Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
Arena: Magical Mystery Tour Revisited
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on Reddit
Email to a friend
On Boxing Day 1967, BBC1 screened a Beatles film that to most of the country was completely incomprehensible. “It’s not surprising,” George Harrison said later, “it was like an elaborate little home movie” with no plot or script but a lot of self-indulgent spontaneity and Pythonesque madness. Which is probably why so many viewers were outraged and confused in equal measure.
This absorbing, if sprawling, documentary puts Magical Mystery into context, with snippets about the underground movement, reflections from Paul and Ringo, out-takes from the film and comments from people who took part or were mystified when they saw it on their telly.
Magical Mystery Tour itself follows at 10.45pm so you can make up your own mind.
The making of the Beatles' self-directed TV movie Magical Mystery Tour, which originally aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day 1967 at the height of the band's popularity - but was greeted with disdain by the media and many viewers. The programme explores the creation of the surreal tale and investigates why it inspired such a furious critical reaction, and also asks whether opinions about the film have changed in subsequent years. With contributions by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Peter Fonda, Martin Scorsese, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes and Paul Merton.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
Why Stanley Spencer tore apart his family for a lesbian muse
A new BBC documentary tells the strange story of how the celebrated artist became infatuated by his muse – and destroyed his daughter's life
Could a show as cutting as Spitting Image be made today?
Jerry Hall and Robin Muir remember Norman Parkinson
Kirsty Wark's guide to the best festive arts programmes on TV and radio
The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour: a lost classic?
Mitch Winehouse "I'd take it all back, the phone calls in the middle of the night, the drug dealers"
Mark Hamill panics fans after mocking fake death rumours
What time is Marcella on tv?
How 24 Hours in Police Custody caught a corrupt copper red-handed
James Martin on why America is a must for foodies