Becoming the Beatles
Monday, 7.50pm, SBS One There are just so many cheesy documentaries out there about the Beatles. In nearly all of them, too many old men fall out of their false teeth to reflect at length on their close association with members of the band they haven’t actually seen or spoken to for 40 years. There are a number of these people in Becoming the Beatles, but it stays a cut above some of the really shoddy efforts because it attempts to put the rise of the Beatles into a cultural, historical context. In common with the cheap ones though, there is a truly awesome absence of Beatles music, presumably because it would have been prohibitively expensive. In this one, John Lennon appears, but the footage seems harvested from post-Beatles press conferences and other documentaries. Paul McCartney is eloquent in conferences from 1963, but otherwise has no presence at all in the one-hour documentary. If you’ve read Hunter Davies’s The Beatles: The Authorised Biography, then you’ll learn nothing new here. However, if you don’t have too many expectations there are some great black and white photographs from the early days, especially of the often unknown line-up of preBeatles outfit The Quarrymen. Phil Collins is also interviewed at length. when Sydney harbour lights up for the 9pm family fireworks. Nine’s publicity says this includes Kylie Minogue (we hope she is not one of the pyrotechnics). After a short interlude for the entire 2007 feature film Hairspray, we’ll be back to see in the New Year. There are so many ways to bring in the New Year, but if television is your choice, you could do worse. Features performances by Reece Mastin, Ricki-Lee Coulter and Darren Percival.