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Perfectly timed TV snippet is considered to be ‘the greatest shot in television’

Britt Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

Perfectly timed TV snippet is considered to be ‘the greatest shot in television’

There are certain things that really tickle the senses and that includes impeccable timing.

But one clip, shared to Reddit, took great timing to another level.

The snippet was a 1978 video of James Burke, a scientific historian, who wrote and presented a BBC series called Connections.

From the eighth edition of the programme, it shows Burke walking past a stationed spacecraft while explaining the impact of mixing hydrogen and oxygen in a small space.

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Aptly posted to the 'Damn That's Interesting' thread under the title 'The finest shot ever recorded on TV', Burke was able to perfectly time the moment where he points to a rocket in the distance to visually show viewers the effect of the gases mixing.

The historian, who is now 86, uttered the coolest line in television history.

When pointing to the rocket, he said ‘you get that’, and immediately there is an active launch in the distance.

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The shot is so well timed that Redditors went wild in the comments about their love for the show, the clip and Burke himself.

James Burke created the best perfectly timed clip in 1978. Credit: BBC
James Burke created the best perfectly timed clip in 1978. Credit: BBC

A user commented: "Connections was an absolutely fantastic show. It really underscored that scientific progress was based on surges of interconnected ideas, that the 'great man' theory was of limited use, even though that was the preferred historic narrative of the time.

"Science is like a wave, the crest of which is held up by all that has come before."

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Another user echoed the same sentiment: "Connections is great, a really under-appreciated show. Don't get me wrong, Cosmos is great too, but Connections went a lot more places I think."

A third user took it to a whole other level of appreciation when writing: “Perfect timing, subject focus, and angles. A videographer's wet dream.”

Someone even thought the clip was timeless: “It’s telling that no matter how many times this gets reposted there are never any comments that people have gotten bored of seeing it. Fantastic shot.”

But how did he manage to time it so perfectly?

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Reddit went wild for Burke's clip. Credit: BBC
Reddit went wild for Burke's clip. Credit: BBC

Burke told Blue Dot during an interview exactly how he managed to pull it off.

He said: “I wrote 10 seconds of words, it takes 1 second to walk in, 1 second to point, and 1 second to pull focus on the rocket… you can hear the countdown so at 13 seconds I stepped in and did my bit.”

“We took it home and said to the BBC look what we did! And they said …. Looks like back projection.”

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That’s some mighty fine science stuff right there.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Space, Science, Technology, News, Reddit

Britt Jones
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