• Stephen Balogh

Connections from the Year Dot to the Decade That Taste Forgot


This blog of mine is intended to be about connectedness (see my blog’s quote tab), so it was near inevitable that someone of my age would have more than a flicker of a memory of the series called “Connections” first broadcast on UK television in 1978.

It was written and presented by James Burke and it was styled as a fast-paced narrative joining ideas, inventions and technological breakthroughs throughout human history complete with global locational whistle-stop tours and historical re-enactments, all compered by James Burke himself in his brown shirt, white suit and flairs and constant air of excited discovery.

I bought the DVD box set as a lockdown treat and managed to interest my younger son in working through the series with me, despite the 1970s cringe-effect fashion. Even if occasionally the connections seemed a tiny bit contrived (sorry, heresy I know), it did give a palpable sense of the progressions that led to a world that was also shaped in some weird way by the Bay City Rollers.

But there is a particular clip that has been doing the rounds on Twitter recently – at least, within the regions of Twitter I follow. It is a piece of television that has achieves breath-taking timing but without any chance of a retake if done wrong and no CGI interventions of any sort. To see what I mean, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WoDQBhJCVQ.

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