93 episodes

When podcast producer Dave Pickering is approached by his dad with a mystery from the life of a long-forgotten friend, he decides to investigate it in the only way he knows how: by having conversations.

Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared.

In a series of 12 episodes, Dave tries to uncover this mystery through conversations with Mark’s family and friends. As he gets to know them, his questions lead to more questions… the mystery runs deeper than anyone imagined.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

The Family Tree Adamthwaite & Pickering

    • Drama

When podcast producer Dave Pickering is approached by his dad with a mystery from the life of a long-forgotten friend, he decides to investigate it in the only way he knows how: by having conversations.

Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared.

In a series of 12 episodes, Dave tries to uncover this mystery through conversations with Mark’s family and friends. As he gets to know them, his questions lead to more questions… the mystery runs deeper than anyone imagined.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

    Announcement - Down to a sunless sea

    Announcement - Down to a sunless sea

    Later this year I will be launching a mini series called ‘Down to a Sunless Sea: Memories of my Dad’. I've received funding from the Wellcome Trust and BPAs to make some additional episodes looking at the science behind the issues the show covers. As part of the requirements for this funding I'd really appreciate it if people who have listened to GBA could fill in this survey:

    http://podcastviews.com

    • 4 min
    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 30 - The Christmas Oak

    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 30 - The Christmas Oak

    This Christmas special functions as an epilogue, a coda, an outro and a final thought, for The Family Tree. Dave spends Christmas with Philip Beech and the Sullivans, and Jen reads a special Christmas story written by Mia.

    The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

    • 38 min
    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 29 - Ending 5 - The Great Unknown Other

    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 29 - Ending 5 - The Great Unknown Other

    In the final episode of the show, Dave and his brother go to visit their dad to say hello, and also to say goodbye: endings are more complex than a simple full stop.

    The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

    • 37 min
    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 28 - Ending 4 - Cutting 6 - The Final Cut

    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 28 - Ending 4 - Cutting 6 - The Final Cut

    Dave reflects on accountability and forgiveness, and considers the best ways to end things. Past guests, new guests and listeners to the show, who talk about how they approach these issues. Dave's partner, Jen, talks about how she experienced the making of The Family Tree, and we're introduced to a song written by Martin Zaltz Austwick.

    The Family Tree’s Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism, religion and the arts.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 27 - Ending 3 - The End of the Mystery

    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 27 - Ending 3 - The End of the Mystery

    Dave talks to Mark about his role in the trauma his family has experienced, and reflects on the importance of accountability and justice.

    The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

    • 43 min
    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 26 - Ending 2 - The Family Never Ends

    The Family Tree Season 3 - Episode 26 - Ending 2 - The Family Never Ends

    Family is about more than blood. Dave continues rounding up the end of Season 3 by catching up with the extended family.

    The Family Tree is a magical realist dramatic fiction about family, belonging, change and identity.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

27Letters ,

Fascinating and Wonderful

This one takes a little commitment--the interview-style episodes are on the long side, and meandering, but purposfully so. The performances are so authentic, you forget you're listening to fiction, and the meanderings feel entirely true to the dissembling and anxieties of the characters facing off against an intrusive reporter delving into their most upsetting family history. There's an emotional honesty here that is genuinely moving. As the reporter himself argues, the human struggle to live with the mystery is so much more than the mystery itself.

SPINES Podcast ,

A Conundrum

The Family Tree opens with a baffling mystery: a man who lost an arm in a car accident years ago has turned up dead with two intact arms. Using this mystery as a starting point, The Family Tree's narrator sets out to confront the case and its effect on the dead man's friends and loved ones. The Family Tree unfolds at a slow, deliberate pace, more interested in characters than in shocking reveals. Even so, the first episode offers plenty of hints that this mystery is headed in some weird directions. Excellent work on naturalistic dialogue and sound design, particularly in the rather adorable interactions between the narrator and his eager-to-please father.

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