Connections 1
Ambrose Video (1979)
TV Series  /  Documentary, History
In Collection
Seen ItYes
8 hr 20 mins UK / English
DVD  Region 1   NR (Not Rated)
James Burke Presenter
Mick Jackson
Producer Mick Jackson
James Burke
Writer James Burke

The original ten volume series was made in 1978. The popular success of the series led to two sequels, Connections 2 (sometimes written Connections2) in 1994, and Connections 3 (or Connections3) in 1997, both produced for TLC. By turning science into a detective story James Burke creates a series that will fascinate students and adults alike. This interdisciplinary approach has never before been applied to history or science and it succeeds tremendously. Winner of the Red Ribbon in the American Film Festival, the scope of the series covers 19 countries and 150 locations, requiring over 14 months of filming. As the Sherlock Holmes of science, Burke tracks through 12,000 years of history for the clues that lead us to eight great life changing inventions-the atom bomb, telecommunications, the computer, the production line, jet aircraft, plastics, rocketry and television. Burke postulates that such changes occur in response to factors he calls "triggers," some of them seemingly unrelated. These have their own triggering effects, causing change in totally unrelated fields as well. And so the connections begin...
Disc 01
 0 hr 50 mins    10/17/1978  1.  The Trigger Effect
Both the beginning and the end of the story are here. The end is our present dependence on complex technological networks illustrated by the NYC power blackouts. Life came almost to a standstill: support systems taken for granted failed. How did we become so helpless?
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
 0 hr 50 mins    10/24/1978  2.  Death in the Morning
How did a test of gold's purity revolutionize the world 2500 years ago and lead to the atomic bomb? Standardizing precious metal in coins stimulated trade from Greece to Persia, causing the construction of a huge commercial center and library at Alexandria. This wealth of nautical knowledge aided navigators fourteen centuries later.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
Disc 02
 0 hr 50 mins    10/31/1978  3.  Distant Voices
Telecommunications exist because the Normans wore stirrups at the Battle of Hastings - a simple advance that caused a revolution in the increasingly expensive science of warfare. Europe turned its attention to making money to wage wars. As mine shafts were dug deeper, they became flooded, stimulating scientists like Galileo to investigate vacuums, air pressure and other natural laws to mine deeper silver.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
 0 hr 50 mins    11/7/1978  4.  Faith in Numbers
Each development in the organization of systems - political, economic, mechanical, electronic - influences the next, by logic, by genius, by chance, or by utterly unforeseen events. The transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance was influenced by the rise of commercialism, a sudden change in climate, famine and the Black Death, which set the stage for the invention of the printing press.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
Disc 03
 0 hr 50 mins    11/14/1978  5.  The Wheel of Fortune
The power to see into the future with computers originally rested with priest-astronomers who knew the proper times to plant and harvest. The constellations influenced life spectacularly, particularly when the ailing Caliph of Baghdad was cured by an astrologer using Greek lore. His ancient medical secrets were translated and spread throughout Europe, ushering in an era of scientific inquiry.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
 0 hr 50 mins    11/21/1978  6.  Thunder in the Skies
A dramatically colder climate gripped Europe during the 13th century profoundly affecting the course of history for the next seven centuries. The changes in energy usage transformed architecture and forced the creation of new power sources. The coming of the Industrial Revolution, spurred on by advances in the steam engine, scarred England indelibly: but a moment in history later, gasoline-powered engines opened the way to the heavens.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
Disc 04
 0 hr 50 mins    11/28/1978  7.  The Long Chain
Often, materials discovered by accident alter the course of the world. In the 1600s Dutch commercial freighters controlled Atlantic trade routes. Competing British lines induced America to produce pitch to protect hulls of their royal vessels. This arrangement lasted until 1776, after which a Scottish inventor tried to produce pitch from coal tar. By the time he succeeded the navy was using copper instead.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
 0 hr 50 mins    12/5/1978  8.  Eat, Drink and be Merry
When Napoleon marched huge forces across Europe, he needed an efficient way to store provisions. A Frenchman preserved sterilized good in empty champagne bottles, an idea modified by the British, who tried tin cans. Still, canned foods sometimes spoiled, which led to experiments with refrigeration. Later, it was discovered that gases may be stored at very low temperatures in a thermos flask, when lit by a spark these gases can send rockets into space.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
Disc 05
 0 hr 50 mins    12/12/1978  9.  Countdown
What happens when you combine a carbon arc light, a billiard ball coating, a spoked wheel and consecutive images? Motion pictures! Complex and sometimes incredible events led to Thomas Edison's remarkable invention: the beginnings of limelight on an Irish mountain; George Eastman's production of celluloid from the slightly explosive gun cotton; the "magic lantern" of an Austrian ballistics teacher.
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
 0 hr 50 mins    12/19/1978  10.  Yesterday, Tomorrow and You
"Why did we do it this way?" Essential moments from the previous programs are reviewed to illustrate the common factors that make for change. Will they go on operating to affect our futures? And if so, can we recognize them?
Director:  BBC Documentary  Writer:  James Burke 
Edition Details
Series Connections
Release Date 3/1/2007
Packaging Keep Case
Screen Ratio Fullscreen (4:3)
Audio Tracks Stereo [English]
No. of Discs/Tapes 5
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