Radiotopia Presents: Doing Time

To celebrate the launch of Ear Hustle next week, all of our Radiotopia shows are producing episodes around a common theme: Doing Time. Each episode will present a different interpretation, custom to the nature of its show, and will drop between today and June 14. Read on to get full previews of each episode, plus audio for each as soon as its available.

99% Invisible

“Squatters of the Lower East Side” — In New York City in the early 1980s, a loose-knit group of squatters took over more than a dozen abandoned city-owned buildings. For years, they illegally occupied the old tenements and successfully resisted eviction — as the city rapidly gentrified around them. They knew if they could just hold on for 10 years, they could make a legal claim.


“All the Time in the World” — The story of a body farm — a place where researchers decompose bodies in various conditions to help law enforcement investigate.

Radio Diaries

“The Rubber Room” — Where New York City teachers do time. The “Rubber Room” is a place where NYC teachers report to if they have been accused of misconduct, while they await resolution of their cases. Some teachers remain there for years. Diarist Josh is one of them.

Song Exploder

“alt-J - In Cold Blood” — The band alt-J takes apart their song, “In Cold Blood.” It’s one that was written years ago, but they’d never been able to get right, and couldn’t figure out why, until they started to play with tempo. For the recording, the song’s different sections speed up and slow down rather than follow the same BPM (beats per minute) throughout.


“Mortified, Interrupted” — A complex and touching episode featuring two stories about teenagers who kept diaries while inside a mental health hospital — with entries ranging from heartbreaking to hilarious.

The Allusionist

“AD/BC” — Keeping track of the years is dependent on a Christian calendar. What are secular alternatives to BC and AD?


“Unrehabilitatable” — When Joseph Jackson was 28, he shot and killed a man. Thirty years later, that day still shadows him. When the world sees you only for your worst moments, is it possible to create a new identity?

The Truth

“Songonauts (episode 8)” — The season finale of the “meta-indie-pop-sci-fi-musical” about a struggling indie band who finds a drum machine that transports them into their songs. In this episode, our heroes are doing time in Obscurity. How will they ever save the Songoverse from in there?


“Franky Carillo” — Franky Carillo spent 20 years in prison for a crime he had nothing to do with. He was 16 when he was arrested and 37 when he was finally released. This episode is the story as he told it to host Lea after his exoneration, and a check-in to see how he is doing now, six years after his release.

The Memory Palace

“Cipher, or Greenhow Girls” — The story of Rose Greenhow, a socialite imprisoned in D.C. for spying for the Confederacy who then continued to spy for the Confederacy while imprisoned for spying for the Confederacy, and about her daughter, who stayed with her in prison at the age of 8.

The Kitchen Sisters Present

“Warriors vs. Warriors” — For the last five years, the Golden State Warriors have gone inside San Quentin State Prison to play a pickup game against inmates in front of a crowd of prison guards and other inmates. Draymond Green talks about going inside.

The Heart

“The Visits” — A librarian writes letters to an incarcerated man.

Love + Radio

“Relevant Questions” — A special L+R season six preview. The true story about lying, featuring polygraph expert Doug Mitchell, who has spent decades trying to take down this instrument of interrogation.

The West Wing Weekly

“3.12: Bartlet for America” — Hosts Josh and Hrishi discuss the most decorated episode of The West Wing’s third season. (Lots of awards AND Christmas ornaments.) Flashbacks are the central device in this episode and drug addiction and its consequences are the central idea.

The Bugle

“4034 - Judges and prison” — Andy is joined by Anuvab Pal to discuss mad judges, British democracy and incarceration.

The Truth

“Influencers, Part 1” — Imagine a near future where media influencers are sent to an internment camp. Part one of a collaboration with Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything.

Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything

“Influencers, Part 2” — Frankie isn’t a real Media Influencer but the Government saw the 500,000 followers he bought for his Instagram profile back in the day and arrested him anyway. Now he’s in a media internment camp. Part two of a special collaboration with The Truth.

Hear all the episodes in one master playlist below, or in the RadioPublic app.

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