A moose head to be hung, a fire drill to be conducted, and German guests are all a bit much for Basil to handle while Sybil's in hospital.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ballard Berkeley ...
Claire Davenport ...
Mrs. Wilson
Gilly Flower ...
Renee Roberts ...
Brenda Cowling ...
Louis Mahoney ...
John Lawrence ...
Mr. Sharp
Iris Fry ...
Mrs. Sharp
Willy Bowman ...
German Guest
Nick Kane ...
German Guest
Lisa Bergmayr ...
German Guest


With Sybil in hospital for a few days to have an operation for an ingrown toenail, Basil is left on his own at the hotel to cope with a group of German tourists and the need for the regular semi-annual fire drill. He's not having much success with either. The guests confuse the burglar alarm with the fire alarm and when Manuel does start a fire in the kitchen, no one pays attention. Basil suffers a rather severe blow to the head leading him to insult his German guests by making constant references to the war. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

24 October 1975 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 2013 the Major's racist language to describe black people was edited from a repeat transmission on the BBC with the consent of John Cleese's management. The BBC stated that public attitudes to such language had "changed significantly" since it was made in 1975. See more »


The fire alarm that plays such a pivotal role in this episode, prominently placed at the reception desk, is mysteriously absent in all other episodes. See more »


Basil Fawlty: Listen, don't mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.
See more »


Featured in Taking Liberties (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

A Prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering, and Four Cold Meat Salads
12 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although it isn't my personal favorite, "The Germans" is arguably the most 'classic' of the 12 episodes. It's the one everyone seems to know or remember. Sybil is laid up with an ingrown toenail (Basil: "I wish it was an ingrown tongue"), but meanwhile she has to make sure the hotel doesn't fall apart, demanding even more things from Basil and calling him every few minutes to make sure things are getting done. There are many hysterical moments to be had, including the whole moose-hanging sequence, replete with The Major thinking that the stuffed concoction can talk. The German guests obviously don't know what to make of it all, but we see Basil at the upper bound of his own insanity. The best part comes at the end when the African doctor shows up at the hotel - I won't give it away for anyone who hasn't seen it.

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

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