The Day the Universe Changed (1985– )

TV Series  -   -  Documentary | History
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 325 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

James Burke explores key moments in Western History where new knowledge in science changed the way the modern Western world thinks.

0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 100 titles
created 15 May 2011
list image
a list of 49 titles
created 13 Sep 2011
a list of 398 titles
created 13 Feb 2012
a list of 112 titles
created 17 May 2012
a list of 702 titles
created 23 Sep 2012

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Day the Universe Changed (1985– )

The Day the Universe Changed (1985– ) on IMDb 8.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Day the Universe Changed.






Series cast summary:
James Burke ...
 Himself - Host (10 episodes, 1985)


This series based on a simple premise, the universe is essentially only how you yourself perceive it. If you change what you know about the universe, then to you, you have essentially changed the universe itself. In this series, James Burke explores nine key moments in the history of the Western world when the introduction of new knowledge and/or technology has led to profound changes in how the West thinks. These include things like the introduction of Guttenberg's printing press, Copernicus's sun centered universe model and Darwin's publishing of his theory of evolution. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




| | | |


Release Date:

19 March 1985 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(10 episodes)


See  »

Did You Know?


James Burke: ...and then things took an encouraging turn for the so-so.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Fantastic Series
11 June 2006 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

I must at the outset confess to a certain bias writing about James Burke. We were both late depression babies born in Northern Ireland, in and near Derry, he a year earlier than myself. We both share a network vision of history as the cause/effect of the interplay of individuals responding to existing conditions and circumstances, sometime with absolutely ironic results. To me, it was always significantly ironic that Karl Marx's inspirator for his social evolutionary model of the Social Man was based on the writings of Lewis Henry Morgan who was the great financier and archcapitalist, J. Pierrepont Morgan's uncle. In his work, Connections, Burke has gone on to explore literally dozens of these baffling circumstances to demonstrate the rather capricious nature of history. And, he has always done it in a witty, entertaining but educating fashion. The series reviewed here, The Day the Universe Changed, was based in large part on work from his earlier Connections but always had a solid political economic basis to it, e.g., his discussion of the role of English Peasant markets and fairs and the rise of early capitalism in pre-reconnaissance England. His presentations were fun to see and wonderful in their solid basis of social and ecological facts. Alas, while we are presently confronted with people spending their time and energy gaw-gawing over who will be the next American Idol, it's nice to look back and refresh our memories that there was a time when we were give substance and wit as entertainment instead of some mindless worship of some feckless celebrity cavorting in a way that will be ultimately boring to the next generation of viewers.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When will this be on DVD??? N0TY
Where can I buy a copy? snu_grad
Burke should do a 25th anniversary addendum FrenchCelt
Discuss The Day the Universe Changed (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page