Tag Archives: Torchwood

For Your Consideration: Hugo Award Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

The deadline for nominating works for the Hugo Awards is March 11, 2012. Members (as of January 31, 2012) of Renovation, Chicon 7, or LoneStarCon 3 are eligible to nominate. For the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category, I have compiled a list of productions that could be considered.

A number of people are recommending Hugo be nominated. Hugo is by far my favorite film of 2011, but I just don’t see how people can consider it a fantasy. It’s got an automaton as a plot point, but that’s based on a real invention. I suppose Hugo could be considered an alternate history, but that seems to be stretching the definition too much.

A multi-part production such as Game of Thrones or Torchwood: Miracle Day can be nominated in the Long Form category if nominators feel that the mini-series should be taken as a whole, rather than as individual episodes. The dividing line between Short Form and Long Form is 90 minutes running time, but may be adjusted slightly one way or another if a majority of nominators place a borderline work in the other category.

My expectation is that Game of Thrones will be nominated no matter what, so I will use my nominations for other works. I will surely nominate Rango, and most likely Arthur Christmas, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and X-Men: First Class will make up my other choices. The Adventures of Tintin and Source Code would also be worthy, in my opinion.

For your consideration:

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adventures of Tintin  [Annie Award nominee]

Another Earth

Arthur Christmas [Annie Award nominee]

Captain America: The First Avenger

Cars 2 [Annie Award nominee]

Cowboys & Aliens

The Divide

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos

Game of Thrones, Season 1 [Emmy Award nominee]

Gnomeo & Juliet

Green Lantern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

In Time

Kung Fu Panda 2  [Annie Award and Academy Award nominee]

Limitless

Melancholia

Midnight in Paris [Academy Award nominee]

Paul

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Puss in Boots  [Annie Award and Academy Award nominee]

Rango [Annie Award winner and Academy Award nominee]

Real Steel

Rio  [Annie Award nominee]

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Source Code

Super 8

The Thing

Thor

Torchwood: Miracle Day

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Winnie the Pooh

X-Men: First Class

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For Your Consideration: Hugo Award Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

The deadline for nominating works for the Hugo Awards is March 11, 2012. Members (as of January 31, 2012) of Renovation, Chicon 7, or LoneStarCon 3 are eligible to nominate. For the Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category, I have compiled a list of productions that are eligible to be nominated this year. It is a long list, and undoubtedly not comprehensive. My purpose is to remind nominators that there are worthy productions that do not have Doctor Who or Game of Thrones in their names.

I’ve listed the titles of individual episodes because the Hugo rules require individual episodes to be nominated. A multi-part production such as Game of Thrones or Torchwood: Miracle Day can be nominated in the Long Form category if nominators feel that the mini-series should be taken as a whole, rather than as individual episodes. The dividing line between Short Form and Long Form is 90 minutes running time, but may be adjusted slightly one way or another if a majority of nominators place a borderline work in the other category.

I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to nominate, other than I will definitely be nominating The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, a terrific short film (available as a free download from iTunes). My expectation is that one or more episodes of Doctor Who and Game of Thrones will be nominated no matter what, so I will use my nominations for more obscure works that can fill in the remaining slots.

For your consideration:

Adam And Dog (Short Film) [winner of the Annie Award for Best Animated Short]

Adventure Time (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: Mystery Trainx

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Alphas (TV Series)
Episode: Original Sin

American Horror Story (TV Series)
Episode: Smoldering Children

The Ballad Of Nessie (Short Film)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (TV Series)
Episode: Mitefall!

Batman: Year One (Direct-to-Video) [nominated for an Annie Award]

Being Human (TV Series)
Episode: Though the Heavens Fall

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (TV Series)
Episode: Prisoner #775 Is Missing

The Big Bang Theory (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: The Good Guy Fluctuation

Camelot (TV Series)
Episode: Reckoning

Community (TV Series)
Episode: Remedial Chaos Theory [a humorous take on parallel dimensions]

Doctor Who (TV Series)
Episode: The Doctor’s Wife

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Eureka (TV Series)
Episode: One Giant Leap…

The Event (TV Series)
Episode: Arrival

The Fades (TV Series)
Episode: Episode #1.4

Falling Skies (TV Series)
Episode: What Hides Beneath

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore(Short Film) [nominated for an Academy Award]

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Fringe (TV Series)
Episode: The Day We Died

Futurama (TV Series)
Episode: All The President’s Heads

Game of Thrones (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: Baelor

Generator Rex (TV Series)
Episode: Ben 10/Generator Rex Heroes United

Green Lantern: The Animated Series (TV Series) [nominated for an Annie Award]
Episode: Beware My Power, Parts 1 and 2

Grimm (TV Series)
Episode: Danse Macabre

Haven (TV Series)
Episode: Sins of the Fathers

Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas (TV Special) [nominated for an Annie Award]

I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat (Short Film) [nominated for an Annie Award]

La Luna (Short Film) [nominated for an Academy Award and an Annie Award]

Lost Girl (TV Series)
Episode: Barometz. Trick. Pressure

The Mercury Men (Web Series)
Episode: The Battery

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Merlin (TV Series)
Episode: The Darkest Hour, Parts 1 and 2

A Morning Stroll (Short Film) [nominated for an Academy Award]

No Ordinary Family (TV Series)
Episode: No Ordinary Powell

Once Upon a Time (TV Series)
Episode: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Outcasts (TV Series)
Episode: Episode #1.4

Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (TV Special) [nominated for an Annie Award]

Primeval (TV Series)
Episode: Episode #4.1

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Robot Chicken (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: Robot Chicken’s DP Christmas Special

Sanctuary (TV Series)
Episode: Into the Black

The Simpsons (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: Treehouse of Horror XXII

Smallville (TV Series)
Episode: Finale

Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II (Web Series)
Episode: Enemy: Starfleet!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series)
Episode: Carnage of Krell

Stargate Universe (TV Series)
Episode: Gauntlet

Steins;Gate (TV Series)
Episode: Prologue to the Beginning and End

South Park (TV Series) [nominated for an Emmy Award]
Episode: Crack Baby Athletic Association

Sunday (Dimanche) (Short Film) [nominated for an Academy Award]

Supernatural (TV Series)
Episode: The French Mistake

Teen Wolf (TV Series)
Episode: Code Breaker

Terra Nova (TV Series)
Episode: Resistance

Thundercats (TV Series)
Episode: New Alliances

Torchwood (TV Series)
Episode: Miracle Day: The New World

Transformers Prime (TV Series)
Episode: One Shall Rise, Parts 1, 2, and 3

True Blood (TV Series)
Episode: You Smell Like Dinner

Ugly Americans (TV Series)
Episode: Callie and Her Sister

V (TV Series)
Episode: Mother’s Day

The Vampire Diaries (TV Series)
Episode: The Reckoning

The Venture Bros. (TV Series)
Episode: From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story

The Walking Dead (TV Series)
Episode: Pretty Much Dead Already

Warehouse 13(TV Series)
Episode: Emily Lake

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Wolverine (TV Series)
Episode: Kikyo

Torchwood: Miracle Day

Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011)
Written by Russell T. Davies, Doris Egan, Jane Espenson, Jim D. Gray, John Shiban, Ryan Scott, and John Fay; directed by Bharat Nalluri, Bill Gierhart, Guy Ferland, and Gwyneth Horder-Payton

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Torchwood is a spin-off from Doctor Who (“Torchwood” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”). Torchwood is a quasi-governmental agency created in England in the late 1800s to find and neutralize alien artifacts. Torchwood’s leader is the immortal Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) who has been a companion of Doctor Who and has lived through thousands of years of history, both on Earth and on countless other planets.

The first two 13-episode seasons of Torchwood (2006-2008) were monster-of-the-week type stories. The third season (2009) was a 5-episode, week-long event that was a single story titled “Children of Earth.” Seasons 1-3 were BBC productions. By the end of season 3, Torchwood had been disbanded. At the beginning of Season 4, events transpire to reunite Captain Jack and Torchwood agent Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) to work with the American CIA. Season 4, a 10-episode mini-series, was co-produced by the BBC and Starz and had the overall title of “Miracle Day.”

“Miracle Day” begins with the execution of unrepentant child killer Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman). But Danes fails to die and soon the world realizes that no one has died that day. And then no one dies the next day… or the next. CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) is mortally wounded in a car crash, but doesn’t die. Rex recruits CIA analyst Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) to dig up information on the mysterious Torchwood that somehow seems to be involved. Captain Jack eventually contacts Esther and Rex, just as mystified as they are about the undead. Rex and Captain Jack fly to Wales to bring Gwen into the action, and the Torchwood/CIA alliance is born.

Meanwhile, the world goes berserk as the numbers of undead begin to mount. Riots, stock market crashes, and loss of utility services are just the beginning of the chaos. The team uncovers a link to a pharmaceutical company called Phicorp, which evidently knew that Miracle Day was coming and had stockpiled vast amounts of painkillers and other drugs. Phicorp PR flack Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose) manipulates Oswald Danes into becoming a motivational speaker endorsing the unrestricted use of their prescription medicines.

The governments of the world, in an attempt to control the burgeoning population, set up overflow hospitals that are secretly doing the unspeakable with the undead, as discovered by Torchwood ally Dr. Vera Juarez (Arlene Tur). Because they are now clashing with powerful governments, Torchwood has to go undercover, beginning a covert guerilla operation with scant resources.

Torchwood finally links the Miracle Day events to someone from Captain Jack’s past. Will they be too late to find the masterminds and stop their fiendish plans? Will creepy Oswald Danes get what’s coming to him? Will obnoxious Jilly Kitzinger be put out of my misery? What will happen to the undead if Torchwood finds a way to reverse Miracle Day?

Despite some preposterous gaps in logic (for example, concocting a poison antidote using airplane service fluid, or infiltrating high-security corporate and military installations several times), some clichés (CIA moles working for the conspirators), and a story that should probably have been 4 or 5 parts shorter, I enjoyed “Miracle Day.” Barrowman and Miles have a nice chemistry together, and the other actors generally did good jobs. Pullman was disturbing yet charismatic. The grim family predicaments that several of the characters faced in light of the death camps added a nice bit of tension and urgency to their actions. Torchwood upped the ante with “Children of Earth” and upped the consequences even more in “Miracle Day.” I don’t know how they will be able to continue to keep topping the dreadfulness of the disasters in future seasons, but the ending of “Miracle Day” more than hints at further worldwide catastrophes to come.

“Miracle Day” was perhaps not the best incarnation of Torchwood, but was still better than most of what’s on TV. I hope there will be a Season 5, but I strongly suspect it will be at least another year if it happens at all. Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies is busy making another series for Showtime, and it is unlikely Torchwood would go forward without him. In the meantime, I hope that “Miracle Day” will show up on BBC America sometime soon so that those who missed it on the pay service Starz will be able to have the benefit of seeing it.