How can 50 years fall away before your eyes? Anyone who saw film director Peter Jackson’s Beatles epic Get Back will understand the power of new technology to transport us across time and space to swinging London in 1969.


Viewers of the seven-hour series were whisked back in time to Twickenham Film Studios and later, exhilaratingly, to the rooftop of Apple Corps as we watched the most famous band in the world playing and joshing with each other as they laid down the tracks for their final album, Let It Be.

The pictures and the soundtrack felt fresh and new – remixed, remastered and revived by the computer wizardry that Jackson had developed for They Shall Not Grow Old, his film that brought colour to film footage of the First World War.

In Get Back, the only figures who appeared dated were the bobbies in Savile Row and the ladies in headscarves staring up at the commotion on the roof. The Beatles looked like four young men from Liverpool who had just strolled into vision.

Now we are about to witness the same trick as the technology used on Get Back has been applied to a recording originally made by John Lennon in 1970, added to by the remaining Beatles in 1995, and completed by Paul and Ringo in 2022.

The result is a new song, Now and Then, with an accompanying video made by Peter Jackson. We tell the full story of the last Beatles song in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine – out now.

The Beatles remain a band for all time and for those who want to dive headlong into their rich archive there’s no better place to start than on the BBC this weekend on BBC One, BBC Two, Radio 2 and Sounds. But if you want the thrill of the new, then listen to Now and Then. Having enjoyed a preview, RT can confirm the last Beatles song sounds as if it were made yesterday.

The Beatles Radio Times cover

Also in this week’s Radio Times:

  • David Tennant discusses his long-awaited return to Doctor Who
  • Kirsty Wark chats about her long career in news, why she’s not surprised that many women decide to leave politics and her sadness when Newsnight Review was axed
  • Speaking to The Radio Times Podcast: Big Zuu on meeting and ignoring Boris Johnson as a schoolchild, getting upset that he was angry when receiving his BAFTAs and why he’d like to do Strictly

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