2021 Hugo ballot: Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

So, the last category I'm writing up for the Hugos this year: seven television episodes (one double nomination) of which only two are from shows that I know.

6) The Mandalorian: Chapter 13: The Jedi
5) She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Heart (episode 1 and 2)
4) The Expanse: Gaugamela

Without going into tedious detail, I dutifully watched all of these and felt that they were really dependent on knowing the continuity of the show in question. The episode of The Mandalorian made very little sense without knowing who these people are. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was at least interesting to look at. Gaugamela had massive destrution of the planet Earth and political machinations at the highest level. So I have ranked them accordingly.

3) The Mandalorian: Chapter 16: The Rescue

As noted, I don't know The Mandalorian particularly, but (of course) am familiar enough with the Star Wars universe to hugely appreciate the Big Reveal at 34:30 of this episode. Apart from that (admittedly very glorious) moment, it's another episode of a show I don't know with people I don't know running around shooting other people I don't know.

2) The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready

I've gone back and forth on this vote, to be honest. I really expect the final, climactic, moving episode of The Good Place to win, capping off a four-year narrative of a series that has won in this category in each of the last few years. It's a great piece of TV and rounds off 53 episodes of narrative. Hugely enjoyed it. And yet…

1) Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon

Obviously I'm a huge Who fan anyway, so this was always likely to get my top vote. I'll admit that the Whittaker/Chibnall era has been a bit uneven. But the reveal in this episode is one of the best in the whole 58 years of Doctor Who – in New Who, surpassed only by Derek Jacobi in 2008. I don't think it will win, but it has my vote.

This is probably going to be my last Hugos post until after next year's awards, because I am Deputy Administrator for 2022. None of the 2023 bids has as yet approached me (and to be honest I would not mind a year off) but if the Glasgow bid wins the right to hold the 2024 Worldcon, I am likely to be involved again.

2021 Hugos: Best Novel | Best Novella | Best Novelette | Best Short Story | Best Series | Best Related Work | Best Graphic Story or Comic | Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form | Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form | Best Professional Artist and Best Fan Artist | Lodestar | Astounding

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