Cold Equations

1962 | United Kingdom

Cold Equations was the third play in ITV's anthology series Out of this World

Broadcast on Saturday 14 July 1962 it introduced 16-year old Jane Asher as Lee Cross, who stows away aboard a rocket flying a mercy mission to take serum to the planet Woden-thereby putting eight lives in jeopardy. 

Innocently, Lee thinks she will be able to see her brother after an eight-year absence. Instead she discovers that her extra weight means the rocket doesn't have enough fuel to land safely on reaching its destination, and the resulting crash will kill both of them and six colonists awaiting the serum. This is the cold equation posed by Lee's escapade-an equation which the pilot (Peter Wyngarde), and ground control strive desperately to solve. 

Cold Equations was written by American science fiction and short story writer Tom Goodwin. It was first published in Astounding Magazine in 1954. In 1970, the Science Fiction Writers of America selected it as one of the best science-fiction short stories published before 1965. The teleplay was by Clive Exton, best known for his scripts of Agatha Christie's Poirot, P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster, and Rosemary & Thyme

Published on May 22nd, 2019. Based on original TV Times article (1962).