Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) is an obnoxious and rude hotel owner in the seaside town of Torquay. He and his wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales) run the Fawlty Towers hotel. The main staff consists of the waitress, Polly Sherman (Connie Booth), and the waiter, Manuel (Andrew Sachs), an immigrant from Spain, whose grasp of the English language is almost as bad as Basil’s understanding of Spanish.
Not happy with the type of clientele that the hotel usual attracts, Basil puts an ad in a high-class magazine called “Country Life”. Sybil is not happy at the high cost of the ad. When Lord Melbury (Michael Gwynn) comes to the hotel, Basil fawns over him to the neglect of the other guests. Lord Melbury asks Basil to cash a check for him in the amount of two hundred pounds. Basil sends Polly to the bank for the money. While in town Polly runs into another guest, Danny Brown (Robin Ellis). Polly finds out that Danny works for the CID (Central Investigation Department) and is on the trail of Melbury, who is really a con man.
“Fawlty Towers” was a television sitcom series that ran for two seasons on BBC Two in 1975 and 1979. The show was written by Cleese and his then wife and co-star Connie Booth. There were six episodes in each season. Season 1 episode one was called “A Touch of Class”.
Each week the sign in front of hotel has something different wrong with it. In the first episode, the S in Fawlty Towers is crooked.
Cleese came up with the idea for the sitcom while staying with his Monty Python troupe at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, Devon. Cleese noted that the hotel owner, Donald Sinclair, treated his guests as if they were a nuisance. Cleese called him “The rudest man I’ve ever met.” When the hotel was sold and under new management the new owners held Fawlty Towers weekends each month and hired actors to pose as Basil, Sybil and Manuel. The hotel closed in 2015.