Basil and the rest of the staff are in deep trouble when the health inspector turns up and delivers an enormous list of problems with the hotel. Things become even worse when Manuel's rat gets loose in the hotel.



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Episode complete credited cast:
John Quarmby ...
Mr. Carnegie
Ballard Berkeley ...
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...
David Neville ...
Sabina Franklyn ...
James Taylor ...
Mr. Taylor
Melody Lang ...
Mrs. Taylor
Stuart Sherwin ...


Basil panics, yet again, when the food and health inspector pays his semi-annual visit. He has a a long list of complaints about the level of cleanliness in the kitchen and gives them 24 hours to clean up or he will shut them down. Sybil sets about tidying up the place but when Basil visits Manuel's room, he finds that he has been keeping a pet rat thinking it was a hamster. When the inspector returns the next day, pandemonium reigns as the rat has now escaped and the Major is trying to hunt it down with his shotgun. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

25 October 1979 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The woman (Mrs Taylor) sitting at the table behind Manuel (Andrew Sachs) while he spots the rat at Quentina's legs, is actually Andrew Sachs' wife Melody Lang. See more »


In several episodes, for example "Basil the Rat" and "The Anniversary", we see a sign saying "Wooburn Grange Country Club" above the front driveway to Fawlty Towers. Wooburn Grange Country Club was the building filmed for the exterior of Fawlty Towers, it would seem the director forgot to remove this giant sign before filming. See more »


Basil Fawlty: Manuel... my wife informs me that you're... depressed. Let me tell you something. Depression is a very bad thing. It's like a virus. If you don't stamp on it, it spreads throughout the mind, and then one day you wake up in the morning and you... you can't face life any more!
Sybil Fawlty: And then you open a hotel.
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Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #4.169 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Would You...Care for a Rat?
16 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fawlty Towers faces a shut-down when the public health department pays them a visit, finding such things as storage of cooked and raw meats being stored in the same tray, and dead pigeons in the water tanks! During the cleanup process, Basil finds a 'filigree' Siberian hamster in Manuel's room - which has been his pet for awhile. Worried that this will only contribute to the hotel's list of infractions, Polly finds a new home for him...much to Manuel's dissatisfaction (as he wears a black mourning arm band!) The "new home" is the shed out back, but the rodent loves the hotel so much that he finds his way back in!

This episode is one of the funniest - and is filled with the usual comedic failed attempts to discreetly rectify the problems. We all knew it was coming - the day Fawlty Towers gets threatened with shut-down. John Quarmby is superb as the anal Mr. Carnegie, the public health inspector. The look on his face when Basil opens up the tin of biscuits at the very end is absolutely priceless. A nod of approval should go to Brian Hall, who plays Terry the chef - he does quite well in the part.

The bit where Basil tries to capture the hamster by rummaging through the lady's purse - and gets clawed badly before it jumps out and scurries across the floor, is classic. The scene in the bar where the Major spots the hamster on a table in the bar is also a hoot (quick cut to Polly running in with a moth net!) Supposedly the cast got extra rehearsal time for this particular episode, and it definitely paid off. "Basil the Rat" is a beaut, and it ends the series pretty much as it began, as a fainted Basil gets dragged off by Manuel. Sybil, unfazed by this, gets the last words: "Oh, I'm afraid it's started to rain again...."

12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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