This excellent 10 part/10 hour series from 1978 is well worth a look. Don't be put off by the beige battle jacket and bell bottoms- James Burke knows his stuff! Some of it might be outdated- for example, the computers he is talking about in 1978 will bare little resemblance to what we know today. But Burke's theories on how we got to computers in the first place are still fascinating.
As the Sherlock Holmes of science, James Burke tracks through 12,000 years of history for the clues that lead us to eight life changing inventions-everything form television to the atom bomb. This series explores the various paths of how technological change happens and the effects of these changes on society as a whole. To illustrate this, Burke follows various timelines of how one innovation lead to something seemingly totally unrelated in the future---such as how a 17th century Dutch cargo ship design lead to development of plastic in the 20th century. And so the Connections begin.