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Watch The Beatles Anthology online: Episode 1 July '40 to March '63

This is the scarcely credible beginning of the Great Adventure, going back, back, back into a great war in a grey time that seems to belong to other beings in other worlds. Britain under Hitler's bombs, boys not yet Beatles struggling for a place in the sun. Wonderful archive of yesterday's enemy seaports now united by primitive, derivative rock'n'roll - Hamburg and Liverpool, full of young men scuffling for position and rank, nobody with advantage except for real gifts and those the Beatles had aplenty: wit, music, energy, looks, personality. The good Lord sent them a manager, Brian Epstein, and a producer, George Martin, and so we see how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr influenced by the power of American r'n'r and r&b used their cheek and confidence and talent to get their first Number One in Britain: Please, Please Me. Wallow in these Black and White beginnings - see how the forties became the fifties became the sixties and discover how becoming the Beatles became.

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