Doctor Who Series 11 has been nominated for the prestigious Hugo Awards. Rosa and Demons of the Punjab have both been nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

The nominations for the 2019 Hugo Awards have been announced and Doctor Who is well represented on the list. The Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) Hugo features nods for two of Series 11’s historical episodes, Rosa and Demons of the Punjab.

The acclaimed Rosa, from writers Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, guest starred Vinette Robinson as civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Its dramatic plot saw the Doctor and her companions trying to keep history on course and ensure Parks made her powerful protest against racial segregation by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. It won widespread praise in particular for allowing Parks to remain the hero of her own story. And also for its unflinching honesty about the realities of racism, then and now. Rosa was directed by Mark Tonderai.

Meanwhile, Demons of the Punjab was by Vinay Patel, groundbreaking writer of Murdered by My Father. It placed the TARDIS and its crew along the India/Pakistan border during the Partition. Another highly emotional episode, it explored the speed with which apparently minor prejudices can be inflamed into hatred and violence. Throwing a light on an often forget part of history, it showed how Partition tore communities and families apart. Jamie Childs directed the episode.

The two Doctor Who episodes are up against The Expanse finale Abaddon’s Gate, the hour long music album video Dirty Computer, and two episodes The Good PlaceJanet(s) and Jeremy Bearimy.

Promotional art for WorldCon 77 shows the TARDIS and other iconic vessels arrive at the venue in Dublin (c) Dublin2019
Promotional art for WorldCon 77 shows the TARDIS and other iconic vessels arrive at the awards ceremony venue in Dublin (c) Dublin2019

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

Doctor Who has a long history with the Hugo Awards. Rosa and Demons of the Punjab mark its 29th and 30th nominations, in fact. It has also won six times – for 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. A win for either Rosa or Demons of the Punjab would be Doctor Who’s first since 2012. Its most recent nomination was for Twice Upon a Time. Peter Capaldi’s swan song ultimately lost out to The Good Place’s The Trolley Problem.

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 and 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 Hugo Awards will be held close to home in Dublin, Ireland. With the event running from the 15th to 19th of August, details of how to get tickets and voting rights in the Hugos are available at the Dublin 2019 site.

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