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Please help me to find an old live-action colour sci-fi film I watched on VHS in the 1990s.

It was about a black woman (played by not a particularly attractive actress) trapped in the nose of a spaceship being burned alive by solar radiation coming through the window every time the star (sun?) goes round. She does eventually die from the radiation. For the most part of the film, she’s the only character in the story.

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Where did you see this? Was it live-action or animated?
    – DavidW
    Apr 3 at 13:08
  • Thanks! It was live-action. Apr 3 at 13:10
  • I found it in my father’s bedroom as a child and watched it. It has stayed with me ever since. Apr 3 at 13:10
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    Stowaway has a woman dying of radiation in space, but is far too recent, of course.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 3 at 14:12
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    Thanks for editing the post. I am autistic. Apr 3 at 14:23

1 Answer 1

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This is the 1993 TV movie, Lifepod (not to be confused with the similarly-themed 1981 film of the same name). It was released on VHS and is apparently a loose remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 film, Lifeboat.

From a review:

It’s Christmas Eve, 2169, and a passenger liner with over 2,000 people has some sort of critical accident that sends its passengers and crew into the escape pods. In the only one that makes it out, eight people (and a baby in suspended animation) take refuge in this tiny bit of life support floating into the void. After the initial exciting 10 minutes, the movie settles down to focus on both survival and the mystery of what blew up the ship in the first place.

The film involves a group of people struggling to survive on a lifepod adrift in space after being forced to evacuate from a passenger ship travelling from Venus to Earth.

A black, female bridge officer named Mayvene -- played by CCH Pounder -- is trapped alone in the cockpit protruding from the top of the lifepod, and is slowly cooked alive by the sunlight shining through the windows, although it's exposure to a comet's icy tail that ultimately kills her.

CLAIRE ST. JOHN: On Earth, a sunrise means warmth and light. But in space, the Sun never sets. There's no relief from its relentless heat. Just sits above us, slowly burning away our illusions of strength and resolve.

Image of a lifepod adrift in space, from "Lifepod" (1993).

Image of Mayvene trapped in the cockpit of a spaceship's lifepod, from "Lifepod" (1993).

Image of Mayvene trapped in the cockpit of a spaceship's lifepod, from "Lifepod" (1993).

Lifepod (1993)

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    Country Blocked video. Another video that might not be.. youtube.com/watch?v=G7-IbL0FMB4
    – NJohnny
    Apr 3 at 15:35
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    @NJohnny - Looks like the YouTube video I linked to is blocked in North America but not in Europe or Central/South America. Your YouTube link is viewable in North America but not in those other places I mentioned. In order to reduce the likelihood of these videos being blocked in other regions, I'm going to remove the YouTube link from my answer and rely on screenshots instead. For what it's worth, the film is currently also viewable in the US on Tubi. Apr 3 at 15:45

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