Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
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The Builders 

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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Episode complete credited cast:
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)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The man who delivers the garden gnome to Fawlty Towers asks Manuel where the "Generalissimo" (his boss) is, to which Manuel (believing that he is talking about Francisco Franco) responds "in Madrid!" This episode aired less than two months before Franco's death. In the Catalan version, broadcast in 1986 (eleven years after Franco's death), Manuel replied "Dead!". See more »


When Basil smashes Manuel's head to the wall three times, it is obvious that Manuel kicks the wall to make a sound effect. See more »


Manuel: Ah... Hello, men!
Lurphy - workman #1: Good day, now.
Manuel: Eh, you are men!
Lurphy - workman #1: You... What?
Manuel: You're men!
Lurphy - workman #1: Are you tryin' to be funny?
Manuel: Huh?
Lurphy - workman #1: I said, are you tryin' to be funny?
Kerr - workman #3: Not here, sport, not here.
Manuel: You are men with Orelly!
See more »


Referenced in The John Cleese Interview (1998) See more »


Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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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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