The Beatles: Get Back finds the inner light in Fab Four's darkest hour

REIMAGINED: Get Back offers a fascinating insight into the world's greatest ever band attempting to keep the magic alive.
REIMAGINED: Get Back offers a fascinating insight into the world's greatest ever band attempting to keep the magic alive.



FOR 51 years Beatles fans have viewed director Michael Lindsay-Hogg's Let It Be documentary as a riveting, yet melancholy, view of the death throes of their ground-breaking partnership.

Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson has been promising for more than a year that his three-part six-hour docuseries The Beatles: Get Back would dissemble the common belief that the sessions were the bleakest of the Fab Four's career.

Some may call it revisionist history, especially given the late John Lennon and George Harrison were the two Beatles least inclined to eulogise the band's legacy.

What Get Back reveals is The Beatles were in crisis in January 1969. Faced with the mammoth task of writing and rehearsing 14 songs in 21 days for their first live performance in more than two years, nobody could agree how the project should proceed.

Get Back reveals that in the face of adversity The Beatles could still write era-defining classics.

The scenes showing Paul McCartney writing Get Back, Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road mere days apart is incredible. Most songwriters could only dream of writing one track as good in a lifetime, little alone three in under a week.

The film reveals that Get Back the song began its life as a political response to the anti-immigration movement in the UK, before the fictional story of Jo Jo and Loretta Martin was adopted.

Similarly we see Harrison bring in a basic sketch of I Me Mine, which he wrote the night before after watching television.

Other interesting tidbits include Lennon introducing his political track Gimme Some Truth, which would later appear on his second solo album Imagine two years later.

Jackson's job in restoring and digitalising the vision and the sound is simply stunning from the 60 hours of footage that was used. If it weren't for the mod fashion you wouldn't guess it's 1969.

The various jams and performances of covers and old tracks as the Fab Four search for inspiration, make for compelling viewing.

And as he promised, Jackson's series also reveals that a warmth and friendship remained between the foursome despite several frosty exchanges. The crescendo coming when a frustrated Harrison quits for several days after feeling his musical ideas were being continually ignored by Lennon and McCartney.

The Beatles themselves in their chatter while rehearsing are also well aware the end is nigh.

"Maybe we should get a divorce," Harrison says.

"I said that at the last meeting," replies McCartney.

The ever witty Lennon chips in with, "Who would get the children?"

Get Back's depth and detail is unlikely to appeal to anyone new to The Beatles' legacy.

However, for Fab Four fans Jackson's series is an absolute treasure trove of musical history and the most intimate look at the band one could wish for.



FRESH-FACED: Joe Exotic's childhood is explored in Tiger King 2.

FRESH-FACED: Joe Exotic's childhood is explored in Tiger King 2.

JOE Exotic is in jail serving 22 years in federal prison for conspiracy to murder and the focus of his plot, Carole Baskin, refused to be involved, so how do you make a sequel to 2020's most infamous show?

Sadly producers of Tiger King 2 don't come close to the colourful insanity of the original.

Exotic is involved again, but through phone interviews from prison, where he sounds more disappointed he can't revel in his new-found notoriety, than about the restrictions placed on his liberty.

Without any new information, Tiger King 2 focuses on Exotic's childhood growing up with an abusive father and his struggles as a young gay police officer in Oklahoma.

The show also returns to the mystery surrounding the 1997 disappearance of Baskin's ex-husband Don Lewis and uses her bizarre YouTube diary readings as evidence. However, there's no smoking gun and most of the time is spent repeating hearsay sprouted from the motley crew of characters that inhabit the shady world of US zoos.

Tiger King 2 is proof the sequel is never as good as the original.

Reviews by Josh Leeson