Thursday, March 23, 2006

Who will win the Hugo (that's a question, not a prediction)

The Hugo nominations are now out and, for the first time since I was approximately fourteen, I actually know what some of them are.

More specifically, three (or four depending on how you look at it) Doctor Who episodes from the last season have been nominated in the "Dramatic Presentation: Short Form" category. That's obviously excellent news if you're a Doctor Who fan, but I have to admit I'm more than a little surprised, both by the number of Who nominations and by the other contenders.

The full list of nominations is as follows:

# Battlestar Galactica: "Pegasus" (NBC Universal/British Sky Broadcasting; Directed by Michael Rymer; Written by Anne Cofell Saunders)

# Doctor Who: "The Empty Child" & "The Doctor Dances" (BBC Wales/BBC1; Directed by James Hawes; Written by Steven Moffat)

# Doctor Who: "Dalek" (BBC Wales/BBC1; Directed by Joe Ahearne; Written by Robert Shearman)

# Doctor Who: "Father's Day" (BBC Wales/BBC1; Directed by Joe Ahearne; Written by Paul Cornell)

# Jack-Jack Attack (Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation; Written & Directed by Brad Bird)

# Lucas Back in Anger (Reductio Ad Absurdum Productions; Directed by Phil Raines; Written by Phil Raines and Ian Sorensen)

# Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony (Opening Speech and Framing Device; Written and performed by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman; Directed by Mike & Debby Moir)

Is it just my lack of understanding of the Hugos, but doesn't that seem a slightly odd mix of nominations?

More than half of it is made up of episodes of revivals of a British and a US TV series respectivly, whilst the remainder consists of the cartoon at the start of Pixar's Ayn Rand love-fest The Incredibles; a distinctly undergrad sounding one hour long comedy skit created for the Ewok-worshipping geeks at last year's WorldCon (see, I can say that - it's like black people calling each other nigga on rap records) and what appears to be a bit of a speech at last year's Hugos that someone taped on their camcorder.

Fingers crossed, therefore, that it's one of the TV shows that wins. I suspect that it'll be the BSG one, given that it's American and the awards tend to lean towards the US (plus, it's a very good bit of science fiction TV even if the constant use of the the name Number Six for one of the Cylons is a little distracting to Prisoner fans).

Of course, I'd personally love Steven Moffat's Doctor Who two parter, 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances' to win - it's probably the only episode of the last series of Who that I would say was a guaranteed classic which was likely to last the test of time, but I would assume that Dalek and Father's Day, which are both quite good, would split any Who vote.

I am slightly surprised to see that none of Russell T Davies' episodes of Doctor Who were nominated, given their apparent popularity. For me, though, they all disappointed on one level or another, with the exception of the penultimate episode Bad Wolf and that - with its trio of gameshow parodies - doesn't stand up to repeated viewing.
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Blogger Stewart M. said...

BSG is pure YUCK!

I share your disappointment with RTD's episodes.

As for The Drowned World, I'll let you know as soon as I get to it!

12:38 am  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

Agreed about the two-parter being the best of the bunch. I would've chosen "Unquiet Dead" over "Father's Day". I wasn't surprised by RTD's exclusion. My feeling is that Russell tried to be all things to all men. Autons to open as with Jon's first 2 seasons, return visits to space station as in Tom's first season and so on.

Russell said he wanted the general public to be able to relate to "Doctor Who", so no visits to alien worlds! I don't see how Joe Public is going to relate to a parade of wacky aliens that is episode 2... coupled with Britney will help this episode date very quickly.

Why does RTD insist on including low-brow popular culture? Not content with the gameshows (bring back Michael Gough!), this year we're being treated to Trisha!!! My heart sinks at the prospect of the forthcoming episode 11. Not too keen on K9's return either. To my mind, K9 encourages people to think of "Doctor Who" as a children's show. You would never have seen Bill Hartnell with a robot dog for a companion!

One thing to look forward to in the new season is the return of Graeme Harper as long as his episodes aren't rendered homogeneous to a uniformity of style and that he retains the flair shown in his 2 80s' stories.

7:46 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Stewart: "BSG is pure YUCK!"

You think? I thought the mini-series which relaunched the series was incredibly dull, but the TV series has proven unexpectedly good, although I can't see them being able to keep things going for a third series.

timewarden: Couldn't agree more about the inclusion of modern day cultural references in RTD's work - even away from Who, the lottery scene in Casanova was sufficiently jarring to adversely effect my viewing of that show.

6:20 pm  

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