Eight more Saturn Awards, “Star Wars” has.
Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” dominated the film categories at the 42nd Saturn Awards in Burbank. The series revival scored honors for top science fiction film, actor Harrison Ford, supporting actor Adam Driver, script, editing, music, makeup, and special effects.
“Crimson Peak,” which was not a commercial success but is approaching cult status, was the second-most honored film, taking three awards: best horror film, supporting actress Jessica Chastain, and production design.
In TV, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films continued to honor “The Walking Dead” (best horror TV series, supporting actress Danai Gurira and younger actor Chandler Riggs); “Hannibal” (action/thriller series, supporting actor Richard Armitage) and “Continuum” (science fiction TV series). “Outlander,” a new entry, took honors as top fantasy series and for actress Caitrionia Balfe.
Bruce Campbell summed up the vibe of the Saturn Awards — and the emotions of the audience — from the podium: “All the A movies are B movies now,” said Campbell. “If you dress up like a bat, and fly around a city called Gotham, that’s a B movie. If you’re bitten by a radioactive spider, that’s not only a B movie, that’s a cheesy ’50s B movie. So thank you, B movies, for leading the way so A movies finally understand what entertainment is.”
One of the themes for the evening was the 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” franchise. Brannon Braga, writer-producer of more than 300 hours of Star Trek episodes, plus Star Trek feature films, received the Special Achievement Award. Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura in the 1966 NBC original series and in the feature films that followed, received a lifetime achievement award. Nichols, now 83, appeared frail, walked tentatively and spoke slowly at her acceptance.
William Shatner, star of “Star Trek” (“The Original Series,” as it’s known to fans) won a trophy for TV guest star for his role on Syfy’s “Haven.” The 85-year-old Shatner regaled the gathering with the story of how his month-long sojourn to the set in Halifax helped his performance. He recounted that the warehouse that served as a stage wasn’t heated, even in mid-winter, and the hotel wasn’t much warmer.
“Then a strange thing happened,” he said. “I’m on in age. I’ve collected a lot of debris. Usually it’s called family. And it’s very busy. Grandchildren are busy. You’ve got to keep up. And so when you’re working on something, there are a lot of distractions. But in an unheated hotel, and a cold studio, you become a monk, flagellated by the cold. But it forced me into an intensity as an actor that I haven’t done in a long time. Without any other things to obstruct my vision, I was totally involved in the show — trembling with the cold, but earnest in desire. I had the best time on that show, and I thank you!”
Later in the evening, best TV actor winner Bruce Campbell, spent much of his speech, saluting Shatner. He recalled meeting Shatner at a convention, and approaching him to ask, not about “Star Trek,” but “T.J. Hooker.”
“Bill taught me how to do the power slide,” which he explained was a skidding/sliding stunt driving move where Shatner’s police cruiser would skid to a stop, then the shot would continue as Shatner got out of the car, leaving no doubt that he’d actually been driving.
Doing a dead-on Shatner impression, he recounted Shatner’s step-by-step instructions on how to do the maneuver. Then, he said, “I go down to Auckland New Zealand to shoot ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ and my character has to show up and do a Shatner power slide in front of a sleazy bar. And I’m like, ‘I got this!’ Camera cranes down, Delta 88 slides real nice, door opens up. Well! I guess Bruce Campbell drove that car after all. Thanks for that, Bill.”
Campbell won for the role of Ash in the series “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” “I first played the character of Ash in 1979, 37 years ago, and I just got this now, so as you can see, I’ve sure progressed in my career.”
John Barrowman, of “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” and “Arrow” fame, hosted the event.
The complete list of winners:
Best Science Fiction Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture: Ant-Man
Best Fantasy Film: Cinderella
Best Horror Film: Crimson Peak
Best Action/Adventure Film: Furious 7
Best Thriller Film: Bridge of Spies
Best International Film: Turbo Kid
Best Animated Film: Inside Out
Best Independent Film: Room
Best Actor: Harrison Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Actress: Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Best Supporting Actor: Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak)
Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Ty Simpkins (Jurassic World)
Best Director: Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Best Writing: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Production Design: Thomas E. Sanders (Crimson Peak)
Best Editing: Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Music: John Williams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Costume: Alexandra Byrne (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Best Make-Up: Neal Scanlan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Special Effects: Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Best Science Fiction TV Series: Continuum
Best Horror TV Series: The Walking Dead
Best Action/Thriller TV Series: Hannibal
Best Fantasy TV Series: Outlander
Best Presentation on Television: Doctor Who: The Husbands of River Song
Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series: The Flash
(*) Best New Media TV Series: Marvel’s Daredevil
Best Actor on Television: Bruce Campbell (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Best Actress on Television: Caitrionia Balfe (Outlander)
Best Supporting Actor on Television: Richard Armitage(Hannibal)
Best Supporting Actress on Television: Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead)
Best Younger TV Actor: Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead)
Best Guest Star on Television: William Shatner (Haven)
HOME ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS
Best DVD/BD Release: Burying the Ex
Best DVD/BD Classic Film Release: Miracle Mile
Best DVD/BD Collection Release: Frank Darabont Collection
Best DVD/BD Television Series Release: X-Files: The Collector’s Set
Best DVD/BD Special Edition: X-Men: Days of Futures Past (The Rogue Cut)
Best Local Stage Production: Tarzan (3D Theatricals)
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FROM THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY & HORROR FILMS
The Lifetime Achievement Award: Nichelle Nichols
The Dan Curtis Legacy Award: Eric Kripke
The Breakthrough Performance Award: Melissa Benoist (Supergirl)
George Pal Memorial Award: Simon Kinberg
Special Recognition Award: Brannon Braga
President’s Award: Haven
(*) Spotlight Award: Better Call Saul
(*) Inaugural Awards