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Fawlty Towers - The Complete Collection (Remastered) [DVD] [1975]

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Usually, human Basil's frustration is due to his own incompetence, but for once it's actually out of his hands as the whole staff tries to track down the runaway rodent. In 'Waldorf Salad', some newly-arrived American guests' request for transatlantic cuisine does not go down well with Basil in the kitchen. One of the main reasons most people will have opted for the DVD box set, or bought it even if they have the videos, is the third Special Feature disc.

The answer to all these questions can be found in this, the complete and unexpurgated scripts of “Fawlty Towers”. The show is not noticeably serialized, so Basil never learns anything from the various catastrophes he gets himself into. These both take the form of a still photograph with lists of their other TV/film credits with a spoken bio about the person. Denis Norden has probably bought the rights to all the good out takes, surely there are more and better?The Artist Profiles are in two sections: the main characters and the others who starred as guests etc. The Builders' sees Basil in hot water with Sybil when he employs an unreliable Irish labourer to do some work in the hotel lobby. In ‘Basil the Rat’, waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs)’s Siberian hamster turns out to be a rat, which goes missing just in time for a visit from the hotel inspector. Nov 2009: The complete series has now been remastered and rereleased with commentary by John Cleese and a new interview with Connie Booth who had until recently refused to discuss her work on Fawlty Towers.

The Kipper and the Corpse’ finds Basil and Manuel trying to dispose of a dead body without any of the guests noticing.

and these last three episodes are no different, but they introduce additional layers that subtly change the angle of the comedy.

Whether it is builders, Germans, wedding guests, American tourists, corpses or even rats, there's always someone or something to drive Basil to desperation. Communication Problems' sees Basil (Cleese) forced to deal with a deaf guest while attempting to conceal his gambling win from Sybil (Prunella Scales). Highlights of this third disc are the interview with John Cleese (who is showing his age a bit ;-)) and the “Torquay Tourist Guide” which is more of a “how it all started” filmed in a documentary style, it is around twelve minutes duration. I'm also going to come off like a stick-in-the-mud, because it's just a comedy TV show, but many of the Basil/Sybil relationship scenes are distracting to me.

Check in with Basil Fawlty (John Cleese, Monty Python films), the sharp-tongued, short-tempered hotel manager plagued by dead guests, hotel inspectors and his domineering wife, Sybil. Cast to perfection the series found Cleese playing much put-upon Torquay hotel owner Basil Fawlty, Prunella Scales as his domineering wife Sybil, Connie Booth as Polly, the dependable maid and Andrew Sachs in the role of Manuel, the non-comprehending, tyrannized waiter from Barcelona. The real key, though is that the concept plays to Cleese's strengths: nobody does righteous irritation better. This special edition marks the 30th Anniversary of one of the greatest situation comedies British television has ever seen.

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