James Burke Connections

Connections is a ten-episode documentary television series created, written and presented by science historian James Burke. The series was produced and directed by Mick Jackson of the BBC Science & Features Department and first aired in 1978 (UK) and 1979 (USA). It took an interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology. The series was noted for Burke’s crisp and enthusiastic presentation (and dry humour), historical reenactments, and intricate working models.

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  1. Best speech I ever heard was from James Burke. Life-changing. Brilliant man. So grateful I heard him speak that one time.

  2. It would be nice if Ambrose Video would re-issue the Connections II and Connections 3 DVD sets.

  3. Pierre Curie died in a street accident in Paris on 19 April 1906. Crossing the busy Rue Dauphine in the rain at the Quai de Conti, he slipped and fell under a heavy horse-drawn cart. He died instantly when one of the wheels ran over his head, fracturing his skull.

  4. Great to see this thought provoking series again, which I saw on BBC TV in the seventies, and it has not lost anything in over 30 years. How wierd though, beginning in The WTC and after going up to the roof he starts talking about Scandinavian airlines flight 911, and then also the power failure was on the 9th of November – 9/11 in the UK.

  5. Am all around great time for the entire family.

  6. Saw this as a kid on PBS (WTTW/Chicago), when it came out in the USA. Top notch series which still holds to this day. I am so happy to have found it here and intact on Doc Heaven. Thank you very much!

  7. 10/10

    – The initial episode of the series did not impress me as much as the other 9 episodes, but it does a good job of describing what the series will be about.
    – Narration performed clearly, and with a good pace of points and descriptions.
    – Video quality is slightly poor by modern standards, but that isn’t very important because the narrative is the purpose of the series.
    – The tying together of points across episodes in the series is excellently orchestrated.
    – The style of connecting events and technologies to form a narrative is still relatively uncommon in documentaries, which makes this series novel.
    – A very entertaining show for those studying history and the motivations of those who created history.

  8. Used to watch James Burke all the time. How about that coincience, Flight 911?

  9. It’s a shame that they don’t do documentaries like these anymore. What a fantastic series of films. It might be over 30 years old, but still amazingly flawless.

  10. love this show