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Fawlty Towers DVD Classic British Comedy series

Updated on March 14, 2014

Fawlty Towers, Classic British comedy from the 1970s, still funny today on DVD

Fawlty Towers, complete series on DVD , is my suggestion for a Christmas gift for anyone who loves watching TV comedy and loves the British sense of humour.

This comedy combines witty comedy, cleverly drawn characters and the occasional slapstick or farcial scenes. Despite being made in the 1970s the comedy is still very entertaining and funny. It's also like a time capsule of Britain in the 1970s in respect of class, social attitudes and situations.

Here in the UK we often have TV programmes asking "what is the best British comedy ever made?". Or "what is your favourite comedy moment?" In every programme I've seen the public have voted "Fawlty Towers" into the top three places.

Monty Python comedian John Cleese and his wife Connie Booth wrote and starred in this classic TV series about a Hotel manager Basil Fawlty and his long suffering wife Sybil in the lovely seaside town of Torquay. Basil is the last person who should be running an hotel. He's rude, lacks patience and sees the hotel guests as mere irritations. He's always misreading situations and upsetting guests and staff alike. On paper we really shouldn't like Basil, but I've always found that i can both laugh at him and maybe in a way feel sorry for him too. Yet he is totally to blame for the situations he finds himself in.

Photo above taken from my own Fawlty Towers DVD set and features main stars John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Connie Booth and Andrew Sachs

Remembering Fawlty Towers

Watching the original series in days before video and a real life Basil Fawlty

I still remember rushing home from work to see the first series of Fawlty Towers. You have to remember this was in 1975, before the days of video recorders, quick repeats, online repeats, rented or purchased DVDs.

The programme was broadcast once and if you missed it you have to wait months if not years for a series to be repeated.

It makes me realise how lucky we are these days as we can buy copies of the TV shows we love to watch over and over again at a time to suit ourselves and not the TV companies.

John Cleese claimed in a TV interview that he based the character of Basil Fawlty on a real life manager in an hotel where he had stayed when filming with the Monty back in the 1970s.

Fawlty Towers Complete series Dvd as a Christmas Gift

You can buy the complete Fawlty Towers Collection DVD which contains all 12 episodes from the 2 series.

The series stars John Cleese as Basil Fawlty, Prunella Scales as his wife Sybil Fawlty along with Connie Booth as Polly the maid and Andrew Sachs as Manuel the Spanish waiter.

Each episode has special guests and situations which cause Basil to show why he is considered one of the best British comic characters ever.

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered

All the episodes ever made available on one digitally remastered DVD.

Torquay Harbour
Torquay Harbour

Where can you find Fawlty Towers?

TV Trivia spot

The series was based on a fictional hotel in Torquay, a beautiful seaside town in Devon, south-west England, and a very popular holiday destination. However if you wanted to stay at the hotel where they filmed Fawlty Towers it's just not possible. The filming was actually done miles away from Torquay in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire at the Woodburn Grange County Club which sadly, has since burnt down.

Looking back almost all the series was filmed inside the hotel, and no external shots ever showed Torquay itself.

However here's a photo of Torquay harbour so you can see where the series is meant to take place.

Photo credit wikipedia/commons/Ianmacm

Special scenes from Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers ran for 12 episodes, 6 made in 1975 and 6 in 1979. Each episode is funny but I have my own favourites.

The YouTube clips I've chosen show you some classis moments.

1. Basil the Rat.

Manuel, the Spanish waiter has been keeping a pet rat in his room, and he called the rat "Basil". However when a Hotel Inspector arrives for a visit the Basil the rat escapes and causes chaos in the Hotel.

2. Communication problems (A room with a view).

Mrs Richards arrives and proves to be a difficult guest. This gives Basil a chance to show his own peculiar type of customer service.

3. Basil and Manuel (a language lesson)

Manuel the waiter is learning to speak English but Basil has no patience . The conversation is a clever play on words and a comic look at the English attitude to learning foreign languages

4. A letter from the Chef

Basil's row with his chef co-incides with a visit by and American couple expecting proper service.

5. Satisfied customers

Hotel guests are anything but satisfied customers when Basil spells out what being a Hotel Manager means to him.

From the episode where the Hotel Inspector arrives and the rat escapes.

The episode where a guest complains about her room

From the episode where Basil and Manuel try to understand each other.

From the episode where the American visitors encounter Basil's unique customer service.

From the episode where Basil confronts the guests.

Fawlty Towers Bargains on eBay

If Christmas cash is in short supply you may be able to pick up a new or used bargain on Ebay. So check below for current Ebay auctions and buy it now Fawlty Towers DVDs

Do you love classic comedy?

It does seem strange that a TV series made almost 40 years ago can still make me laugh. There are other classic British Comedy series such as "Only Fools and Horses" "Dad's Army" and "Yes Minister" which are still shown on TV today and are of course available on DVD, which still make me laugh.

If I'm honest I still prefer them to most of the newer comedy series on TV, and would recommend anyone who loves the British sense of humour to watch these series and see if you agree with me.

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    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

      What a timeless classic, and amazingly only 9 episodes were ever made. There were so many great British comedies in the 1970's and 1980's, weren't there?

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      I remember watching these in college. Lots of laughs.