Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
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The Germans 

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.


John Howard Davies (uncredited)


John Cleese (by), Connie Booth (by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Cleese ... Basil Fawlty
Prunella Scales ... Sybil Fawlty
Andrew Sachs ... Manuel
Connie Booth ... Polly Sherman
Ballard Berkeley ... Major Gowen
Claire Davenport Claire Davenport ... Mrs. Wilson
Gilly Flower Gilly Flower ... Miss Agatha Tibbs
Renee Roberts Renee Roberts ... Miss Ursula Gatsby
Brenda Cowling Brenda Cowling ... Sister
Louis Mahoney ... Doctor
John Lawrence John Lawrence ... Mr. Sharp
Iris Fry Iris Fry ... Mrs. Sharp
Willy Bowman Willy Bowman ... German Guest
Nick Kane Nick Kane ... German Guest
Lisa Bergmayr 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

24 October 1975 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was voted as number 11 in Channel 4's The 100 Greatest TV Moments (1999). See more »


Assuming conflagrations aren't an everyday part of life at the hotel, there's an awful lot of scorching at the back of the kitchen and on the oversized gloves Manuel (oddly) wears to cook chips in a frying pan, indicating that there was at least one retake. See more »


[Basil has accidentally set off the burglar alarm during the fire drill, guests start walking out of the building thinking it's the fire alarm, but Basil stops them all in the lobby]
Mrs. Wilson: Oh, I thought there was a drill.
Basil Fawlty: Yes, there is, at twelve o'clock, but not yet.
Mrs. Wilson: But, it IS twelve o'clock.
Basil Fawlty: Well not quite, thank you.
Basil Fawlty: [to other guests trying to leave] Excuse me!
Mrs. Sharp: Yes.
Mrs. Wilson: Well, I make it twelve o'clock.
Basil Fawlty: [to guests] I'm afraid that wasn't the...
Mrs. Wilson: What time do you make it, Major?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The jokes with the names of the Nazi-leaders were slightly altered for the German version to fit spelling in the German language. See more »


Referenced in ReBoot: NullZilla (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Where do you even begin?
27 January 2016 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

I'm quite partial to reviewing a show after I've watched it, when it comes to Fawlty Towers I feel I know them almost too well, where do I even begin?

The Germans is one of the most iconic pieces of British television, Fawlty Towers is totally iconic, it's ageless. It is utterly hilarious from start to finish, John Cleese puts in one of his best shifts as Basil Fawlty, it is amazingly madcap, it's so politically non correct, it could never be made now.

My German friends that have seen this and contrary to preconceived ideas they all love it as much as I do.

Thirty of the funniest moments of comedy ever made, I think my personal number 1 is The Kipper and The Corpse, but the Germans is still a perfect 10/10

Don't mention the War.

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