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Encyclopedia > Fawlty Towers
Fawlty Towers

Series title card. The "Fawlty Towers" sign changed every episode.
Format Comedy
Created by John Cleese
Connie Booth
Starring John Cleese
Prunella Scales
Andrew Sachs
Connie Booth
Country of origin Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
No. of episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC
Original run 19 September 197525 October 1979

Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom made by the BBC and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975. Only twelve episodes were produced, but the series has had a lasting and powerful influence on later shows. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... Cleese redirects here. ... Constance Booth (Born: December 2, 1944) is an American writer and actress best known for her appearances on British television, and particularly for her work with her former husband John Cleese. ... Prunella Scales CBE (born 22 June 1932) is an English actress best known for her role as the fearsome Sybil Fawlty in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Andrew Sachs (born Andreas Siegfried Sachs, April 7, 1930) is a British actor. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... This is an episode guide for the television series Fawlty Towers, written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, which ran on BBC 2 from September 19th 1975 to October 25th 1979. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... A British sitcom is a situation comedy (sitcom) produced in the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... For the BBC radio station, see BBC Radio 2. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The show is set in a fictional hotel Fawlty Towers in the Devon town of Torquay on the "English Riviera". The series was written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, both of whom played main characters, and was broadcast in two series: the first, in 1975, was produced and directed by John Howard Davies, and the second, in 1979, was produced by Douglas Argent and directed by Bob Spiers. Fawlty Towers, as seen in the opening credits Fawlty Towers is the name of the fictional hotel in which the UK television series Fawlty Towers is set, and which gives the TV series its name. ... Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ... Ronda, Spain Main street in Bastrop, Texas, United States, a small town A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas. ... This article is about the English town. ... The standard tourism poster for Torbay. ... Cleese redirects here. ... Constance Booth (Born: December 2, 1944) is an American writer and actress best known for her appearances on British television, and particularly for her work with her former husband John Cleese. ... John Howard Davies (born London 9 March 1939) is a British film actor, television director and producer. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... Bob Spiers is a British television director best known for his work on various sitcoms and other comedy programmes, particularly noted as the director of the early series of Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2001), and of the second and final batch of six episodes of Fawlty Towers (1979). ...


In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was placed first.[1] It was also voted fifth in the BBC's "Britain's Best Sitcom" poll in 2004.[2] 100 Greatest British Television Programmes was a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI) chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Britains Best Sitcom was a poll conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the BBC to identify the United Kingdoms best situation comedy. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Origins

Fawlty Towers was inspired by the Monty Python team's stay in the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay in May 1970. Cleese and Booth stayed on at the hotel after filming for the Python show had finished. The owner, Donald Sinclair, was very rude, throwing a bus timetable at a guest who asked when the next bus to town would arrive, and placing Eric Idle's suitcase behind a wall in the garden on the suspicion that it contained a bomb (it actually contained a ticking alarm clock). He also criticised the American-born Terry Gilliam's table manners for being too American (he had the fork in "the wrong hand" while eating), possibly inspiring Basil's treatment of an American visitor in the episode "Waldorf Salad." [3] Monty Python, or The Pythons, is the collective name of the creators of Monty Pythons Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. ... This article is about the English town. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Donald Sinclair (died 1981) was the owner of the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, which he had acquired after an extensive career in the British Navy. ... Eric Idle (born March 29, 1943) is an English comedian, actor, author and composer of comedic songs. ... Terrence Vance Gilliam (born November 22, 1940) is an American-born British filmmaker, animator, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. ... Table manners are the etiquette used when eating. ... Waldorf Salad is the third episode of the second series of BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


John Cleese was a writer on the 1970's British TV Sitcom series Doctor in the House and Doctor at Large for London Weekend Television. The character was developed in an episode of Doctor at Large entitled "No Ill Feeling" about an aggressive and incompetent manager of a small town hotel. The show was broadcast on 30th May 1971.[4] A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... Doctor in the House was a British television comedy series produced by London Weekend Television from 1969 to 1970. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ...


Until the 1970s, the proprietors of English seaside boarding houses had a reputation for firmness and intransigence. Cleese had also parodied the contrast between organisational dogma and sensitive customer service in many personnel training videotapes issued with a serious purpose by his company, Video Arts. Video Arts is a company that produces humerous training videos for companies. ...


Bill Cotton, the BBC's Head of Light Entertainment in the mid-1970s, said after the first series was produced that the show was a prime example of the BBC's relaxed attitude to trying out new entertainment formats and encouraging new ideas. He said that when he read the first scripts he could see nothing funny in them, but trusting that Cleese knew what he was doing, he gave the go-ahead for the series. He said that the commercial channels, with their emphasis on audience ratings, would never have let the show get to the production stage on the basis of the scripts. Sir Bill Cotton (born April 23, 1928) CBE, is a British television producer and executive, the son of big-band leader Billy Cotton. ...


The writers, Cleese and Booth, were married at the time of the first series (1975). By the second series (1979), Cleese and Booth had divorced after ten years of marriage (1968–78).[5]


Plot directions and examples

The episodes typically revolve around Basil Fawlty's efforts to succeed and his frustration at mistakes, both his own and those of others, which prevent him from doing so. Much of the humour comes from Basil's insulting and sometimes aggressive manner, engaging in angry but witty arguments with guests, staff and in particular his frightful wife, whom he addresses with insults such as "that golfing puff adder", "my little piranha fish," and "my little nest of vipers". Despite this, he frequently feels intimidated as she is able to insult him with equal venom. At the end of some episodes, Basil succeeds in annoying the guests and sometimes gets this thrown back in his face. For Bitiş, the concluding portion of a Turkish puppet play, see Karagöz and Hacivat. ... For other uses, see Piranha (disambiguation). ...


The plots are intricate and farcical, involving coincidences, misunderstandings, cross-purposes, missed meetings, and accidental meetings. The sex of the bedroom farce is sometimes present, often to the disgust of conservative Basil, but it is Basil Fawlty's eccentricity, not his lust, that drives the plots. Look up farce in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The term may refer to Bedroom farce -- a genre of comedy Bedroom Farce -- a comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. ...


The guests at the hotel are typically comic foils to Basil's anger and outbursts, with requests both reasonable and impossible testing Basil's temper. The show also uses mild black humour at times, notably when Basil is forced to hide a dead body, and some of the comments made by Basil both about Sybil ("Did you ever see that film, How to Murder Your Wife? ...Awfully good; I saw it six times") and about the guests ("May I suggest that you consider moving to a hotel closer to the sea? Or preferably in it.") border on the psychopathic. A straight man is a role in a comedy double act where a performer works with a comedian by setting up the situations or feeding the lines that allow their partner to make a joke. ... Black comedy, also known as black humor, is a subgenre of comedy and satire that deals with serious subjects – death, divorce, drug abuse, et cetera in a humorous manner. ... How to Murder Your Wife is a 1965 comedy starring Jack Lemmon & Virna Lisi. ... Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is a personality disorder which is often characterised by antisocial and impulsive behaviour. ...


Basil behaves violently towards Manuel (an emotional and largely inept Spanish waiter who cannot understand English) for innocent mistakes, exacting on some occasions physical violence, including beating Manuel with a frying pan and hitting him over the head, despite Manuel's piteous pleading. The violence directed at Manuel has been one of the very few reasons for negative criticisms leveled at Fawlty Towers over the years. In this, and in other exaggerated physical mannerisms of Basil, Fawlty Towers employs physical comedy. Physical comedy is comedic performance relying mostly on the use of the body to convey humor. ...


Basil displays blatant snobbishness, expressing disdain for the "riff-raff" that he believes currently stay at the hotel, in order to climb the social ladder. His desperation is apparent, as he makes increasingly hopeless manoeuvres and painful faux pas in trying to gain favour with the wealthy, yet finds himself forced to serve and help people he sees as beneath him. As such, Basil's efforts tend to be counter-productive, with guests leaving the hotel in disgust and his marriage stretching further and further towards breaking point. Look up faux pas in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Characters

Basil Fawlty

Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese, is a snobbish, miserly, xenophobic and sexually repressed paranoiac who is desperate to belong to a higher social class. He sees the successful running of the hotel as a means of achieving this ("turn it into an establishment of class..."), yet his job forces him to be pleasant to people he despises or aspires to be above socially. Basil Fawlty: An architipal moaner, and selfish snob. ... Cleese redirects here. ... For the 1960s British Rock band, see The Snobs. ... For Molières play, see The Miser. ... Look up xenophobia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other senses of this word, see paranoia (disambiguation). ...


While he is terrified of his wife's sharp tongue, he wishes to stand up to her, and his plans often conflict with her wishes. She is often verbally abusive towards him (describing him as "an aging, brilliantined stick insect") and though he is larger physically than Sybil, he often finds himself on the receiving end of Sybil's temper, expressed verbally or physically. Basil usually turns to Manuel or Polly to help him with whatever scheme he has planned, while trying his best to prevent Sybil from finding out. However, Basil does show genuine concern for Sybil, asking her often in "The Germans" if she is going to be alright from an operation and laments about the times when there was passion in their relationship. The Germans is the sixth episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


Basil served in the Catering Corps of the British Army, possibly as part of his National Service, but makes it seem as if he was a soldier. He claims: "I fought in the Korean War, you know; I killed four men." To which his wife jokingly replies to the threat; "He was in the Catering Corps; he used to poison them." He is often seen wearing a military tie and a military-type moustache. He also claims to have sustained an injury to his leg in the Korean War caused by shrapnel, although this tends to flare up at surprisingly convenient times. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... National service is a common name for compulsory or voluntary military service programs. ... Combatants  United Nations:  Republic of Korea  Australia  Belgium  Canada  Colombia  Ethiopia  France Greece  Luxembourg  Netherlands  New Zealand  Philippines South Africa  Thailand  Turkey  United Kingdom  United States Medical staff:  Denmark  Italy  Norway  Sweden Communist: Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea  Peoples Republic of China  Soviet Union Commanders Syngman Rhee Chung... It has been suggested that Fragmentation (weaponry) be merged into this article or section. ...


Cleese himself described Basil as thinking that "he could run a first-rate hotel if he didn't have all the guests getting in the way."


Sybil Fawlty

Sybil Fawlty, played by Prunella Scales, is Basil's wife. She is often seen to be a more effective manager of the hotel, making sure Basil either gets certain jobs done or stays out of the way when she is handling difficult customers. Despite this, she rarely participates directly in the running of the hotel; during busy check-in sessions or meal-times, whilst everyone else is busy working she is frequently found talking on the phone to one of her friends (usually Audrey, who makes her sole on-camera appearance in "The Anniversary") with her memorable "Oohhh I knoooooooow," or chatting to customers. She has a distinctive conversational tone and braying laugh, which her husband compares to "someone machine-gunning a seal." Being his wife, she is the only one who refers to him by his first name, although Basil also refers to her by a number of epithets, occasionally to her face: these include "the dragon," "toxic midget," "my little nest of vipers," "my little piranha fish," "the saber-toothed tart," "my little commandant," "that golfing puff adder!" and "a rancorous, coiffured old sow." Despite these less than complimentary nicknames Basil is terrified of her. The toxic midget herself: Sybil Fawlty Sybil Fawlty is a fictional character from the hit BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Prunella Scales CBE (born 22 June 1932) is an English actress best known for her role as the fearsome Sybil Fawlty in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


Polly Sherman

Polly Sherman, played by Connie Booth, is employed as a waitress, although she is often stuck doing many other jobs in the hotel. She often stands as the voice of sanity during chaotic moments in the hotel, but is frequently embroiled in ridiculous masquerades as she loyally attempts to aid Basil in trying to cover a mistake he's made, or to keep something from Sybil. Connie Booth as Polly from Fawlty Towers. ... Constance Booth (Born: December 2, 1944) is an American writer and actress best known for her appearances on British television, and particularly for her work with her former husband John Cleese. ... A waiter is a person who waits on tables, often at a restaurant. ...


Polly is apparently employed part-time (during meal times), and is apparently an art student. Despite her part-time employment, as the most competent of the hotel staff she is frequently saddled with many other duties. In one episode, she is seen to draw a sketch (presumably an impressionistic caricature) of Basil, which everyone but Basil immediately recognises. Polly is also a student of languages, displaying ability with both Spanish and German; a comment by Basil in one episode alludes to Polly's affinity for learning more languages. Like Manuel, she has a room of her own at the hotel. See also Impressionist (entertainment): A girl with a watering can by Renoir, 1876 Impressionism was a 19th century art movement, which began as a private association of Paris-based artists who exhibited publicly in 1874. ... For the book of comics by Daniel Clowes, see Caricature (Daniel Clowes collection). ...


Manuel

Manuel, a waiter played by Andrew Sachs, is a well-meaning but disorganised and constantly confused Spaniard from Barcelona with a poor grasp of the English language and customs. He is constantly verbally and physically abused by his boss. . When told by either Basil, Sybil, or Polly what to do, he answers, "¿Qué?", which means 'What?', and "Sí", which means 'Yes'. Manuel's character was used to demonstrate Basil's instinctive lack of sensitivity and intolerance. Every episode would involve Basil becoming enraged by Manuel's confusion at his boss's bizarre and complicated demands. He is afraid of Mr. Fawlty's quick temper and violent assaults, yet often expresses his appreciation for being given the position Andrew Sachs as Barcelonas infamous waiter Manuel is a fictional character from the hit BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... A waiter in a resort setting A waiter is one who waits on tables, often at a restaurant or a bar. ... Andrew Sachs (born Andreas Siegfried Sachs, April 7, 1930) is a British actor. ... Location Coordinates : Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) - summer: CEST (GMT +2) General information Native name Barcelona (Catalan) Spanish name Barcelona Nickname Ciutat Comtal (City of Counts) Postal code 08001–08080 Area code 34 (Spain) + 93 (Barcelona) Website http://www. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


During the making of the series, Sachs twice suffered serious injury while playing Manuel. Once Cleese used a real metal pan (accidentally), rather than a fake rubber one, to knock him unconscious in "The Wedding Party." Later, when his clothes were treated in order to make them give off smoke after he had been let out of the burning kitchen in "The Germans," the corrosive chemicals used went through them and gave Sachs severe burns.[6] The Germans is the sixth episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


Sachs' Spanish accent when in character is an integral part of the show. Sachs' native language is actually German (he is a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany) and when the series was dubbed for broadcast in Germany, he voiced the German translation of Manuel, with a Spanish accent. The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ...


The character's nationality was switched to Mexican for the Spanish dub of the show broadcast to most of Spain, while in the Basque region he is an Italian called Manolo.[7] Pays Basque) see Northern Basque Country. ...


Other regular characters

Terry the Chef, played by Brian Hall, is the chef at Fawlty Towers. Terry's cooking style is quite relaxed, and Basil occasionally gets frustrated with his "It's all right" attitude. Terry appears in only the second series of episodes. During the first series there was no regular chef character seen in the show. The only first series chef was "new" chef Kurt, only seen in "Gourmet Night", who quickly proved himself incapable of holding the job due to a fondness for large volumes of wine, and a baffling passion for Manuel. Terry used to work in Dorchester (not at The Dorchester). Terry the Chef was a fictional character played by Brian Hall in hit BBC sitcom: Fawlty Towers. ... Brian Hall (November 20, 1937 in Brighton – September 17, 1997 in Worthing, West Sussex) was a English actor perhaps best known for his role in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers where he played the hotel chef Terry. ... The main road through Dorchester Dorchester is a market town in south west Dorset, England, situated on the River Frome and A35 road 20 miles west of Poole and five miles north of Weymouth. ... The Dorchester is a leading luxury hotel on Park Lane in Mayfair, London, overlooking Hyde Park. ...


Major Gowen, played by Ballard Berkeley, is a slightly senile old soldier who holds a permanent residence in the hotel, but is one of the few that Basil likes. He is often introduced as their "oldest resident." He enjoys talking about the world outside (especially the cricket scores and bemoaning workers' strikes) and is always on the lookout for the newspaper. He seems to have trouble forgiving the Germans due to the World Wars. He has outdated mannerisms towards race, calling black people 'gollywogs' in an entirely innocent manner. Major Gowen, despite his good intentions, can cause Basil's devious plans to go catastrophically awry, notably in 'Communication Problems' when Basil tried his very best to keep his secret (albeit successful) betting from Sybil . Major Gowen was a fictional character played by veteran actor Ballard Berkeley in the hit BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Ballard Berkeley (August 6, 1904 - January 16, 1988) was a British actor best known for his role in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers where he played the character of Major Gowen. ...


Miss Tibbs & Miss Gatsby, played by Gilly Flower and Renee Roberts respectively, are the other two (often inseparable) permanent residents, who are slightly scatty spinsters. They seem to take a fancy to Basil, and feel as though they need to take care of him, although he switches from being overly kind to utterly rude during various talks with the two. Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibbs were fictional characters (played by Gilly Flower and Renee Roberts respectively) in the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Gilly Flower is a British actress, who is best remembered as the elderly Miss. ... Renee Roberts (1907 - ?) was a British actress undoubtebly best remembered for her portrayal as Miss Ursula Gatsby in Fawlty Towers between 1975 and 1979, she appeared throughout the entire run (including the pilot episode which she wasnt credited for), she would later replay the role in Only Fools and...


Audrey, a mostly unseen character, had one onscreen appearance in "The Anniversary." Audrey is Sybil's lifelong best friend, and mostly appears in the form of gossiping, trivial telephone calls to Sybil. Audrey is used as a source of refuge for Sybil from the hotel and from Basil's ludicrous situations. When times get tough for Audrey (she has a dysfunctional relationship with her husband George), Sybil will offer solutions and guidance, often resulting in the infamous catchphrase Ooh, I know... when Mrs. Fawlty tries to understand her problems. Audrey is a fictional unseen character in the popular BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Television shows and stage plays sometimes include continuing characters — characters who are currently in frequent interaction with the other characters and who influence current story events — who are never seen or heard by the audience and only described by other characters. ... List of Fawlty Towers episodes The Anniversary is the fifth episode of the second series of BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


The paperboy, though not seen very often, is responsible for changing the "Fawlty Towers" sign to read various (sometimes crude) phrases, such as "Fatty Owls," "Flay Otters," "Farty Towels," "Watery Fowls," and "Flowery Twats." (The last of those is the only anagram shown that uses all the letters.) The shot of the sign with the hotel appears at the beginning of every episode but one, "The Germans", when a shot of a hospital is used, as Sybil is having an operation on her ingrown toenail. The acronym TWAT also refers to Traveling wave amplifier tube and The War Against Terror. For further information about the homonym, see also tuat. ... For the game, see Anagrams. ... The Germans is the sixth episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ...


Episode guide

Fawlty Towers was first broadcast on BBC2 from 19 September 1975 to 25 October 1979. The first series was directed by John Howard Davies, the second by Bob Spiers. This is an episode guide for the television series Fawlty Towers, written by John Cleese and Connie Booth, which ran on BBC 2 from September 19th 1975 to October 25th 1979. ... For the BBC radio station, see BBC Radio 2. ... is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ...


Production of the last two episodes was disrupted by a strike of BBC technical staff, which resulted in the recasting of the actor who had originally been cast as Reg in "The Anniversary", and delayed the episode's transmission date by one week. The episode "Basil the Rat" was also delayed, and was not screened until the end of a repeat showing six months later, due to the tape going missing.


Not the Nine O'Clock News was originally scheduled to debut after an episode of Fawlty Towers and Cleese was to have introduced Not the Nine O'Clock News in a sketch referring to the technicians' strike, explaining (in character as Basil Fawlty) that there was no show ready that week, so a "tatty revue" would be broadcast instead. However, the 1979 general election intervened, and Not the Nine O'Clock News was pulled as being too political. Later that year, Cleese's sketch was broadcast, but its original significance was lost. Not the Nine OClock News is a comedy television programme that was shown on the BBC, broadcast from 1979 to 1982. ... The United Kingdom general election of 1979 was held on 3 May 1979 and is regarded as a pivotal point in 20th century British politics. ...


When originally transmitted, the individual episodes had no on-screen titles. The ones in common currency were first used for the VHS release of the series in the 1980s. There were working titles, such as "USA" for "Waldorf Salad," "Death" for "The Kipper and the Corpse" and "Rat" for "Basil the Rat" which have been printed in some programme guides. In addition, some of the early BBC audio releases of episodes on vinyl and cassette included other variations, such as "Mrs Richards" and "The Rat," for "Communication Problems" and "Basil the Rat" respectively.


It has long been rumoured that a thirteenth episode of the series was written and filmed, but never progressed further than a rough cut [8]. Though Lars Holger Holm, author of the book Fawlty Towers: A Worshipper's Companion, has made detailed claims about the episode's content, little further evidence has been unearthed to prove its existence. Lars dedicates a chapter to the story of his opportunity to watch a finished thirteenth episode called "The Robbers". Despite Fawlty Towers ending after its initial run of just 12 episodes, a popular rumour states that an unreleased episode of the program exists in rough form. ...


According to Lars, a former BBC employee allowed Lars to view the complete episode at his flat one night in London. After viewing the 45 minute episode, Lars ran the entire script through the copy facility on a fax machine. He reproduces the script in his book. The episode was supposedly scheduled for broadcast on January 9, 1980, but never aired. Neither BBC officials nor John Cleese have ever confirmed or denied the existence of this episode. For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Cleese redirects here. ...


Some people dismiss this as deliberate fiction on Holm's part, pointing to his work as a fiction writer, his penchant for making deliberately absurd comments [1], and the far-fetched scenario which supposedly allowed him to photocopy the script.


Awards

Three BAFTAs were awarded to people for their involvement with the series. Each of the two series were awarded the BAFTA in the category for "Best Situation Comedy," the first won by John Howard Davies in 1976, and the second by Douglas Argent and Bob Spiers in 1980. John Cleese won the BAFTA for "Best Light Entertainment Performance" in 1976.[9] BAFTA Award The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organisation that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ...


More recently, in a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Fawlty Towers was placed first.[10] It was also voted fifth in the BBC's "Britain's Best Sitcom" poll in 2004[11] and second only to Frasier in The Ultimate Sitcom poll of comedy writers in January 2006. Basil Fawlty came top of the Britain’s Funniest Comedy Character poll, held by Five on 14th May 2006. 100 Greatest British Television Programmes was a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI) chosen by a poll of industry professionals, to determine what were the greatest British television programmes of any genre ever to have been screened. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Britains Best Sitcom was a poll conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the BBC to identify the United Kingdoms best situation comedy. ... Frasier is an American sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer as psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane. ... Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese Basil Fawlty is the major character in the British sitcom Fawlty Towers, played by John Cleese. ... Five, launched in 1997, is the fifth and final national terrestrial analogue television channel to launch in the United Kingdom. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Remakes and inspiration

Three attempted remakes of Fawlty Towers were started for the American market, with two actually making it into production. The first, Chateau Snavely, was produced by ABC for a pilot in 1978, but the transfer from coastal hotel to highway motel proved too much and the series was never produced. The second, also by ABC, was Amanda's, notable for switching the genders of Basil and Sybil. It also failed to pick up a major audience and was later dropped.[12] A third remake called Payne was also produced, but was cancelled shortly after. There also was a German sitcom based on Fawlty Towers and Guest House on Pakistan's PTV also resembles the series. Many successful British TV shows (particularly sitcoms) have been remade for the American market. ... This article is about the American broadcast network. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Amandas (1983) is a short-lived television sitcom that starred Beatrice Arthur as the main character, Amanda Cartwright. ... Payne was a short-lived American television series, patterned after the British program Fawlty Towers. ... PTV can refer to: Pakistan Television Corporation, a television channel in Pakistan PTV, an Emmy-nominated Family Guy episode Pactiv Corporation, NYSE ticker symbol PTV. Personal TV (In-Flight Entertainment) Psychic TV, the music group PTV (car), a microcar built in Manresa, near Barcelona, by Paikallistelevisio (PTV4), a now-defunct...


The popular sitcoms, 3rd Rock From The Sun and Cheers (where John Cleese guest starred in one episode), have cited Fawlty Towers as an inspiration, especially regarding its depiction of a dysfunctional "family" in the workplace, and Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan have cited Fawlty Towers as a major influence on their sitcom Father Ted. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the TV series. ... Arthur Mathews (born 1959 in County Meath, Ireland) is a comedy writer who, often with writing partner Graham Linehan, has either written - or contributed to - a number of popular television comedies. ... Graham Linehan (born 1968) is an Irish television writer and director who, often in partnership with Arthur Mathews, has written or co-written a number of popular television comedies. ... Father Ted was a popular 1990s television situation comedy set around the lives of three priests on the extremely remote (and completely fictional) Craggy Island off the west coast of Ireland. ...


Several of the characters have made other appearances, either as spin-offs or in small cameo roles. In 1981, in character as Manuel, Andrew Sachs recorded a comical version of the Joe Dolce song "Shaddap You Face" (with an equally amusing B-side "Waiter There's a Flea in My Soup)". However, the record was not released because Joe Dolce took out an injunction to halt its release as he was just about to issue his version in Britain.[13] Gilly Flower and Renee Roberts, who played Miss Tibbs and Miss Gatsby in the series, reprised the roles in a 1983 episode of Only Fools and Horses.[14] In 2006, Cleese played Basil Fawlty for the first time in 27 years, for the FIFA World Cup in Germany song "Don't Mention the War," named after the phrase Basil used in "The Germans."[15] In 2007, Cleese and Sachs reprised their roles for a six episode long corporate video for Norwegian oil company Statoil. In the video, Fawlty is now running a restaurant called "Basil's Brasserie", whilst Manuel owns a Michelin Star restaurant in London.[16] Andrew Sachs (born Andreas Siegfried Sachs, April 7, 1930) is a British actor. ... Joe Dolce Joe Dolce (, originally pronounced ; born 1947 in Painesville, Ohio) is an American-born, Australian-resident singer/songwriter who achieved fame with the song Shaddap You Face, recorded under his vehicle, the group named Joe Dolce Music Theatre. ... The song Shaddap You Face, was written and performed by Joe Dolce also known as the Joe Dolce Music Theatre, and went to Number 1 on the Australian pop charts in 1980. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... Only Fools and Horses is a British television sitcom, created and written by John Sullivan, and made and broadcast by the BBC. Seven series were originally broadcast in the UK between 1981 and 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003. ... Cleese redirects here. ... 2006 World Cup redirects here. ... The Germans is the sixth episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... A Statoil petrol station sign in Estonia Statoil (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) is a Norwegian petroleum company established in 1972. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


In November 2007, Scales returned to the role of Sybil Fawlty in a series of sketches for the BBC's annual Children in Need charity telethon. The character was seen taking over the management of the eponymous hotel from the BBC drama series Hotel Babylon, interacting with characters from that programmme as well as other sitcom characters. The character of Sybil was used by special permission of John Cleese.[17] New BBC Children in Need Pudsey and logo from 2007 BBC Children in Need is an annual British charity appeal organised by the BBC. Since 1980 it has raised £470million. ... This article is about a television drama. ...


A Lonely Planet Tourist Guide of London summarised its critique of the bad state of London hotels by stating that "Fawlty Towers was really a documentary." Lonely Planet logo Lonely Planet Publications (usually known as Lonely Planet or LP for short) claims to be the largest independently owned travel guidebook publisher in the world. ...


Filming locations

Although the series is set in Torquay, none of it was shot there. For the exterior filming, instead of an actual hotel, the Wooburn Grange Country Club in Buckinghamshire was used. It later served as a nightclub named "Basil's" for a short time after the series ended until it was destroyed by fire in March 1991. The remnants of the building were demolished and the site was bought by developers. [18] Other location filming was done mostly around the Harrow area of north London: In the episode "The Germans," the opening shot is of Northwick Park Hospital. In the episode "Gourmet Night," the exterior of Andre's restaurant was filmed on Preston Road in the Harrow area. The launderette next door to the restaurant still exists today and Andre's is now a Chinese restaurant called 'Wings'. The famous sequence where Basil beats his car with a branch after it stalls was filmed on the corner of Mentmore Close and Lapstone Gardens in Kenton, just east of Harrow. Wooburn Grange Country Club was a listed building in Buckinghamshire, which became the infamous exterior location of the hit BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers in 1975. ... Buckinghamshire (abbreviated Bucks) is one of the home counties in South East England. ... Laser lights illuminate the dance floor at a Gatecrasher dance music event in Sheffield, England A nightclub (or night club or club) is a drinking, dancing, and entertainment venue which does its primary business after dark. ... , Harrow is the second principal town in the London Borough of Harrow, West London. ... Northwick Park Hospital is a large Hospital in North West London, England. ... Kenton is a place partly in the London Borough of Harrow and partly in the London Borough of Brent. ...


Potential film adaptation

With only 12 episodes made of Fawlty Towers, the BBC were keen to prolong the show. But both Cleese and Booth had felt that series two had been far better than series one and trying to make a third series that would be even better was near impossible. However, according to John Cleese in the extras section of the Fawlty Towers three disc DVD set, and in the book Fawlty Towers Fully Booked, a plot had been developed for a 90 minute feature-length film in which the hotel would be removed and utilizing the characters in a broader, more ambitious landscape. Cleese says:

We had an idea for a plot which I loved. Basil was finally invited to Spain to meet Manuel's family. He gets to Heathrow and then spends about 14 frustrating hours waiting for the flight. Finally, on the plane, a terrorist pulls a gun and tries to hijack the thing. Basil is so angry he overcomes the terrorist and when the pilot says, "We have to fly back to Heathrow," Basil says, "No, fly us to Spain or I'll shoot you." He arrives in Spain, immediately arrested and spends the entire holiday in a Spanish jail. He is released just in time to go back on the plane with Sybil.

It was very funny, but I couldn't do it at the time. Making Fawlty Towers work at 90 minutes was a very difficult proposition. You can build up the comedy for 30 minutes, but at that length there has to be a trough and another peak. It doesn't interest me. I don't want to do it. London Heathrow Airport (IATA airport code: LHR, ICAO airport code: EGLL, and often simply Heathrow) is the United Kingdoms busiest and best-connected airport. ... This article is becoming very long. ...

DVD Release

Fawlty Towers - The complete series was released on DVD October 16, 2001, available in regions 1, 2 and 4. A "Collectors Edition" is available in region 2. is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Region 1, Region 2 and Region 3 redirect here. ...


References

  1. ^ BFI TV100, URL accessed June 14th, 2006
  2. ^ Britain's Best Sitcom Top 10 URL accessed June 14th, 2006
  3. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/05/11/nfawlt11.xml " My husband was not like Basil": article by Richard Saville in The Daily Telegraph, 11/05/2002, URL accessed June 14, 2006
  4. ^ BBC Comedy Guide Doctor At Large, URL accessed February 24, 2007
  5. ^ Britain's Best Sitcom - The case for Fawlty Towers, BBC Documentary presented by Jack Dee, broadcast January 24, 2004
  6. ^ John Cleese, VHS or DVD cast interview, 1998
  7. ^ BBC Page, URL accessed June 14, 2006
  8. ^ fawltysite.net - Thirteenth Episode (2004).
  9. ^ List of awards at IMDb, URL accessed June 14th, 2006
  10. ^ BFI TV100, URL accessed June 14th, 2006
  11. ^ Britain's Best Sitcom Top 10 URL accessed June 14, 2006
  12. ^ Fawlty Towers at the BBC Guide to comedy, URL accessed 14 June 2006
  13. ^ Fawltysite.net, URL accessed 13 December 2006
  14. ^ "Homesick" (1983) cast list at IMDb, URL accessed September 1, 2006
  15. ^ Article about the song by Adam Sherwin in The Times, May 15, 2006
  16. ^ Basil's back, Chortle.co.uk, URL accessed 12 July 2007
  17. ^ (November 1013 2007) "The Inside Story". Radio Times 335 (4361): p. 126. 
  18. ^ Photographs of fire at Fawltysite.net, URL accessed June 14, 2006

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Further reading

  • Fawlty Towers: A Worshipper's Companion, Leo Publishing, ISBN 91-973661-8-8
  • The Complete Fawlty Towers by John Cleese & Connie Booth (1988, Methuen, London) ISBN 0-413-18390-4 (the complete text)

See also

  • Television series considered the greatest ever

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
BBC - Comedy Guide - Fawlty Towers (1197 words)
Basil Fawlty, a frustrated, angry, short-tempered, super-snobbish misanthrope, is the very antithesis of the sort of person who should run a hotel, where a calm demeanour, winning smile, patience and a desire to make guests feel at home are the required attributes.
But run a hotel Basil does, the quaint Fawlty Towers, or, rather, he runs it jointly with his formidable wife Sybil, a woman who has the ability to exude the required superficialities but is monstrously vitriolic towards her husband.
To help run the hotel the Fawltys employ Polly, a sensible, down-to-earth maid/waitress who is often embroiled in Basil's schemes and their inevitably disastrous consequences, being forced to lie on his behalf or extricate him from trouble (for which he rarely thanks her since she is merely an underling, the hired help).
Fawlty Towers (988 words)
Considered to be one of the finest and funniest examples of British situation comedy, Fawlty Towers has become a critical and popular success throughout the world to the extent that all twelve of its episodes can stand as classics in their own right.
Yet Fawlty Towers stood out from the commonplace through its intensity of pace and exceptional characterisation and performance, with the result that otherwise simple narratives were propelled, through the pandemonium generated by Basil and Sybil's prickly relationship, to absurd conclusions.
Fawlty Towers turned on their relationship--an uneasy truce of withering looks and acidic banter born of her continual impatience at his incompetence and pomposity.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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