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5.12 The Cold Equations

In the remnant of a shattered satellite, far above the ruined planet Earth, Steven Taylor and Oliver Harper are dying. As time runs out, they face their pastsÂ… and a secret long kept is revealed.

The borrowed time is elapsing, and they realize they are facing an enemy that cannot be defeated. The cold, hard facts of science.
Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Tom Allen (Oliver Harper)
Written By
Directed By
Lisa Bowerman


60 rating(s) submitted

100% (6/6) of raters say this story requires listening to previous stories.

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Recent Ratings
Rated 9/10 on 7/9/14 5:31 am
Rated 9/10 on 6/1/14 1:27 pm
Rated 9/10 on 3/16/14 7:44 am
Rated 5/10 on 2/25/14 11:34 pm
Rated 7/10 on 1/17/14 1:15 pm
Rated 9/10 on 1/14/14 3:15 am
Rated 10/10 on 12/18/13 2:19 pm
Rated 7/10 on 12/17/13 4:32 am
Rated 7/10 on 11/20/13 11:43 am
Rated 9/10 on 10/16/13 11:48 pm


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Review By jolyon
Rated 10/10 on 7/9/12 5:08 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Another strong release. The Peter Purves first Doctor is a fun interpretation, Tom Allen is a welcome addition to the TARDIS crew as Oliver and this story gives space pilot Steven Taylor a chance to shine. Who would think that maths and science could be this exciting to listen to? Even the extras are fascinating. Oliver's secret is a gift to storytelling with the benefit of hindsight. They'd never have done it at the time, but now, it feels bang on what they would have done - very clever!
Review By Timelord63
Rated 10/10 on 8/5/11 5:59 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.
There are certain plays that, when I come here to give them a mark, make me think 'excellent, 10/10!', and then there are the times such as this when something you've just heard really grabs you and suddenly that 10/10 doesn't feel anything like enough to do it justice. 'The Cold Equations' is faultless and a beautiful script, brilliantly brought to life by the production and by two superb actors working so very well together (or three actors? I swear William Hartnell joined in on the recording day :). Relatively non-spoilerish reasons to love this one include good use of Steven's skills, a cracking story, and the heart-warming reactions to Oliver's secret. Plus a nice little nod over to the Sara Kingdom trilogy. I cannot wait for the third in this trilogy and would welcome many more!

On the subject of Oliver's secret, that deserves a huge thank you. Without it, I still would love the story and it would've got the same mark. With it, well, 100/10? Still not enough :)
Review By jduteau
Rated 9/10 on 3/8/12 7:56 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
I just don't feel that the big reveal of Oliver's secret had the effect that others have said it did. Maybe I just don't fully understand the restrictions of the 60s, but I didn't think he would hide it from the Doctor and Steven like he did.

Having said that, this was a great story with a good science lecture hidden inside of it. The consequences of Steven's hand made me go look up space suits and, to me, that's a sign of a good story - when it makes me go look up things about it.

The acting was great and Peter Purves has just become William Hartnell perfectly.
Review By komodo
Rated 5/10 on 2/25/14 11:44 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
Great acting and very good science. In many ways this was a great story, but I found that it felt a little disjointed. There were points where things seemed to just hop ahead or maybe I was just having trouble paying attention. I think perhaps so much of the story was a set up to the big secret rather than tell a story in its own right and this lessens it. Perhaps the story should have been longer and there was too much editing.
The secret too, left me underwhelmed. By the end I was just thinking "hope it isn't ... " and it was, which was boring really. The Doctor and Steven's reactions to it also left me wondering why they even bothered. Nothing wrong with it being in the story, but I felt the lead up to it, was too much; like telling everyone they are going to love your joke and then being the only one to laugh at it. This same reveal could have been done far more effectively without building up expectations.

On the plus side the mechanics of orbital manoeuvring gave Steven a rare chance to use his expertise and surprise people. Oliver is working out well as the second companion and I think the next episode will be worth looking forward to.

I think I was also thrown by the similarities part of this story had with "Space Pirates" an awful original episode I recently listened to. This one had much better special effects.
Reviewer Says: Previous stories required!