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The Family Tree

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.
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Jun 11, 2019

After meeting Ellie, Melanie is open to the idea of allowing Mark to the surface. Along with Ben, Kora, Melissa and Shajahan, she and Dave return to Goldsmith’s to attempt to bring Mark back.

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

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May 28, 2019

In the third Cutting of Season 3, Dave talks to Philosophy Tube’s Oliver Thorn, witchcraft scholar Dr. Alice Tarbuck, and historian Dr Robert Poole about the history, philosophy and ideology of persecution. Dave also considers how the legacy of Lancaster Castle, his own family tree, and an excellent twitter thread by Dr Clare Askew fit within idea that ‘we are the heirs of the witch hunters.’

This episode follows on from the last Cutting, which looked at Magic –  http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-3-cuttings-2-magic/ – and is a companion piece to this Cuttings episode from Season 2: http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/the-family-tree-season-2-cuttings-2-systems-and-structures/

Zoe Prosser, who gives a reading in this episode, was a guest in this Cuttings episode from Season 1: http://thefamilytreepodcast.co.uk/cuttings/cutting-5-fantasies-and-conspiracies/

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

Find our Guests!

Oliver Thorn: Twitter - @OllyThorn, @Philosophy Tube  Philosophy Tube - https://www.youtube.com/user/thephilosophytube

The video featured in this episode is Witchcraft, Gender & Marxism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmk47kh7fiE

Dr. Alice Tarbuck - https://alicetarbuck.net/

https://twitter.com/atarbuck

Dr Clare Askew: https://twitter.com/OneNightStanzas

The twitter thread featured in the episode is this one: https://twitter.com/onenightstanzas/status/1049601689089728512

Dr Robert Poole: https://www.uclan.ac.uk/staff_profiles/dr_robert_poole.php

The book focused on in this episode is The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thomas-Wonderful-Discovery-Witches-Lancaster/dp/1874181780

May 21, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hardly know how to present this episode to you. I thought about telling you all about it, but I think you may find some value in experiencing the surprise the way that Melanie and I did in this conversation. I would like to reassure you all, though, that I am very much alive and well, so please don’t be concerned about anything like that. Goodness me, what a strange world we find ourselves in.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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

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May 12, 2019

In the second part of a very personal part of the story for Dave, he visits his dad for the first time since he began his changing journey.

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

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May 7, 2019

In the first part of a very personal part of the story for Dave, he talks to his dad, who plans to become a changeling.

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

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Apr 16, 2019

Following an enigmatic voice message, Dave facilitates a meeting between Nathan and Nigel. It’s the first time they’ve seen each other since Nathan’s change, and they have a lot of catching up to do.

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

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Apr 9, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hope my last recording was of some help to some of you. I find myself frequently revisiting Azariah’s thoughtful advice. Every good answer leads to a new question in my experience, but I trust in God to guide us towards a path that is right. I may have believed that They had only one path for us at one time, but I feel that things may be very much more complicated than that.

Melanie and I have taken the decision to begin recording our conversations again, and this is what I have to share with you this week. I hope that you may find it interesting, and that it may help those in need.

Best wishes,

Phillip

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

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Apr 2, 2019

Following a message from Skarbek, Dave meets up with her on Gallions Hill. What she has to tell him is the information that encouraged the Sullivan family to continue recording The Family Tree. In this conversation, Dave learns both encouraging developments and some tragic news.

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

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Mar 26, 2019

Dear Listeners,

I hope this finds you well. It truly is a pleasure to be writing to you again, and I’m delighted to be able to connect with you through The Family Tree.

It perhaps won’t surprise you to learn that I have faced many challenges since David and I had our little excursion to St James’s Park to visit the oak tree. I find I am quite changed, and I don’t mind telling you, I’ve found it rather difficult to process some of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had since I became a changeling, or a liminal person, as David likes to call us now.

David very kindly put me in touch with his friend Azariah, a fellow man of the cloth, and with him I talked through some of the difficulties I’m having. I found his counsel to be very valuable, and I want to share our conversation with you, with the hope that it may serve to help others as much as it helped me.

Yours Faithfully,

Philip

P.S. My parishioners have often preferred to address me as ‘Reverend Beech’, or simply ‘Beech’. I think it has allowed them a separation from me that they’ve found useful, and over time, I’ve found myself thinking of myself that way too. But I think I would like to try being a little less separate, and from here on will sign my letters to you with my Christian name, if that’s alright with you. I find it extremely poignant to see how I titled this episode; Azariah’s comfortableness with his first name while I shelter behind my surname.

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

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Mar 5, 2019

In the aftermath of Nathan’s return, Dave catches up with Kora, Melissa, Nathan, Ben and Melanie as they all process their feelings about the change, and reflect on Ben and Nathan sharing a body.

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

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Feb 26, 2019

Leaving the others to process what just happened, Dave accompanies Nathan back to visit Jane and sets up his recording equipment. Jane and Nathan catch up and discuss their feelings about Nathan’s circumstances.

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

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Feb 19, 2019

Dave catches up with Melanie and Kora, and with Melissa and Ben after their journey to the rainforest. In a controlled experiment at Goldsmith’s, University of London, and with the help of Shajahan, they attempt to bring Nathan back.

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

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Feb 12, 2019

New information about changelings has surfaced. Dave speaks to previous Cuttings guest, Jackie Hagan and her partner, Klara, and learns information that will have a huge impact on the Sullivan family and other changelings he’s met while documenting The Family Tree.

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

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Apr 22, 2018

In the final episode of Season 2, Melissa calls Dave and asks him to meet her and Ben at Paddington Station. They share a worrying plan with him, and when he gets home and listens to his voicemail, things get even worse.

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

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Mar 27, 2018

In the aftermath of Nathan’s death, Reverend Beech comes to talk to Dave. Together, they share their grief and talk about an important change to Melissa’s understanding of herself as a changeling.

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

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Mar 22, 2018

An anonymous caller leaves a series of panicked messages for Dave. Is The Family Tree putting the Sullivan family in danger?

Content Note: This episode touches on issues around homophobia, rape and child sexual abuse

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

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Mar 11, 2018

After receiving some tragic news, Dave talks to Thought Adventures co-host, Nigel, about what has happened to Nathan.

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

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Feb 25, 2018

Dave meets Violita, who views it as a blessing to have become a changeling. She clearly has a lot more story to tell than she shares in this conversation, but nonetheless, her very particular lineage has a lot to tell us about what happens to someone when they take on the memories of other creatures.

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

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Feb 8, 2018

Dear Listeners,

David tells me that you like me writing to you, so it has come to feel very right that I accompany these recordings with a short note. I’m afraid I don’t know much about podcasting, so I’ve been leaving all the music to David, who has much more experience and has made the last two sound jolly good. Melanie and I should probably work on introducing ourselves properly; I’m afraid we just jump straight in again. However, I think regular listeners to The Family Tree might be very happy to hear the recording this time – Melanie is really beginning to remember a few things now, and is increasingly comfortable with trying to talk about it.

Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy Episode 3 of ‘Conversations’.

Yours Faithfully,

Reverend Phillip Beech

P.S. We did think about calling the episode ‘Roger and Olaf’, but I think it’s best to keep it simple. Do write to David if you have any better suggestions for a name for us.

 

 

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

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Feb 4, 2018

Dave talks to Reverend Beech and Kora at Jane’s house before a special party for Mia to say goodbye to the oak tree: they’re going to plant a sapling grown from one of its acorns.

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

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Jan 13, 2018

In this episode, Dave talks to Shajahan, a friend of a friend, who is considering the hypothesis that her late mother was a changeling. If what her mother told her is true, Shajahan may still have her mother with her after all.

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

 

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Dec 14, 2017

Dave and Reverend Beech have returned after their trip to St James’s Park. There’s a lot of processing to do as they drink cocoa and go over the events of a very long night.

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

 

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Dec 11, 2017

Reverend Beech has a plan so drastic that Dave has decided to split this episode into two parts. In Part I, they discuss what they plan to do and why that will involve a drill, a sleeping bag and a freezer.

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

 

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Nov 30, 2017

Ben is eager to come on the show to talk about his new organisation, ‘Change of Heart’, dedicated to researching and protecting changelings. Accompanied again by Kora, Dave begins to see tensions within their relationship. Meanwhile, the threat posed by information disappearing online looms ever-larger.

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

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Nov 19, 2017

Many years ago, Mark recorded stories for Ben and Nathan to listen to on a car journey. The cassette has turned up in Jane’s loft. But perhaps there’s more to these stories than the family ever realised: from what Melanie has revealed about her pre-Mark history, it would seem that in one of them, Mark may have been subtly telling his family what had happened to him.

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

 

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