By Meritxell Freixas
Caleu, Chile, Nov 24 (EFE).- “Caso 63,” a Chilean psychological thriller podcast distributed by Spotify that tells the story of psychiatrist Elisa Aldunate and her time-traveling patient Pedro Roiter, has captivated audiences across the Americas and even been locally adapted as far away as India.
Following the positive response to the third season, Spotify unveiled a surprise for the show’s fans on Thursday.
“There’s the possibility of opening a new universe related to ‘Caso 63,'” the writer and creator of that original audio series, Julio Rojas, said in Caleu, a small Chilean highland town 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Santiago where he took refuge while writing the podcast.
Born in the early days of the pandemic and produced by Emisor Podcasting, the series blurs the boundaries between the past, present and future, intertwines the lives of its characters and presents apocalyptic scenarios, some of which even became reality due to the spread of Covid-19.
“Julio did an incredible job of capturing that strange world we were experiencing, mixing it with science fiction and taking it two or three steps further,” Chilean actor and theater director Nestor Cantillana, who provided the voice of Roiter (a patient registered only as Case 63) in the original Chilean series, told Efe.
“‘Caso 63’ strains the notion of reality, and the last season has to do with that as well: Is it something concrete and objective? Is it a simulation?” Rojas asked rhetorically.
Chilean actress Antonia Zegers, who voices Dr. Aldunate, said that aspect is what hooks listeners. “Science fiction hits hard when suddenly everything starts becoming possible.”
The podcast explores a question that for many is unanswerable: “Why at times do you see a stranger, (that person) seems familiar, and it only takes a couple of conversations” to forge a connection? Rojas said.
Rojas says he studied French scientist Jean-Pierre Garnier Malet’s theories about the doubling of time and space (including the idea of each person having a quantum twin) and American physicist Hugh Everett’s theories about the existence of parallel universes before coming up with his own hypothesis.
In its essence, however, “Caso 63” is a love story: “Pedro and Elisa Aldunate are destined to find one another in all lines of time, in all possible times,” Zegers said.
“Love is what moves everything,” Cantillana added.
A month ago, the story of Dr. Aldunate and Roiter hit the United States market with an English-language adaptation voiced by acclaimed Hollywood actors Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac. Titled “Case 63,” that 10-episode series has already topped the list of the most listened-to scripted podcasts.
The debut in the US was preceded by adaptations in both Brazil and India titled “Paciente 63” and “Virus 2062,” respectively.
“I never thought we were going to get so far,” Rojas acknowledged.
According to Zegers, the success is the result of the podcast’s “potency, the storyline and also the life-or-death pulse to how it’s told, especially in the first season.”
Besides being written during the pandemic, the audio series began to be recorded at a time when curfews and severe restrictions on mobility were in effect in Chile.
Those conditions forced the voice actors to be apart from one another while giving life to their characters.
Rojas says of “Caso 63” that it marked the first time he “gave himself the permission” to do something he really liked “without thinking whether anyone would be interested.”
He added that if he were the time traveler he would not hesitate to go back to 2020 and relive the creation of this successful phenomenon. EFE