Fawlty Towers: Season 1, Episode 6

The Germans (24 Oct. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Ratings: 9.2/10 from 842 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

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)  »

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Did You Know?


When the German guest asks "Wir wollen...." ("We would like...."), Basil translates "wollen" as "voluntary". In this, he is partially correct. The English word "voluntary" does derive from the German verb "wollen" ('to have the will to (perform an action)'). See more »


During the fire drill mix up, Manuel starts a fire in the kitchen. When he emerges, shouting 'Fire', Basil locks him in the kitchen where the fire is, and Manuel bangs on the door as if he is trapped. However, in all shots of the kitchen, there is a double door that leads to the dining room, so he could have easily got out. See more »


[Raving on about the fire extinguisher that he fired into his own face]
Basil Fawlty: Do you know what that fire extinguisher did? It exploded in my face. I mean, what is the point of a fire extinguisher? It sits there for months, and when you actually have a fire - when you actually need the bloody thing - it blows your head off! I mean, what is happening to this country? It's bloody Wilson!
See more »


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

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User Reviews

It Isn't Ironic But It Is Brilliant
11 July 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is it . The best remembered episode of probably the greatest comedy show Britain has ever made so do I really need to comment on it ? I will say in the 21st Century everyone associated with the show claims this episode is meant to be ironic , that is the episode is making fun of people who have to bring up the second world war every time Germany is mentioned in any context . Hmmm if I remember correctly people claim the same about LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR and are we to seriously believe 20 million people tuned in to that show to hear a black character make equally racist remarks about his rabidly racist white neighbour ? I don't think so . Let's not forget even for people in Britain like myself who were born over twenty odd years after the war had ended it was impossible not to think of Germany as being a land of Stukas , Panzers and goosestepping soldiers

There is much more to this episode than German tourists and includes Basil putting up the stuffed head of a moose on the wall and a fire alarm . Of course the episode becomes ingrained in to television history once the Germans turns up and ... well you know what happens next . There's so much to remember and laugh at in this episode but my favourite line is when Basil is taking the tourists order and replies " I'll just get you hors d'oeuvres - hors doeuvres that must be obeyed at all times without question " . And so ends season one of FAWLTY TOWERS which will always win my vote as the greatest comedy Britain has ever made

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