Connections (1978)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Documentary, History
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 669 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

Follow James Burke through the history of science and technology. In this collection of 10 1-hour episodes, starting with "The Trigger Effect".

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Series cast summary:
James Burke ...
 Himself - Presenter (10 episodes, 1978)


This series explores the various paths of how technological change happens and the social effects of these changes on Western society. To illustrate this, James Burke follows various timelines of how one innovation lead to something seemingly totally unrelated in the future such as how a 17th century Dutch cargo ship design lead to development of plastic in the 20th century. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

17 October 1978 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The first episode of the series, "The Trigger Effect", was adapted into a film of the same name. See more »


Followed by Connections 2 (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

What planet did this guy Burke come from, and how come he knows more about ours than we do?
25 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before Wikipedia, before the Internet, before the PC, there was James Burke, the original hypertext-liked encyclopedic brain.

Remember when you first surfed the Web, how much fun it was to go from link to link exploring connections around the world, staying up till 4 in the morning? That's what Connections does, but better, with James Burke as your guide, bouncing around 150 location shoots in 20 different countries in just 10 episodes. Fasten your seat belt! This series really should be shown on MTV, it moves so fast!

James Burke accomplishes in Connections what Jared Diamond promises in Guns, Germs and Steel, not only explaining the rise of the West's industrial, technological machine, but producing a work of true scholarly originality without being part of the academic establishment.

If you haven't seen Connections, you must give it a chance by watching just the first 10 minutes. Or just look at the astronomical IMDb rating. Connections was the most watched program on America's PBS up to that time, and it is just as important today. If you want to understand how the world you live in came to be, you need to watch Connections.

If still not convinced, read author: classicalsteve's review below; he nails it.

As to what universe James Burke dropped in from, see the one critic's review from tvcream for some background.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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