by Mal and Neil
"Magical Mystery Tour" marks the beginning of a very important new stage in the career of The Beatles. For the first time they have created their own show for television. They have worked out the scenes, hired the cast, written the basic script, composed the songs and incidental soundtrack music, directed the actual shooting and edited the finished film. And, of course, they have taken part in the show--playing the parts of four Magical Mystery Tour coach passengers PLUS a number of other roles which we'll talk about later.
One point of particular interest is that if everybody likes "Magical Mystery Tour" and if The Beatles themselves are satisfied with the finished job, it is pretty certain they will make their next full-length cinema film in the same way. That is one of the first major projects The Beatles will be discussing in the new year. They are well aware that there has been an unreasonably long gap between the screening of "Help!" and the start of work on their third motion picture. On the other hand, if all goes according to plan, the third picture will now be something really special with the Beatles looking after every aspect of the scripting, the shooting, the direction, and the editing just as they have done with "Magical Mystery Tour."
As long ago as January 1967 The Beatles decided that Personal Appearances--whether in the form of full-scale concert tours or just the odd stage performance--were OUT. They realised that to do any more stage shows would be a STEP BACKWARDS. During the previous four years they had toured the world appearing not only throughout Great Britain but also in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Manila, United States of America and Canada.
Their first nationwide U.K. tour (apart from a few dates in Scotland the previous month) had been with The Helen Shapiro Show in February 1963. Their final series of 1966 concerts had taken them across America and up to Canada, finishing with a final performance in San Francisco at the end of August.