My Hugo and #RetroHugos1941 votes: Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

I made only one nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) for the 1941 Retro Hugos. It was:
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Despite what it says on YouTube, this was apparently made in 1940, not 1937. I doubt that many others nominated it though.

I also nominated Pinocchio in Long Form. It’s 88 minutes long, which is just under the cutoff, but I (and several other voters whose votes were posted on File 770) felt that it belonged in the Long Form category. The Hugo administrators took a different view, so it’s my one nominee on the Short Form final ballot.

My vote is as follows:

6) Looney Tunes: “You Ought to Be in Pictures”

Come on, this is ridiculous. It features Porky Pig and Daffy Duck, who I guess are vaguely fantasy characters as talking animals, and there are some good special effects, but otherwise there’s nothing much sfnal about it. Dubious message: bosses will always beat uppity workers who talk and look funny.

5) Merrie Melodies: “A Wild Hare”

Likewise. It’s apparently the first proper Bugs Bunny film, and so I suppose the fact that it features a talking rabbit qualifies it as sfnal, but there’s no way this is Hugo-worthy. Incidentally, a hare is not the same as a rabbit.

4) No Award

3) Pinocchio.

A Disney classic, this will probably win – I nominated it myself – but I was not all that satisfied on re-watching. Good technically, but some rather serious plot holes. (Incidentally, check out the rather distrurbing clockwork puppets from 06:59 to 7:15 – what the heck???)

2) The Adventures of Superman: “The Baby from Krypton”

The only radio play in the mix (as opposed to two years ago, when we had four radio plays and a TV play than nobody had seen), it’s the origin story of Superman, and does what it says on the tin perfectly competently. Lara, Kal-El’s mother, is played by Agnes Moorehead, later Endora in Bewitched.

1) The Invisible Man Returns.

Brilliant horror film, taking the HG Wells novel to gritty British industrial setting, with lots of upsetting issues about capitalism subtly raised. Vincent Price superb even if we only see him for 60 seconds. Also rather impressed by Nan Grey as the female lead. Gets my vote.

My nominations for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) for the 2016 Hugos were unashamedly one-sided. They were:

Doctor Who: Face The Raven
Doctor Who: The Girl Who Died
Doctor Who: Heaven Sent
Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song
Doctor Who: The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion

One of these made the final ballot, which is about my average.

I’ve tallied results from the File 770 straw poll, which showed the following as favoured nominations in this category by those who contributed:

Doctor Who: Heaven Sent (8)
Jessica Jones: AKA Smile (8)
Person of Interest: If-Then-Else (8)
The Expanse: CQB (8)
Kung Fury (5)
Uncanny Valley (5)
Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song (4)
Game of Thrones: Hardhome (4)
Marvel’s Agent Carter: Snafu (4)
Sense8: What’s Going On (4)
Welcome to Night Vale: Triptych (4)
Archer: Drastic Voyage 1+2 (3)
Rick and Monty: Total Rickall (3)
Welcome to Night Vale: The Librarians (3)
Daredevil: Cut Man (2)
Doctor Who: Face the Raven (2)
Doctor Who: Heaven Sent / Hell Bent (2)
Marvel’s Agent Carter: Now is not the End (2)
Orphan Black: Certain Agony of the Battlefield (2)
Orphan Black: Community of Dreadful Fear and Hate (2)
Sense8: I Can’t Leave Her (2)
Steven Universe: The Return / Jail Break/ Full Disclosure (2)
The Expanse: Dulcinea (2)
The Man in the High Castle: A Way Out (2)
The Venture Brothers: All This and Gargantua 2 (2)
and another 79 candidates with a single nomination each.

Two of the top four in the File 770 list did indeed make it to the final ballot. The other three finalists are slate nominations, none of which got a single nomination from the File 770 readers who responded to the straw poll. I think it’s pretty likely that both Person of Interest: If-Then-Else and The Expanse: CQB, as well as some other worthy candidate, were pushed off the ballot by slating.

My own vote is as follows:

6) My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The Cutie Map Parts 1 and 2.

I was prepared to give this a fair wind, despite the blatant slate support, but the strident voices of the characters cut right through my brain and I couldn’t take more than three minutes of it.

5) Grimm: Headache.

I managed twenty minutes of this, but just didn’t get it. Not as annoying as My Little Pony, but that’s not saying much

4) No award.

3) Supernatural: Just My Imagination.
I’d never seen a single episode of this show before, and didn’t recognise any of the actors, but this is a good creepy story about childhood fantasies returning and I enjoyed it despite the stench of slating, sufficiently to bump it above No Award.

2) Jessica Jones: AKA Smile.
I’ve been a huge fan of Jessica Jones since I read the original comics, and the webcast series has been a brilliant chilling update. The nominated episode is the climax of the first season, but I think it will be pretty accessible to those who had not seen the rest.

1) Doctor Who: Heaven Sent. Doctor Who has, I admit, been a bit variable of late, but this is a fine fine episode with Capaldi putting in a bravura solo performance and a story based around long long passages of eternity. (Actually it draws on The Curse of Fatal Death, but ends up in a completely different place.) Brilliant.

Anyway, some worthy nominees there and I hope also a couple of worthy winners.

Best Novel (1941/2016) / Best Novella (1941/2016) / Best Novelette (1941/2016) / Best Short Story (1941/2016) / Best Related Work (2016) / Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (1941/2016) / Art categories (1941/2016) / John W. Campbell Award