throughout the period the Sex pistols were active there had always been an intention to produce a film based around the band. It was always part of McLaren's master plan that the Pistols were more than merely a band.
Why in the first sentence it is written had been and in the second was. Does it mean that McLaren's plan that the SP were more than a band lasted longer than the idea of making a film (because he made this film). If both intentions(the film and to be more than a band) had lasted the same time because he did not make the film could the writer have written "was" in both sentences.
Phil rose exposé on The Great Rock'N'Roll Swindle Repeat fanzine Autumn 1997