After a bit of a disappointing Doctor Who Christmas special, the BBC broadcast a jaw-dropping trailer for season six, leaving many fans scraping their splattered brains off the wallpaper. Here’s a breakdown of what we can look forward to in 2011…

Some of the more imaginative Doctor Who episodes are the ones set far back in the days of spacious pantaloons (One of my all-time favourite episodes being “The Girl in The Fireplace”). Expect lavish ballroom sequences and The Doctor getting off with an olden times wench.

Although the last season’s wartime episode was a bit of a let down, perhaps there’s still ripe material to salvage from the Third Reich? An interesting choice as audiences are still a little sensitive over explicit Nazi usage on-screen, but it’ll be interesting to see how they are incorporated.

Yes! It’s the first time film crews for Doctor Who have actually set foot in The States. I expect it makes a nice change from Cardiff.

I only really included this because it made me chuckle, but it’s great that we can expect to see a lot more of the comedic moments that made season five so great.

River Song is back! No doubt we’ll see a triumphant return of her breathtakingly tight trousers as well. Interestingly, River mentioned in the season five finale that The Doctor is nearing the point where she first meets him (a notion which non-Doctor Who fans will understand as much as a parrot understands an iPad).

I believe this is the first time The Doctor has ever had a beard. Exciting development, there.

Well, it looks like it at least. Moffat has always been one to set up story-arcs far in advance, so it’s highly likely that somewhat minor events from the previous season will pop up in the future, proving to be much more significant then expected. As long as James Corden isn’t back.

Typical of Steven Moffat to have such nightmare-educing imagery. If neglected, this is what Jedward will look like in twenty years time.

My lord, Amy Pond looks amazing, even with biro all over her face.

And yes! No Daleks, no Cybermen, this next season looks like one of the most thoroughly original to date. The trailer seems to award a fair bit of significance to this ominous figure at it’s climax, meaning perhaps he/she/it will play a major part in season six. Could it be the mysterious “Silence” that has been so widely talked about amongst fans? Maybe. Who knows. Watch it next year you lazy tit. Jack Buckley

New podcast review is up! Download Review Box – Episode 3 right HERE. This edition is all about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

 

In 2001 the United States Library of Congress beckoned Woody Allen’s 1979 film Manhattan into the National Film Registry, a rare accolade awarded to films deemed worthy of preserving. Praising its “…cultural significance”, the movie took its seat next to such cinematic monoliths as Citizen Kane and Psycho. But what makes this low key romantic comedy worth of such a commendation?

Manhattan follows Isaac Davis (Classic Woody Allen), a 42 year old neurotic, divorcee writer (see, told you) as he stutters his way through a minefield of romance; all of which is set against the backdrop of a bustling New York City. When we first meet him he’s dating Tracey (Mariel Hemingway), a student 25 years younger than himself. Isaac dismisses this relationship as just a fling, focusing his amorous intentions on his best friend’s mistress, Mary (Diane Keaton). Scratch the surface of the movie and you’ll find a lot more than just a tale of cosmopolitan love.

One of the central stars of the film is, in fact, the city itself. Before we even meet any of the cast, the film opens with five minutes of footage showing New York in all its different states. Night and day, summer and winter, busy or vacant, the city always seems so alive. The haughty bounce of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” adds so much character to the metropolis, giving it a vivid personality of its own.  Representative of modern times, the lives of the characters are dwarfed by the towering skyscrapers, the twisting streets, the streams of traffic; everyone seems insignificant in comparison. The way many shots are framed places characters snugly in a corner, or to one side, allowing the landscape to share their significance.

Mentioned previously, George Gershwin’s music is a vital ingredient of Manhattan. Woody Allen has stated that’s the idea for the film stemmed from listening to Gershwin; he wanted to create a movie that harked back to the cinema of yesteryear. The soaring strings and glittering streetlights swell the heart, bringing that tone of classical romance into a recognisable, contemporary world.

However, there is a slight edge of cynicism to Manhattan’s tone. No one is perfect; the main players of the story, Isaac, his best friend Yale and Mary are inescapably selfish characters. They live their lives on various levels of vanity. Mary reels in her intellect, looking down on those with different opinions to hers. Yale seeks pleasure, unfazed about those he hurts in the process, as does Isaac. The realism of the movie is what hooks us. The cast’s naturalistic performances make scenes appear genuine. In a lot of Allen’s previous work, humour was a key feature and chiefly drove the plot. Manhattan is purely dramatic, but decorated with odd touches of comedy, making the experience much more rewarding.

Manhattan is one of the most accurate portrayals of the conflicts and woes of love ever committed to film. Our idealistic visions of romance have been lovingly forged by the black and white reels of classic movies such as Casablanca and Gone with the Wind when perhaps we would be better off reminding ourselves that in the real world, things can’t always be so beautiful.

Well…not all things…

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