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(Mar 01, 2007)
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This ten volume series was made in 1978 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...
Programs in the series:
The Trigger Effect
Death in the Morning
Faith in Numbers
The Wheel of Fortune
Thunder in the Skies
The Long Chain
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Yesterday, Tomorrow and You
Closed Captioned for the Hearing Impaired
(Enter the special features menu and Turn on/off to activate/deactivate the closed Caption feature)
This is another superb example of the genius of James Burke, whose Connections Series has rightly garnered all sorts of awards...This journey will introduce the student to the famous as well as the obscure. This film is a wonderful intellectual romp --The American Film and Video Review
Top customer reviews
Burke's delivery is unique and charming. His only equals are Carl Sagan and Jacob Bronowski--both great teachers. This series must go down as one of the true classics of video history.
The hopping around the world in the series is fun to watch. When he jumps from ancient-looking Egypt to medieval looking Germany, the shock gets to you at times, but his presence ties everything together in the end. And, some of the "conclusions" that the individual episodes reach can be real shockers.
This is only one of a number of similar series that Mr. Burke offers, and they are all worth viewing at least once.
I met the man shortly after this series (and the associated book) was completed, and he is every bit as engaging in person as he is on the screen. The world is a better place for his analytic examination of what we have done, and I hope he continues for many more years.
(Incidentally, the best James Burke show that I ever viewed was in the early 1970s. Aired on commercial television, it was done in conjunction with Raymond Burr, and it covered technology in American history. I've never seen it available anywhere for purchase, though.)
OK, now a word of warning. These great series are now public domain; people are starting to put together copies of their own disks and selling them. These copies may not be of good quality and may even be duplicates of the disks made by Ambruse Video. If you see a new seller or just listed with a price less than $80 it is probably one of these copies and I don't recommend buying them.
James Burke is an excellent presenter (with a great sense of humour as well) who keeps you interested all along the way. To better understand the world we live in today, and how we all got here, I strongly recommend both of these series. You will never tire of watching them. You will not look at the history of science and technology the same ever again.
I have ordered the sequel series 'Connections 2' and 'Connections 3' as well. I will be reviewing them once I have gone through both series. If you are a big James Burke fan, be sure to also check out 'Apollo 11 - A night to Remember". This documentary recaps the original broadcasts of the Apollo 11 moon landings aired on the BBC. James Burke provides helpful-and sometimes hilarious-demonstrations of spaceflight technology, experiencing zero gravity, and by wearing a the spacesuit the same as the ones used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for walking on the Moon.
James Burke is also the author of several books, from both these series and other topics as well. Be sure to check them out.