Michael is now working with Paul for Paul's uncle, hypochondriac Dr. Griffin but Michael's room is not yet ready so he stays in a hotel run by the very rude Mr. Clifford and his domineering... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview:
...
George Layton ...
Geoffrey Davies ...
Brian Oulton ...
...
Mr. Clifford
Eunice Black ...
Mrs. Clifford
Lucy Griffiths ...
First Old Lady
Ailsa Grahame ...
Second Old Lady
Betty Hare ...
Third Old Lady
...
Mr. Davidson
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Storyline

Michael is now working with Paul for Paul's uncle, hypochondriac Dr. Griffin but Michael's room is not yet ready so he stays in a hotel run by the very rude Mr. Clifford and his domineering wife. Most of the guests are elderly residents but compulsive joker Mr. Davidson drives Michael to distraction with his endless puns. Eventually the doctors devise a plan to alienate him from everybody else, particularly Mr. Clifford, who is also fed up with the joker and tips a trifle over his head. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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30 May 1971 (UK)  »

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The show was written by John Cleese shortly after staying in the hotel that inspired Fawlty Towers (1975). Mr Clifford, the landlord, played by Timothy Bateson, was an early incarnation of the Basil Fawlty character. See more »

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"How quick can a kipper be?"
27 October 2006 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Mike and Paul join Dr.Griffin's practice. Griffin is a pill-popping hypochondriac, who also happens to be Paul's uncle. He books Mike into a seedy local hotel - the Bella Vista - run by the Cliffords.

Mr.Clifford is an abominably rude man, dominated by his overdressed wife. Most of the residents consist of senile old folk, who openly chat about Upton behind his back.

But by far the most obnoxious guest is Mr.Davidson, one of nature's 'comedians', a man amused by everyone and everything. Upton's arrival provides the catalyst for a string of corny 'Doctor' related jokes.

On the point of a nervous breakdown, Mike enlists the aid of Paul and Dick to wipe the smile off this joker's face forever...

When this episode went out, Humphrey Barclay remarked to John Cleese: "You know, there's a series in that hotel.". Indeed there was, arguably the best comedy show of all time. The main difference between 'Charlie Clifford' and 'Basil Fawlty' is their appearance, the former is a small, timid-looking man compared to the long-legged monstrosity that was Basil. 'Mrs.Clifford' is bigger than Sybil, but equally loud, polite only to the guests.

Terrific performances from Timothy Bateson and the late Roy Kinnear.

Funniest moment - Mike, Dick and Paul's humiliation of Mr.Davidson is marvellously satisfying, making this a truly classic episode. Its to Cleese's credit that he didn't rework 'No Ill Feeling!' into a script for 'Fawlty Towers'.

Chosen to represent 'Doctor At Large' as part of I.T.V.'s 'Best Of British' series in 1982.


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