After landing safely on an unexplored planet the 53 surviving crew members of the Lode Star find themselves trapped when their space ship's atomic reactors explode. It is then that they are forced to confront not only their immediate survival but the long-term future of their new civilisation. Fundamental objectives like food, clothing and shelter become scarce, while relationships between men and women are made on grounds other than love. Complicating matters is the fact that the men outnumber the women. And then they encounter the planet's original inhabitants... a species which wants to 'scientifically' examine these newcomers.