Fawlty Towers: Season 1: The Hotel Inspectors

The Hotel Inspectors SYNOPSIS:

Shortly after Basil contends with the many requirements of fussy guest, Mr. Hutchison, he finds out from Sybil that three hotel inspectors are travelling through Torquay incognito checking every hotel in the area. On his second encounter with Mr. Hutchison, his guests expression of "his wide experience in hotels" Basil suddenly assumes he is a hotel inspector.

As per Sybil's request Basil changes his tone and over extends every courtesy to Mr. Hutchison including taking care of his lunch order that Hutchison's continual complaints. Newly arrived guest, Mr. Walt, is forced to continually change lunch tables thanks to the confused Manuel. After an abrupt Basil changes Mr. Walt's corked wine, Sybil takes Basil aside, informing him that Mr. Hutchison is a spoon salesman, not a hotel inspector.

Basil's instinctively wants to get even with the fussy and annoying Hutchison because he mistakenly fawned over him and becomes more rude and discourteous to him as his guest's complaints over his incorrect lunch order escalate. Comments by Mr. Walt make Basil again asume this new guest could actually be a hotel inspector and to shut up Mr. Hutchison's loud complaints Basil knocks him out.

Mr. Hutchison recovers and beats Basil up while he is dealing with Mr. Walt at the front desk. Basil pleads with Mr. Walt not to mention the incident in his hotel guide but Walt confesses he isn't a hotel inspector. Basil then exacts his revenge on Mr. Hutchison and throws him out but unfortunately in front of three newly arrived gentlemen who are the real hotel inspectors.

The Hotel Inspectors CAST & CREW


Basil Fawlty: John Cleese
Sybil Fawlty: Prunella Scales
Manuel: Andrew Sachs
Polly Sherman: Connie Booth
Major Gowen: Ballard Berkeley
Miss Tibbs: Gilly Flower
Miss Gatsby: Renee Roberts

Guest Stars:
Bernard Cribbins - Mr. Hutchison
Mr. Walt - James Cossins
John - Geoffrey Morris
Brian - Peter Brett

Production Staff:

Writers - John Cleese & Connie Booth
Director - John Howard Davies
Producer - John Howard Davies

The Hotel Inspectors REVIEWS

What maketh the man? Well what maketh Basil Fawlty in this case is his extraordinary ability to be alternately rude and then sycophantic toward his guests depending on what their status is or what the situation is. For in the Hotel Inspectors alone he should earn the title of bastard of the year. We've all seen his attitude toward certain people before but here's where we see the extent he will go to treat someone rudely.

Ok, so after swapping insults with his wife - lets be honest Sybil sometimes seems on the lazy side but still gets things done. All she asks him is too exercise some courtesy to the guests as she's been told their are hotel inspectors in the area. Prunella Scales is by now really relishing the lines given to her to highlight Sybil's acid wit toward Basil. AS a couple they do have a similar wit she uses it to put him down and keep him in his place while Basil uses sarcasm on anyone to prove he is smarter than them. Enough couple pyshcosis let's move onto the main event Basil's ultimate picking on of a guest.

So thanks to Basil's incorrect assumptions he reverse from being rude to nice to Hutchinson when thinking he's an inspector and follows it up with a nice double reversal with a full sarcastic twist by being totally horrible to him when he realises Hutchison isn't. Now to the amount of revenge Basil thinks the hapless guest must suffer is interesting because thinking there's an actual hotel inspector present he holds back just! he does go to the limit of what everyone in the customer service may like to do at some point. Isn't it a fantasy of anyone to punch out an overly difficult customer they are serving?

Thing is the cringe factor really comes into play in this one. First time I think the true cringe factor comes into play. Maybe because it's the lengths of living out a lie Basil will go to just to keep an assumed hotel inspector thinking there's something completely wrong with his hotel. It's cringe worthy how he deals with Hutchison in the end and he does deserve the well earned belting at Mr. Hutchison's hand. But the way Cleese plays it you almost feel sorry for him being unable to hit Hutchinson back thanks to his own mistake. Woner how Basil would handle himself in a scrap as he did survive the battering rather well. A classic cringing performance cringing performance from Cleese but also huge praise goes to Bernard Cribbins who was delightful in making Mr Hutchison a true eccentric, fussy, pain in the arse and at times downright unpleasant character.

Anyway The Hotel Inspectors is a great episode, again a Basil vs. the guest episode with Basil maybe getting his comeuppance a bit too early in the whole series from a guest and there was little for Polly or Manuel to do plot wise but they have some good moments. 8/10

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