Some years ago I listened to a radio drama involving four kids trapped on a wreck starship. After ruling the mission they and their families were on a failure they convinced the AI to return to Earth, only to find the Earth missing.

I thought it was called "Earth Bound" but I can't find anything by that name fitting my description.


1 Answer 1


Earthsearch (1981) by James Follett?

From Wikipedia:

Three crew-generations previously, the starship Challenger - a vast ten-mile-long survey vessel – was launched from Earth on an interstellar mission to search the universe for an Earth-type planet to colonise. This has been unsuccessful, and the ship's once enormous crew-count has now been reduced to four. Telson (the ship's Commander), Sharna (Science officer), Darv and Astra are the third-generation crew- the only survivors of the disastrous Great Meteoroid Strike which seriously damaged the ship two decades previously, killing the entire second-generation crew and rendering large areas of the ship "uncontrolled" and inaccessible to its electronic systems. [...]

With no suitably colonisable planet found after over a hundred years of searching, a crew-vote is taken and the Challenger sets a course for the return to Earth. Darv and Astra, while exploring one of the uncontrolled zones, find a survey recording of an Earth-type planet called Paradise. (In the accompanying novelisation, Darv is alone when he makes the discovery.) As is standard procedure, the crew enter suspended animation in order to prevent ageing and possible death during the many years of journey time. [...]

Reaching the Earth's solar system, the Challenger's crew are horrified to discover that Earth has vanished altogether, with the Moon now occupying Earth's former orbit. Although the crew locate a large city on the Moon, they are unable to receive any answers to their communications and are unable to leave the ship to explore. This situation is changed when Darv and Astra enter an uncontrolled zone within the Challenger and locate a space shuttle previously unknown to the Angels. Using this, they visit the city, named "first Footprint City", and discover the Moon Sentinel, a computerised guardian and archive whom they can question.

Found with the Google query scifi radio drama spaceship ai earth missing.

  • 1
    If this is the right answer, you can accept it by clicking the checkmark on the left.
    – Jenayah
    Aug 31, 2020 at 6:34
  • I believe etiquette is to wait 24 hours to accept it Aug 31, 2020 at 19:00
  • 3
    @Matthew while that may be true for "analysis-type" questions (here on SFF or elsewhere on the Stack Exchange network), since other, more in-depth answers can be posted early, this doesn't make much sense for story-ID questions. There is no "best" answer, most of the time there's a single correct answer, so this "etiquette" doesn't really apply. Plus it helps new members learn the site's mechanisms, and avoids (a bit) the hit-and-run asker's leaving no feedback and making this policy on dupe-closing hard to enforce in practice.
    – Jenayah
    Aug 31, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    That being said, OP is obviously in no obligation to accept an answer altogether; hence the "you can accept it by clicking [...]" phrasing. :)
    – Jenayah
    Aug 31, 2020 at 19:19

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