Carl Matthews (David Morrissey) commutes by train to London where he works in a property management office under a boss who is pressuring him to dismiss an employee. He has a kind and supportive wife Maggie (Olivia Colman) and two teenage children who he feels do not appreciate him.
One morning he complains to a woman called Sally (Sheridan Smith) that she has taken his seat on the train. He later apologises to her and they start chatting, a relationship develops and she reveals that she is divorced but about to marry again, although scenes with her fiancée (Sean Maguire) suggest she is going cold on the idea. She works at a health club and Carl joins it so that he can see more of her. They fall in love and one evening when the train is not running they spend the night together at a hotel. The second part of the drama deals with the repercussions of their affair.
David Morrissey as Carl Matthews
Sheridan Smith as Sally Thorn
Olivia Colman as Maggie Matthews
Sean Maguire as Ryan Cole
Bill Milner as Adam Matthews
Izzy Meikle-Small as Charlotte Matthews
Ben Fox as Commuter
Lashana Lynch as Kerry Wright
Justin Salinger as Grant Findlay
Thomas Morrison as Martin Dawson
Raj Ghatak as Hotel Receptionist
BBC One announced the series on 29 April 2013. On 1 May 2013 Carnival Films announced that filming had begun. Filming took place on the South West Trains network, including London Waterloo station. The 7.39 was produced by Lynn Horsford, directed by John Alexander and executive produced by Gareth Neame and Sally Woodward Gentle. The original score was by Adrian Johnston.
Overnight figures showed that the first episode on 6 January 2014 was watched by 22.6% of the viewing audience for that time, with 5.66 million watching it. The second episode on the following day was watched by 23.9% of the viewing audience for the time with 5.77 million watching it.