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Every time I sneeze I dislodge another internal organ, I swear.

Since we’re going "Warren’s televisual life flashes before his eyes," have an episode of one of my favourite tv programmes as a kid. The late-Seventies state-of-the-art from the BBC Features Department, the true home of the epic rhetorical documentary television form and a formative influence on me. If it were up to me, I’d spend the next several years trying to perfect the form for comics. However, my daughter would like food and shelter.



Published in researchmaterial


  1. Hahaha!! LOVE JB and ‘Connections’. He did a speaking tour that stopped in our town a few years ago. We found out about it a couple of months ago…. :<

    My husband and I developed our own “drinking game” around number of times he said ‘You see…’ during an episode.

  2. Psi Psi

    I think Bryan Talbot already cracked it with Alice in Sunderland

  3. Chris Gerardy Chris Gerardy

    Wow. I haven’t seen this in years, but it made a huge impact on me as a kid. Its one of three science oriented series I watched on videotape over and over as a child (the other two being Burke’s similarly minded “The Day the Universe Changed” and Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”). I learned more from watching Burke & Sagan as a kid than I did during the 6 years I was in Middle- and High-school.

  4. DAQ DAQ

    I just watched this whole series (again) a few months ago. Inspired my last several months of watching science lectures on astronomy and space and us getting the fuck off this planet of stupid.

  5. The first time I came across an episode of Connections I was too young to know that it was part of a series but the lesson of the show (how we’d recreate civilization if the whole system shut down) stuck with me for years until I stumbled across the show again. I love it.

  6. Patrick Salsbury Patrick Salsbury

    A friend recently turned me on to this, and it’s fantastic! Been recommending it to people ever since. Only about halfway through 1st series so far. Time to watch more. :-)

  7. PBS ran Connections (and the later series), and I fooking loved it.

  8. Great show, I’m going to have to dig up the rest of it and watch it. Thanks for sharing!

  9. kag kag

    TLC, back when they preferred to call themselves “The Learning Channel”, used to show this.
    Now they show Jon & Kate. I hate this country.

  10. james james

    Warren Ellis Connections comics = NERDGASM.

  11. chris7crows chris7crows

    This might be one of the greatest TV series of all time.

    Though I’ve always wanted to take a crack at writing a story where James Burke narrates the downfall of civilization after the zombie plague: “Now here’s the really interesting bit, you see, the zombies require brains to function. Now where do you think they’re going to get them from? That’s right — you.”

  12. I have ancient crackly versions of most of these and they’re still far more compulsive viewing than almost all recent documentaries. Recently a friend stuck one of them on tv at the end of a night out, and we both sat in silence watching James Burke and sipping good whiskey. It was excellent even as end of evening entertainment.

  13. Dave Dave

    When the power went out on the East Coast a few years back, it was this episode of the series (or perhaps it was revisited in the sequel), that I quickly remembered once someone said the north east US was down too to write off the possibility that it was a terrorist attack.

    I think I turned to the secretary and went: “nah, they just fucked up again.”

  14. I use espisodes 3 and 4, DISTANT VOICES/FAITH IN NUMBERS, in my teaching of Fashion History at El Paso Community College. Burke covers so many things in just those two episodes that is it amazing. He is a great teacher.

    Now Burke is working on Knowledge Web at check it out!!!

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