Pick an episode from the list below by clicking on the episode title to go the episode's own page. Each page has a summary of the episode, classic scenes, screen shots, details of when it was first shown and a complete cast list.
Just remember Fawlty Towers is a hotel not a borstal.
Fawlty Towers Episode Guides
Series One 1975
#1: A Touch of Class
His pretentious snobbery leads Basil to encourage a somewhat classier clientele to Fawlty Towers (“rather than the riff-raff we normally get in here”). Lord Melbury's arrival is right up his street; there's nothing Basil won't do for the nobility. With hand-rubbing obsequiousness the proprietor is only too pleased to cash his Lordship's cheque.
#2: The Builders
Not for the first time, Basil's tight-fistedness finds him out. There is building work required in the hotel lobby and, when Sybil's back is turned, Basil immediately goes for the lowest quote for the job. But he soon discovers why O'Reilly and his men come so cheap…
Basil's prudish nature is outraged by what he perceives to be an outbreak of promiscuity at Fawlty Towers. As ever, he grabs the wrong end of the stick and then proceeds to beat himself with it. Yet another terrible day for Basil ends with his apparent discovery by the guests in a compromising position with Manuel.
Basil is terrified by the news that hotel inspectors are in the area — and well he might be. The awful probability occurs to him that the eccentric guest to whom he has been so appallingly offensive may be one of the officials. His ranting turns to a pathetic fawning — but has he got the right man?
#5: Gourmet Night
The cream of Torquay society turns out for a special gourmet night at Fawlty Towers. Expectations are high but so, unfortunately, is the chef. In fact, he's incapably drunk! A desperate Basil hurtles round to a friend's restaurant in a car that's about as reliable as his chef. His mission is to find a replacement main course — he's out for a duck.
#6: The Germans
Sybil is in hospital for her ingrowing toenail. “Perhaps they'll have it mounted for me,” mutters Basil as he tries to cope during her absence. The fire-drill ends in chaos with Basil knocked out by the moose’s head in the lobby. The deranged host then encounters the Germans and tells them the “truth” about their Fatherland…
Series Two 1979
It’s not a wise man who entrusts his furtive winnings on the horses to an absent-minded geriatric Major, but Basil was never known for that quality. Parting with those ill-gotten gains was Basil’s first mistake; his second was to tangle with the intermittently deaf Mrs Richards.
#8: The Psychiatrist
A young “yobbo” has booked in and — to Basil's intense fury — Sybil obviously fancies him and he may have smuggled a girl into his room. A psychiatrist arrives to add to his discomfort and the voluptuous Australian girl stands just a bit too close to the light switch. “There's enough material here for an entire conference,” muses the psychiatrist as he observes the baffling phenomenon known as Basil Fawlty.
#9: Waldorf Salad
Mine host's penny-pinching catches up with him as an American guest demands the quality of service not normally associated with the “Torquay Riviera”, as Basil calls his neck of the woods. A Waldorf Salad is not part of Fawlty Towers' standard culinary repertoire, nor is a Screwdriver to be found on the hotel's drinks list…
Chaos reigns as one of the guests with total disregard for Basil's blood pressure, dies in his bed. Doubtless it was the kippers (which should have been thrown out weeks ago) that did for him. Demented and panic stricken, Basil attempts to conceal both the body and the extremely fishy breakfast.
#11: The Anniversary
Sybil can't believe that Basil has forgotten their 15th wedding anniversary, “not after what happened the last time he didn't remember,” she tells Polly. In fact, Basil has arranged a surprise party, with all of Sybil's friends on the Fawlty Towers invitation list. Unfortunately Sybil flounces off to the golf course leaving Basil up to his neck floundering in guests, lies and mayhem.
#12: Basil the Rat
Manuel insists that his pet rodent is a Siberian hamster. Basil is convinced that the pet shop has conned the gullible Spaniard and sold him a rat — a fine thing to have running round the hotel when the public health inspector is also on the loose.
The brief episode summaries above are taken from the back of the BBC videos. The full episode guides were written by me.