The 12:37 by Alma Roda-Gil

After she ends up on a time-traveling train full of eccentric passengers, scientist Nora must figure out how to return home – but not before she finds out what everyone is hiding from her.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of The 12:37 for a while now. Time travel stories hold a special place in my heart, and the serialized nature of podcasts lends itself nicely to a show structure that explores many different eras.

While attempting to take the train home, Nora finds herself aboard the 12:37. She’s informed by a tall gentleman of indeterminate age that the train will not be taking her back to Brighton—at least not in this century. Surprisingly, Nora takes this in stride. Perhaps it’s the scientist in her.

Nora works as a virologist for an organization dedicated to researching diseases before they can occur. Other than being a pretty damn cool backstory, I suspect that unique set of skills will become important later in the story.

The core cast of characters is fairly small, allowing for greater development of each. Wheeler—the tall gentleman from before—works on the train, and in general seems like a likable fellow. Then there’s Val. She’s even more mysterious and we don’t learn much about her, but her metal arm and face full of scars suggest that she’s lived a rather interesting life.

The sound design is relatively minimal. Effects like footsteps, doors opening, and the ambient noise of a moving train help to set the scene. There’s often some background music playing, but it’s quiet and contributes to the overall mood of the show rather than standing out. Once or twice I noticed an unusually long silence between scenes, though I suspect these may have been edited out in the time since I received advance review copies of the first three episodes.

From what I’ve heard so far, I’m interested to see where the story goes. The adventure-of-the-week format is fun and the overarching plot has been teased just enough to leave me wanting more. The characters are diverse, empathetic, and often mysterious. I love the focus on story elements that aren’t often used in time travel plots, such as how someone dependent on modern anti-depressants handles being deprived of their medication while traveling through time. And the voice acting is excellent, which was unsurprising given the strength of the cast.

The 12:37 is a show to pay attention to. It’s a fun ride full of fascinating characters, and has easily earned its place on my list of shows to keep up with on a weekly basis. If time travel train shenanigans sound like a good time, you won’t be disappointed.

The 12:37 is a free time travel audio drama available through iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts. Find out more on its website or listen to the teaser trailer below:

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