Fawlty Towers: Season 1, Episode 2

The Builders (26 Sep. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Over his wife's objections, Basil hires his usual firm of incompetents (O'Reilly's) to do some carpentry work in the hotel lobby. With both Basil and Sybil out for the afternoon, they leave... See full summary »




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Title: The Builders (26 Sep 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ballard Berkeley ...
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...
James Appleby ...
George Lee ...
Delivery Man
Michael Cronin ...
Lurphy - Workman #1
Michael Halsey ...
Jones - Workman #2
Barney Dorman ...
Kerr - Workman #3


Over his wife's objections, Basil hires his usual firm of incompetents (O'Reilly's) to do some carpentry work in the hotel lobby. With both Basil and Sybil out for the afternoon, they leave Polly in charge. She decides to have a nap, leaving the English-challenged Manuel in charge. When Basil returns, he finds a solid wall where once stood doors to the dining room and still no door to the kitchen per his work order. Sybil takes an I-told-you-so attitude and insists he hire a qualified builder to fix the mess, but Basil decides to get O'Reilly back to right the wrong, but he still makes a mess of it as well. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

hotel | builder | wall | worker | telephone | See All (15) »



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Release Date:

26 September 1975 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Basil tells his guests that they must go to "The Gleneagles" for their dinners. This is a reference to the Hotel Gleneagles which Donald Sinclair, the hotel manager on which John Cleese based Basil Fawlty, ran in Torquay, the town where Fawlty Towers is set. See more »


At the start of "The Builders", Basil and Sybil come downstairs and Basil says he is going to put the things in the car. Sybil comes over to Polly at reception and in the background Basil can be seen turning directly to the right when he gets outside, even though the car park is directly down the stairs. See more »


Basil Fawlty: Oh, good morning, Major. I'm so sorry, I'm afraid the dining room door seems to have disappeared.
Major Gowen: Oh yes, oh yes, so it has! It used to be there!
Basil Fawlty: Yes, well, I was silly enough to leave the hotel for a few minutes, and...
Major Gowen: Yes, well, well, these things happen, you know.
Major Gowen: [looking around lobby] Now, I wonder where it's got to.
[Looks at the Major in disbelief]
Major Gowen: Oh well, don't worry, it's bound to turn up.
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User Reviews

A Change Of Pace
11 July 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

After deconstructing the British class system in the opening episode of the show Cleese and Booth now aim their sites towards another taboo of British culture - Irish builders . Of course it's something of a stereotype and there's not much truth in it but no one can ever put their hand on their heart and say they have never heard of someone getting a knock on their door to be met by two chirpy Irishmen saying " Tarmac your drive sir " only to regret it at a later date

This is a slight change of pace from the opening episode where Basil and his wife were centre stage . Here the characters of Polly and Manuel are left to carry much of the episode though it's probably one of the lesser ones . Much of this lies in the premise of having some cheap and dodgy Irish builders building an internal wall with the premise not allowing much of a situation beyond . That said there are some genuinely funny moments involving cruelty to Manuel and FAWLTY TOWERS is so brilliant even a substandard episode is funnier than anything you'll see on television produced today so The Builders isn't a dead loss

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