All I know is that it's basically about a little girl who sneaks onto a spaceship. The ship can't land because its too heavy, all automated or something. But she is found and they try to shoot a bunch of junk out into space to get the weight right, no joy, so at the end she calls up her parents that are on another ship, says goodbye, and I guess she gets shot out into space.

That's about the gist of it. Not sure if it's from The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone.

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    Possible duplicate of Man is piloting small cargo ship with young woman stow-away Aug 13, 2018 at 22:58
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    It is almost certainly "The Cold Equations", but it raises an interesting issue, does it officially count as a dupe if the other answer is (probably) the movie adaptation of the original story but this question is asking about the Twilight Zone ep adaptation of it? Aug 13, 2018 at 23:15
  • While this may well turn out to be The Cold Equations, we need to wait for the OP to agree before closing the question as a duplicate.
    – Blackwood
    Aug 13, 2018 at 23:48
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    @starpilotsix Both answers on the other question mention The Twilight Zone so they could be linked, but the questions are asking for different adaptations. Aug 14, 2018 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


This is "The Cold Equations", an episode of The Twilight Zone that was the 16th episode of the 3rd season of the 1980s incarnation of the series. The episode is an adaptation of a rather famous 1954 short story of the same name by Tom Godwin.

Thomas Barton is an astronaut who must deliver a vital cargo of vaccine to a plague-stricken colony world. However, a young girl named Marilyn has stowed away on his vessel with hopes of reuniting with her brother Gerry at the colony. Now the entire mission is in jeopardy as her presence on board was not calculated into the flight plan, which goes strictly "by the numbers" and there will be no way for the pilot to compensate for her added weight. They also discover that there are no other ships which can pick her up prior to arrival at their destination.

The promo can be viewed here:

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    This is incomplete if you don't mention that the Twilight Zone episode is based on Tom Godwin's famous 1954 story.
    – Spencer
    Aug 14, 2018 at 0:29
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    @Spencer Yeah, true, added it in. Aug 14, 2018 at 1:05
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    Ugh, that was a terrible story, and they made it into a Twilight Zone episode? Aug 14, 2018 at 11:22
  • @MasonWheeler Everyone knows that the 80s Twilight Zone was pretty terrible.
    – forest
    Aug 14, 2018 at 11:56

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