Fawlty Towers: Season 1, Episode 1

A Touch of Class (19 Sep. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 686 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Basil is delighted when a member of the aristocracy chooses to stay at the Fawlty Towers, snubbing the normal guests who frequent the hotel. What Basil does not know, however, is that the ... See full summary »




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Title: A Touch of Class (19 Sep 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Michael Gwynn ...
Lord Melbury
Robin Ellis ...
Danny Brown
Ballard Berkeley ...
Martin Wyldeck ...
Sir Richard Morris
David Simeon ...
Mr. Mackenzie
Terence Conoley ...
Mr. Wareing
Lionel Wheeler ...
Mr. Watson


Basil is delighted when a member of the aristocracy chooses to stay at the Fawlty Towers, snubbing the normal guests who frequent the hotel. What Basil does not know, however, is that the man is not a Lord but a confidence trickster who attempts to steal his collection of rare coins. As Basil's desperation to keep such an 'upstanding' guest increases, he becomes increasingly tolerant towards the man's behavior, only to have the guest arrested in a police raid on the hotel. Written by t

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Release Date:

19 September 1975 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Actor Michael Gwynn, who plays Lord Melbury, died less than six months after this episode aired. See more »


When Polly rings the bell at reception to get Basil's attention, he lays the cases of coins on the counter. Polly finally convinces him to go into the office to talk, leaving the cases on the counter. When they return to meet the Morrises, the cases are gone. See more »


Danny Brown: [with a strong London accent] Hello! Got a room?
Basil Fawlty: I beg your pardon?
Danny Brown: Got a room for tonight, mate?
Basil Fawlty: I shall have to see, sir. A single?
Danny Brown: Yeah. No, make it a double. I feel lucky today.
See more »


Featured in What the Pythons Did Next... (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Hello, and Goodbye, Lord Melbury
10 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While it lacks the fast pace of most of the other episodes, "A Touch of Class" was certainly a classy way to get the series started. We're introduced to all the characters, not in great depth, but even a reference is made to the fallible construction worker Mr. O'Reilly, who would later make an appearance in all his fouled-up glory. Sybil is at her peak, nagging Basil to get fifty things done while she spends the day trying to catch up on the fifty things that he was supposed to do the day before. We get a good idea of Polly's role at the hotel (that of straight-man and organizer) and Manuel's probable intelligence deficiency. In retrospect, it's a bit saddening that Michael Gwynne, who played the conartist Lord Melbury so superbly, died less than a year after this was shot. Basil Fawlty would fawn over many such guests, but nothing beats the treatment he gives Melbury...and the payoff of Basil realizing that he was "had" is screamingly funny ("YOU BASTAAAARD!!")

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