PBS Revisits Fawlty Towers for 30th Anniversary Special


This post was archived from the original website for Fawlty Towers Revisited, which premiered on public television in 2005.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fawlty Towers, PBS stations across the country will check back in to the loony English hotel for an exclusive, definitive retrospective on what many consider to be one of the world’s funniest and most enduring situation comedies of all time.

Fawlty Towers Revisited, which will premiere in early December, is an 80-minute scrapbook filled with behind-the-scenes recollections and making-of insights from the Fawlty Towers cast and crew, and it includes more than 40 minutes of choice clips from the show’s 12 episodes.

We launched this blog to bring Fawlty Towers’ far-flung and fanatical fans together for a global online reunion and digital celebratory toast! For the next month, the blog will feature daily postings about Fawlty Towers, the cast and crew, trivia and interesting tales about how this iconic comedy and its unforgettable characters continue to entertain and inspire audiences.

This blog also features a link — see navigation bar above, “Find Your Fawlty Towers Revisited Station Here” — to an interactive map that you can use to find out when the PBS station nearest you will be broadcasting the show, as well as to get a direct link to each station’s web site and more information on the highly collectible, must-have pledge Thank You gifts. And we even will have tips and recipes you can use to host a Fawlty Towers Revisitedwatching party. The blog will have daily postings through mid-December.

Hosted by Andrew Sachs, who played “Manuel,” the devoted, but bumbling waiter from Barcelona, and John Howard Davies, producer and director ofFawlty Towers’ first season, Fawlty Towers Revisited features recent interviews with co-creators, writers, lead cast members and former husband and wife, John Cleese and Connie Booth. Cleese played “Basil Fawlty”, the inn’s boorish, ill-tempered, class-conscious proprietor, and Booth portrayed “Polly Sherman,” the chambermaid and tireless middle woman who worked diligently to lessen the fallout from Basil’s numerous missteps and Manuel’s blunders.

Fawlty Towers Revisited also includes interviews with Prunella Scales, who played “Sybil Fawlty,” Basil’s formidable, determined and thick-skinned wife; Bob Spiers, director of the show’s second season; and Terry Jones, one of Cleese’s Monty Python cohorts who shares the story about the English Riviera hotel that provided the inspiration for Fawlty Towers.

And fans will enjoy hearing about behind-the-scenes antics from guest stars in some of Fawlty Towers’ most popular episodes, including Bernard Cribbins from “The Hotel Inspectors” and Nicky Henson and Luan Peters from “The Psychiatrist.”

Fawlty Towers was first broadcast on Sept. 19, 1975, on England’s BBC 2. Ironically, while there were only two seasons and 12 episodes, the show’s clever writing, frenetic pace and unforgettable characters have kept it a Top 5 pick for the world’s best television comedy for three decades. This timeless collection of a dozen 30-minute farces has been shown in more than 60 countries, and it is a Digital Age testament to the show’s perennial popularity that a Google search on the show will note some 830,000 results.

The exclusive broadcast of Fawlty Towers Revisited on PBS stations nationwide is especially fitting because Fawlty Towers made its U.S. debut on public television stations in 1976, less than a year after it began airing in England. And it still is an audience favorite 30 years later.

Fawlty Towers Revisited is joint project of PBS and BBC Worldwide Americas, and was produced by Iowa Public Television.

  • Anonymous

    John Cleese at his very best. Too bad there were only 12 episodes!