In addition to Doctor Who
, BBC America has offered some damn good speculative fiction over the years. In 2013, it offered two excellent series that I hope Worldcon members who are eligible to nominate will consider adding to their ballots in the DP-SF category, Being Human
and Orphan Black
Can a vampire, werewolf and ghost live together without driving each other crazy? The writing of the UK version of Being Human has always been amazing. Despite the loss of the original cast trio, the creator, Toby Whithouse, pulled together another set of characters that had just as much depth and viewers were able to love them just as well. Tom was the tough werewolf who was always ready for a rumble with vampires when necessary, but very respectful of women. Hal, the aristocratic vampire, has to stick to a strict regimen to keep whatever humanity he still has intact. And then there is Alexandra, the feisty Scottish ghost, who still has yet to figure out what her unfinished business is.
The sad part is, this show was cancelled as quickly as it was renewed in 2012, so this is the last opportunity it has to be nominated. The series finale was completely unexpected, but totally awesome. My friends and I are hoping it will have the honor of making it on the short list this year while it still has the chance. Following are the episodes we're promoting for the ballot:
"Pie & Prejudice:" Tom looks to another werewolf for career guidance while Alex befriends another lady ghost from the 18th century; the lady ghost having been one of Hal's victims.
"The Greater Good:" Dominic Rook, who oversees the bureaucracy that cleans up after supernaturals, asks Hal and Tom to look after Bobby, a simple-minded werewolf under the department's care, while Rook goes to China to look for funding to save his job. In the meantime, Hal agrees to help Crumb regain some of his humanity by keeping him from killing.
"No Cares, All responsibility/The Last Broadcast:" This two-part episode makes the series finale. Tom meets a young woman he fancies, but she is also helping Hal manage his bloodlust. In the meantime, Alex suspects one of the guests at the hotel where Tom and Hal work has had something to do with all of the death surrounding the establishment. (Hal also does a deliciously creepy performance of "Putting on the Ritz.")Orphan Black
is a gripping Canadian production about a young woman who has been cloned several times to be used in an experiment. When they grow up, they begin to find each other as they travel around the world. The episodes are more serial than episodic; each relies on the ones preceding to fully understand what is going on, giving them a single story arc. For this reason, it is worth considering nominating the entire first season in the Long Form category; however, if single episodes are to be put on the nominating ballot, my friends and I suggest the following:
"Variations under Domestication:" Alison believes that her husband, Donny, has been monitoring her and tries torturing him for information, then realizes they were hosting a party that afternoon. She calls on Sarah for help. In the meantime, a new friend, Delphine, takes Cosima to a lecture on Neolution. (This episode has been nominated for an Edgar Award in the Best TV Episode Teleplay category. Although the series does have a strong mystery element, it's much more appropriate in science fiction.)
"Unconscious Selection:" Kira miraculously survives a car accident, which leads to another set of questions. After Alison goes out of control, her friends set up an intervention for her. Art learns the truth about Beth, while Sarah finds some answers about her birth. Cosima determines that Delphine is not who she seems to be.
The writing and acting for both the UK version of Being Human
and Orphan Black
have been compelling. For those who haven't seen them yet, both are available for no additional charge to anyone who has Amazon Prime and I'm sure other outlets have it as well. Please take a look and consider these shows. They are definitely worthy of Hugo nomination.
Don't forget, the deadline for nominating is 11:59 p.m. PDT on 31 March 2014. Online voting can be found at http://www.loncon3.org/2014hugos.php