The Doctor Who episode that changed everything, Fugitive of the Judoon, has been nominated for the 2021 Hugo Awards

The Hugo Award nominations for 2021 have been announced, and Doctor Who has once again received a nod. Fugitive of the Judoon is nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). This is the category that more or less equates to Best TV Episode, though short films are also eligible. This is co-writer Vinay Patel’s second Hugo nomination following the shortlisting of Demons of the Punjab at the 2019 Awards.

The Hugo Awards have been running since 1953 and are regarded as highly prestigious due to their traditional emphasis on intelligent, thought provoking science fiction. The Hugos are voted on by the membership of the World Science Fiction Society. Membership can be obtained by attending the national WorldCon convention or buying a Supporting Membership. WorldCon moves around the world from one city to another each year. But each typically features an impressive list of top SF literary talent. The Hugo Awards Ceremony itself provides a fitting climax to the week. This year’s WorldCon event, dubbed DiscCon III, is being held in Washington DC the 15th-19th of December.

As usual, Doctor Who is up against a very strong field this year. Other nominees include the highly regarded drama The Expanse, popular animated series She-Ra, and crowd pleasing Star Wars series The Mandalorian. And of course, The Good Place. The recently concluded afterlife sitcom is closing in on its fourth (and final) win in a row. (In Blogtor Who’s opinion, next year, as we enter the post-Good Place era, is when things get really interesting).


Fugitive of the Judoon is the episode which first introduced Jo Martin's renegade Doctor (c) BBC Studios Doctor Who TARDIS Fugitve Doctor Console Room
Fugitive of the Judoon is the episode which first introduced Jo Martin’s renegade Doctor (c) BBC Studios

The full list of nominees are as follows:

  • Doctor Who: Fugitive of the Judoon, written by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall, directed by Nida Manzoor (BBC)
  • The Expanse: Gaugamela, written by Dan Nowak, directed by Nick Gomez (Alcon Entertainment / Alcon Television Group / Amazon Studios / Hivemind / Just So)
  • The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready, written and directed by Michael Schur (Fremulon / 3 Arts Entertainment / Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 13 – The Jedi, written and directed by Dave Filoni (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • The Mandalorian: Chapter 16 – The Rescue, written by Jon Favreau, directed by Peyton Reed (Golem Creations / Lucasfilm / Disney+)
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Heart (Parts 1 and 2), written by Josie Campbell and Noelle Stevenson, directed by Jen Bennett and Kiki Manrique (DreamWorks Animation Television / Netflix)


Doctor Who - Series 12 - Judoon Fugitive of the Judoon Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker Captain Pol Kon-don
Judoon Captain Pol Kon-Don faces off with the Doctor in Fugitive of the Judoon – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: James Pardon

The new nominations bring Doctor Who’s Hugo total up to thirty-two, with six wins

Doctor Who has a long history with the Hugo Awards, and Fugitive of the Judoon is the show’s 32nd nomination and the fourth for the Whittaker Era.  It has also won six times between 2006 and 2012. Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Neil Gaiman, and Phil Ford all have Hugos on their shelves for, variously, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, The Waters of Mars, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, and The Doctor’s Wife.

Voting on the final ballot this year will begin later in April and will close November 19, 2021. The ceremony will be held at DisCon III, held on December 15-19, 2021 in Washington, DC, USA.



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