously Specific Denial that he is gay.
  • Aside Glance: Very frequently, mostly to read cue cards.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wears a long coat from time to time, along with his badass shotgun.
  • Badass Mustache: Dean wears a seventies-style 'tache to make Reed look like he's supposed to be older than the others.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Learner says he's not an actor, and he means it.
  • Captain Obvious: "I want to see both of you in my office five minutes ago!" -checks his watch- "So you'd best hurry up!"
  • Camp Straight: Dean Learner maybe. Thornton Reed is seen groping Liz's ass at the funeral in the first episode.
  • Cigar Chomper: Learner doesn't smoke cigarettes, though. He doesn't want to get cancer.
  • Cold Ham: He tries to be a Large Ham, but just doesn't have the acting chops.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's supposed to be one. Despite being the youngest man in the main cast.
  • Covert Pervert: Reed is seen groping Liz while comforting her.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He brings a shotgun to a funeral.
  • Da Chief: Thornton Reed is clearly written this way in spite of being the administrator of a hospital rather than a police precinct.
  • Dull Surprise: He has almost no ability to act with his face.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Every one of his rants.
  • Groin Attack: Reed apparently lost a testicle in The Korean War.
  • Filming for Easy Dub: Learner is such a poor actor that his lines are redone constantly.
  • Jerkass: Bordering on Sociopathic Hero, although this is more of an Informed Attribute. He once punched one of the on-set child actors, and it's implied he murdered the person who financed the show ("Achmed", who was interested in "moving pictures"), Garth's second publicist, and Liz's actress.
  • Jive Turkey: Made hilarious by Learner's nasally English accent. "My ass is grass, and Wanton's got a lawnmower, ya dig?"
  • Large and in Charge: Richard Ayoade is 6' 2'' and thus the tallest of the main four. It's not pronounced as much as Dean Learner but as Thornton Reed it's emphasized how much he towers over Dagless and the others. Fitting as he is their boss.
  • Large Ham: Again, he's clearly meant to be played a Large Ham, but Learner is such a hilariously bad actor that it doesn't entirely work.
  • Nice Hat: Several!
  • Not-So-Badass Longcoat: Wears one to the funeral. Most likely to conceal his shotgun.
  • Playing Gertrude: He's supposed to be the oldest character, and refers to the other men as "young bucks", even though Richard Ayoade is younger than Matthew Holness and Matt Berry.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's probably supposed to be this, but his treatment of Liz torpedoes any illusions of that.
  • Retired Badass: In his backstory, he lost a knee and a testicle in The Korean War and, apparently has been a Desk Jockey for the last decade.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: He takes so long to pour a glass of water that Dag is able to work out that it's the water turning everyone into apes.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: His Weapon of Choice. He even brings it to a funeral.
  • The Sociopath: Dean Learner indicates that he has no sense of morality and throughout the series implies that he has murdered a number of people in order to stay close to Garth Marenghi. He also is the worst actor on the show possibly because he doesn't feel authentic emotions.
  • Soul Brotha: Thornton Reed is probably intended by Marenghi to be played as a Soul Brotha; he says in the first episode that if Dagless doesn't pull through, "My ass is grass! And he (Won Ton)'s got a lawn mower, ya dig?". Dean Learner, due to his monotone, nasal voice and general lack of acting ability, cannot quite pull this off.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Is way too into Garth Merenghi to the point that he admits to having punched a child for having disrespected him and its implied he murdered Garth Merenghi's manager in order to stay close to him.
  • Waistcoat of Style
  • Would Hurt a Child: Dean Learner remarks, in a distressingly off-handed manner, that he violently struck one of the child actors who appeared in the show, hard enough to leave a visible bruise. It was photographed and it's strongly hinted to have contributed to the cancellation of Darkplace.


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