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Film / Lifepod

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Lifepod is a Made-for-TV Movie that aired on FOX back in 1993. Essentially a Sci-Fi remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Lifeboat, it was directed by Ron Silver, who heads the cast along with Robert Loggia and C.C.H. Pounder.

The film takes place on Christmas Eve 2168 A.D. and chronicles the adventures of a small group of survivors struggling to survive in a life pod drifting in space after the space cruiser that they were traveling on explodes, apparently due to a bomb that had been planted on the ship. With limited food, water, and air, the survivors gradually begin to suspect that one of them on the life pod is responsible for the sabotage of the ship as well as the theft and contamination of their supplies.

Lifepod contained the following tropes:

  • Anachronism Stew: One character carries a 20th century revolver, saying it will pass through detectors where energy blasters won't.
  • Are We Getting This?: When Parker has to have his leg amputated, he insists that Clara record it on her video camera because he wants others to know what he endured.
  • Artificial Limbs: Q-3 has a cybernetic arm that allows him to perform a multitude of technologically-inclined tasks.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the climax, just when Kane is about to lose while fighting against Terman, Clara is able to override the frequency to the door and tackle Terman from behind.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Mayvene, the pilot of the life pod, dies after getting exposed to the impact of an asteroid field, due to the fact that she was trapped in the cockpit and Q-3 was unable to save her, because of Kane's refusal to help him because of his fear of enclosed spaces. Parker later dies afterwards after getting his neck snapped by Terman.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The airlock that the crew had used to jettison the dead woman and her dead child out in space is used again later in the climax when Clara and Kane defeat Terman by jettisoning him out into space.
  • Cold Equation: Stating that their odds of survival would increase if one of them dies, Terman tries to cut his wrists. He's actually the saboteur, and did it knowing the others would stop him.
  • Death of a Child: The first casualty amongst the pod's passengers was a baby in cryo-stasis that gets its pod hit by shrapnel from the ship's explosion.
  • Disney Villain Death: Terman is jettisoned out into space after Clara and Kane shove him into the airlock.
  • Escape Pod: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Food Pills: The food on the life pod comes in this form, but unfortunately, it has been contaminated.
  • Force Feeding: Kane and Clara make quick work of Terman by sticking a syringe connected to a container of liquid metal into his mouth and using it to seal his mouth shut.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When performing the amputation procedure to take off Parker's leg, due to gangrene, we don't see any signs of amputation, but we do clearly hear the sound of Q-3's electric saw sawing off the leg.
    • Averted In-Universe — Parker insists the operation be filmed, as he wants others to know what he had to endure.
  • Heroic BSoD: Q-3 goes through one of these after his failure to save Mayvene from the cockpit that she was trapped in.
  • Hope Spot: The crew on the life pod sees an outer space probe containing supplies, until it is discovered that the probe has been completely laden with holes and devoid of any supplies.
  • The Mole: Terman turns out to be the guilty party responsible for the sabotage of the space cruiser, as well as contaminating the crew's food and water supply.
  • Neck Snap: Terman kills Parker this way while he is in bed, after Parker had gotten his leg amputated.
  • Noodle Incident: After Mayvene has been killed by the radiation field while in the cockpit, Q-3 cries out in anguish "It's happening again!" Later, when Kane asks him what he meant by that, Q-3 explains that the previous ship that he was on caught fire and all of the passengers, save him, died in the crash.
  • Not In Kansas Any More
    Clara: Where were you born?
    Rena: Venus.
    Clara: Is that where your parents were born?
    Rena: My parents were born in Kansas.
    Clara: Well, we're not in Kansas anymore.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Terman turns out to not be blind after all, thanks to incriminating evidence shown on Clara's video camera during the filming of Parker's amputation operation (Terman dodging a flying splint due to Parker's thrashing movements during the operation), which hints him to be the saboteur.
  • Oh, Crap!: Parker gets this reaction after discovering Terman drinking pure non-contaminated water, and then seeing the supposedly-blind Terman look at him, whereupon Terman walks over and kills him.
  • Pretext for War: The sabotage was meant to be a pretext to send the troops in to the colonies.
  • Recycled In Space: A literal example, with this film being a remake of Lifeboat, but in outer space instead of on the ocean.
  • Say My Name: Q-3 shouts out Mayvene's name a few times, most especially when Mayvene has been killed after exposure to the radiation field.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The space cruiser at the beginning of the film explodes after nearly all of the passengers have escaped the ship.
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: The Artificial Limbs that mechanics like Q-3 use can have their hands switched with various tools.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The food and the water on the life pod has been contaminated by hydraulic fluid, after Rena tests the water when Clara complains that the water tastes "oily".
  • Ten Little Murder Victims: IN SPACE! with the suspects all trapped on the eponymous Lifepod.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Throughout the film, Kane is shown to be scared of enclosed places, best evident in the scene where he refuses to help Q-3 by crawling into the vents that lead to the cockpit where Mayvene is at. He is later able to overcome this fear in the climax when he crawls into the vent that leads to the kitchen in order to fight Terman.