The Twilight Zone (1985–1989)
6 user

The Cold Equations 

Marilyn Lee Cross may not survive after she stows away on board a spacecraft.


Martin Lavut


Rod Serling (created by), Alan Brennert (teleplay by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Terence Knox ... Thomas Bartin
Christianne Hirt ... Marilyn Lee Cross
Barclay Hope ... Gerry Cross
Michael J. Reynolds ... Commander Delhart
Nicky Guadagni ... Records Clerk
Robin Ward ... Narrator (voice)


Marilyn Lee Cross may not survive after she stows away on board a spacecraft.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

7 January 1989 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marilyn Lee Cross was born on July 7, 2040. See more »


Version of The Cold Equations (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

The episode that stayed with me over the years
12 August 2010 | by Razar_C-1See all my reviews

Well, without saying too much, or writing an episode synopsis, I'll try to explain why this episode of The New Twilight Zone was the one that will always stay with me.

I was in my early teens when this show started airing in the late 80's. It was on after episodes of some new werewolf show whose name escapes me... I have almost no memory of any New Twilight Zone episodes other than this one, and another one involving shopping store mannequins. This one stayed with me because of how powerfully it evoked such a variety of emotions. Without going into too much detail, I remember instantly being interested in this episode, as the star/ co-star was the Sergeant from Tour of Duty (Terrence Knox). Anyway, before too long, we're introduced to the other star/ co-star, Christianne Hirt. Needless to say, I fell in love with her in a flash.

The episode itself examines the tough choices Terrence Knox faces when he realises that he's not alone in deep space. Christine Hirt plays her character flawlessly, and both of them made a deep and lasting impression on me, as this was the first time I had ever been exposed to a situation where every choice one makes, will turn out to be the wrong choice. Despite that neither character (Knox/ Hirt) is inherently 'in the wrong' and that neither character is a/ the 'bad guy', both characters find themselves in dire straits, where their lives depend on choices that are both already made for them, and yet have to be made by one or the other of the unlikely duo.

The scenes where Knox and Hirt are examining the cold hard facts that beset their ill-fated voyage, were the first of their kind that I had ever seen, and were acted perfectly. They evoked such powerful feelings of isolation and helplessness in me, in a way that no other movie (or such) had done before. It was the first time I'd been moved to tears by a medium other than real life (with the notable exception of David Bowie's song Space Oddity), and though I may have long since forgotten most of the details of this episode, I can still recall with such clarity, the myriad of emotions that this episode woke up inside me. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see the best that the New Twilight Zone had to offer.

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