Fawlty Towers

Season 2 Episode 6

Basil the Rat

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 25, 1979 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary

Manuel insists that his pet rodent is a Siberian hamster. However Basil is certain that the pet shop has conned the gullible Spaniard and sold him a rat - a fine thing to have running round the hotel when the public health inspector is also on the loose, Basil must find it before the inspector sees it and shuts the hotel down.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In several episodes, for example "Basil the Rat", we see a sign saying "Wooburn Grange Country Club" above the front driveway to Fawlty Towers. Wooburn Grange Country Club was the building filmed for the exterior of Fawlty Towers, it would seem the director forgot to remove this giant sign before filming.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (The Major is wandering cautiously around the bar with a gun, looking for the now departed rat)
      Basil: Do you need any help Major?
      Major: (pointing the shotgun at Basil) Don't move! Vermin!
      Basil: We haven't got any this week, Major. No Germans staying this week… may I have the gun?

    • (Last line)
      Sybil: I'm afraid it's started to rain again.

    • Sybil: Perhaps we could find a home for him (the rat)?
      Basil: All right, I'll put an ad in the papers. "Wanted: Kind home for enormous savage rodent"! (sotto vote) Answers to the name of Sybil!

    • Mr Carnegie: Lack of proper cleaning routines, dirty and greasy filters, greasy and encrusted deep fat fryer, dirty, cracked and stained food preparation surfaces, dirty, cracked and missing wall and floor tiles, dirty, marked and stained utensils, dirty and greasy interior surfaces of the ventilator hood...
      Basil: About the fat fryer...
      Mr Carnegie: ... Inadequate temperature control and storage of dangerous foodstuffs, storage of cooked and raw meat in same trays, storage of raw meat above confectionery with consequent dripping of meat juices onto cream products, refrigerator seals loose and cracked, ice box undefrosted, and refrigerator overstocked...
      Basil: Say no more.
      Mr Carnegie: ... Food handling routines suspect, evidence of smoking in food preparation area, dirty and grubby food handling overalls, lack of wash hand basin which you gave us a verbal assurance you'll have installed at our last visit six months ago and two dead pigeons in the water tank.
      Basil: Otherwise okay?

    • Manuel: ¡¿Qué ha pasado?!
      Polly: It's alright! It's alright, Manuel!
      Manuel: Is-is he alright?
      Polly: Yes, he's alright.
      Manuel: He no dead?
      Polly: No-no-no! It was just the Major letting the gun off.
      Manuel: The Major tried to kill Basil?!
      Sybil: Kill Basil?!
      Manuel: No, no, not Mr Fawlty! I mean Basil, my little—
      Polly: Ratatouille!
      Health Inspector: Basil… the little…
      Polly: Ratatouille. The chef calls the ratatouille "Basil" because he… puts quite a lot of basil in it.
      [Polly looks horribly distressed, damned by any response she gives.]
      Polly: Yes!
      Manuel: AHHHHHH!
      [Manuel runs off. Polly follows him. The inspector just stares after them.]
      Sybil: He's from Barcelona.

    • Basil: Cleaning behind the fridge, hmm?
      Terry: Well, you've got a lot on your mind. We didn't want to worry you, Mr Fawl—
      Basil: What d'ya mean, a… public health inspector coming, after a 24-hour warning, and a rat loose in the hotel, is that what you mean?
      Polly: He must have escaped, Mr Fawlty, and come back.
      Basil: Come back?
      [Polly looks at him defiantly.]
      Polly: They home.
      Basil: Oh, I see — he's a homing rat, is he?

    • Basil: Well, of course it's a rat! You have rats in Spain, don't you - or did Franco have them all shot?

    • Basil: Can't we get you on Mastermind, Sybil? Next contestant - Sybil Fawlty from Torquay, special subject the bleedin' obvious.

    • Basil: I'll put an ad in the papers. Wanted, kind home for enormous savage rodent. Answers to the name of Sybil.

    • Basil: Terry, the kitchen is filthy.
      Terry: Filthy Towers, eh?
      Basil: Now, look!
      Terry: Look, all kitchens are filthy, Mr. Fawlty. In fact the better the kitchen the filthier it is. Have you ever read George Orwell's experiences at Maxim's in Paris?
      Basil: No. Do you have a copy? I'll read it out in court!

    • Manuel: Mrs Fawlty, he here one year. He do no harm.
      Sybil: But, Manuel, listen: If they see your rat they could close the hotel down.
      (to Basil:) Perhaps it would be simpliest to have him put to S-L-E-E-P.
      Basil: Who? Him or the rat? We might get a discount if we had them both done.
      Manuel: "Spleep"?

    • (Basil notices that the Health Inspector has seen the rat poking out from the biscuit tin)
      Basil: . . . Would you care for a rat? Or . . .? Just . . . just the biscuits then please, Polly.

    • Manuel: I say to man in shop, 'Is rat.' He say, 'No, no, is special kind of hamster. Is Filigree Siberian hamster.' Only one in shop. He make special price., only five pound.

    • Basil: ... How's the cat. How's the cat? We're just about to take the life of a Public Health Inspector and you want to know 'how's the cat'. It's gone to London to see the Queen. What are we going to do?

  • NOTES (4)