Since its premiere last fall, the popular Chilean Spotify Original podcast Caso 63 has transfixed listeners with its science fiction storytelling. Now, the time traveling show is going the geographical distance as Spotify adapts its Spanish-language podcast into Paciente 63, a Portuguese language version, for listeners in Brazil.
Created by Julio Rojas, the fictional show is set in the year 2022, when psychiatrist Elisa Aldunate begins a series of therapy sessions with “Patient 63.” As the sessions progress, time, space, and reality begin to blur, playing with listeners’ minds. Drama builds over the course of 10 episodes, delivering thought-provoking mystery for Spanish speakers the world over.
“It has been a very impressive phenomenon—Caso 63 was one of the most-listened-to audio series in Spanish in 2020 and was met with an enthusiasm that crossed countries, lasted for months, and generated a great amount of reflection and comments on all social networks,” Rojas reflected.
“[With the adaptation I feel] a lot of emotion,” he added. “Listening to Paciente 63 in Portuguese, with the level of its actors, the adaptation, and the production, it was as if the story had always been designed to be heard in that language. It is comforting to see that science fiction stories and their audiences have no borders, perhaps because stories make us all reflect on the same issues. Science fiction is today the great source of philosophical reflection on whom or where we want to be.”
The adaptation features Brazilian actors Mel Lisboa and Seu Jorge. Both stars lend their voices to the series, helping to immerse listeners in the world of Paciente 63.
“I was very excited to join Paciente 63,” Lisboa shared. “The series brings up, in many moments, the theory that there may be different realities based on the choices we make, so it can make people reflect on their mistakes and their decisions. Also, I think one insight that people can get from listening to Paciente 63 is that we’re likely to go through drastic changes. In 2019, for example, we did not imagine that we would need to isolate ourselves as is happening until now.”
The recording process was a new experience for the actors, who were unable to meet during the pandemic and instead developed their characters and relationships remotely.
“It was a challenge to bring a character to life through his voice,” Jorge shared. “The need to use only this feature as a means of immersion for the listener, especially with the COVID-19 limitations that were happening, made the process more difficult. It was an experience that required a lot of technique. Ultimately, the project was part of a rich process in which I had to study the best way to deal with my voice and trained a lot to get where I wanted to go.”
Lisboa and Jorge believe the story’s thought-provoking premise and audio format will resonate with Brazilians. For Rojas, this is no surprise—and only the beginning for fiction podcasts.
“For thousands of years, oral storytelling has been the main way for transmitting stories,” explained Rojas. “Listening to an audio series activates you, ignites new neural highways, and generates the intimacy necessary for self-reflection. You are part of the story because you help make it. It is a unique and personal experience, and I think that is the new format for a post-pandemic world. I hope that Brazilian listeners enjoy it.”
Join the adventures of Paciente 63 and Dr. Elisa. Binge all 10 episodes today: