Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Dramatic Presentation Hugo In Review

The Hugo award has for dramatic presentation has been awarded exactly fifty times. Once it was awarded for an outstanding movie and that award became the dramatic presentation category to include other media.

So having collected all of the films and television shows that have won I have to say it's an impressive list:

1958 - The Incredible Shrinking Man
1960 - The Twilight Zone
1961 - The Twilight Zone
1962 - The Twilight Zone
1965 - Dr. Strangelove
1967 - Star Trek: "The Menagerie"
1968 - Star Trek: "City on the Edge of Forever"
1969 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
1970 - News coverage of Apollo XI
1972 - A Clockwork Orange
1973 - Slaughterhouse-Five
1974 - Sleeper
1975 - Young Frankenstein
1976 - A Boy and His Dog
1978 - Star Wars
1979 - Superman
1980 - Alien
1981 - The Empire Strikes Back
1982 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
1983 - Blade Runner
1984 - Return of the Jedi
1985 - 2010
1986 - Back to the Future
1987 - Aliens
1988 - The Princess Bride
1989 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1990 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1991 - Edward Scissorhands
1992 - Terminator 2
1993 - Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Inner Light"
1994 - Jurassic Park
1995 - Star Trek: The Next Generation: "All Good Things"
1996 - Babylon 5: "The Coming of Shadows"
1997 - Babylon 5: "Severed Dreams"
1998 - Contact
1999 - The Truman Show
2000 - Galaxy Quest
2001 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2002 - The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Conversations with Dead People"
2004 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Gollum's Acceptance Speech at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards
2005 - The Incredibles and Battlestar Galactica: "33"
2006 - Serenity and Doctor Who: "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances"
2007 - Pan's Labyrinth and Doctor Who: "Girl in the Fireplace"
2008 - Stardust and Doctor Who: "Blink"

For the most part they're safe choices but that isn't a bad thing since most of the movies are reasonably good. I might not think they're the best film of that year for the most part but I don't hate them.

There's really only six awards on the list where I think a bad decision was made and most of them took the Hugo because of their connection to something better that was beloved by fandom. The six I don't care for are:
  • Slaughterhouse-Five (from a much superior Vonnegut book)
  • A Boy and His Dog (from a better Harlan Ellison novella)
  • 2010 (sequel to 2001)
  • Contact (from the Carl Sagan novel and released shortly after his death)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Conversations with Dead People" (the introduction of the short form dramatic presentation Hugo opened the door to television again but years after the show actually deserved to win)
  • Gollum's Acceptance Speech at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards
Thanks to the acceptance speech Hugo Peter Jackson is the most honored creator in Hugo history with four awards for his efforts in adapting The Lord of the Rings. George Lucas (the original Star Wars trilogy), Steven Moffat (writer of the Dr. Who episodes that have won), Rod Serling (Twilight Zone), Robert Zemekis (Back to the Future, Roger Rabbit, and Contact), Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove, 2001, and Clockwork Orange) and Stephen Speilburg (Raiders, Last Crusade, and Jurrasic Park) tie at three Hugos each. There's so many people tied at two Hugos that I can't list them all, but I will note Gene Roddenberry who died before the winning Next Generation episodes were made.