Trapped in Space


Based on Arthur C. Clarke's 1949 short story "Breaking Strain"

SF elements

spaceflight; limited oxygen; "Hitchcock's Lifeboat in space"


A small meteor hits a cargo ship on its way to Venus, venting most of the oxygen, leaving enough for only three of the crew to complete the journey. Who will die, and who will survive?

Nicely claustrophobic atmosphere (even if the cargo hold does have rather too much empty space), with various members of the crew falling apart under the strain, whilst others discover hidden depths. The story is opened out well from Clarke's original two crew, here starting off with a crew of six. The extra members add well to the story, contributing to Clarke's point: fortune doesn't necessarily favour the bold, or the competent, or the determined, or the good; it just favours the fortunate.

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | worth watching | passes the time | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]


Chief Engineer McNeil ..... Jack Wagner
Second Mate Grant ..... Jack Coleman
Chief Gillings ..... Kay Lenz
Bosun Palmer ..... Craig Wasson
Engineer Cadet Isaacs ..... Sigrid Thornton
Captain Howard ..... Kevin Colson

reviewed 27 June 1998