Picks and Pans Review: The Making of Sgt. Pepper

updated 09/28/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/1992 01:00AM

The Disney Channel (Sun., Sept. 27, 9 P.M. ET)

B+

Fascinating if not revelatory, this documentary, mixing archival footage and current interviews, examines the creation of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the epochal rock album and the fecund first flowering of the psychedelic era.

Paul McCartney views the album as a watershed in pop music. Instead of a grab bag of catchy singles, Sgt. Pepper, he says, "was more like writing a novel." Also illuminated are some of John Lennon's odd inspirations such as the Corn Flakes commercial that sparked "Good Morning, Good Morning."

The film's real star is producer George Martin, who kept finding ways to evoke the Beatles" increasingly complex aural ideas with the primitive four-track equipment of 1966.

Though choppily edited, this documentary is in some ways more interesting than the Beatles" final film together, Let It Be, because it explores a happier, more creative chapter in the group's history.

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