Fawlty Towers

Season 1 Episode 5

Gourmet Night

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 17, 1975 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
99 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

To bring the right type of crowd into the hotel Basil establishes a Gourmet Night and invites some A - list guests however in the nature of Fawlty Towers, things don't go as planned.

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  • the best episode of the series

    Fawlty Towers is a classic among all the classics. This is the series that got me into watching Brit-Coms. This episode is definately the best of the whole series Fawlty Towers. This show was very well written and I can relate to Mr. Fawlty! Sometimes I can relate with him so well that it scares me! He is very temperamental, annoyed, and stressed in every episode. But it is not necessarily his personality. He tries very hard to think happy thoughts and gets annoyed when other people do not act happy when he says hello to them. He is very stressed because of the business and just over life in general. But it is not really his fault. It is everyone else, and the stress of life and owning a business. But what would be worse? Owning your own business or working for some other sap?

    This is the series that got me into watching Brit-Coms. Thank you Mr. John Cleese for bringing much-needed riotous laughter into my life !moreless
  • well written

    To bring the right type of crowd into the hotel Basil establishes a Gourmet Night. But as useuall nothing goes right and ends up having to get the duck twice as he steps in the first one but picks up a trifle instead and after you think nothing else can go wrong with his costumers he reveals a trifle instead of duck :D:)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Basil is making duck noises, they continue even when his mouth is closed.

    • Goof: When Basil is busily typing the new menu you can see the shadow of the boom mic on the wall to his right.

    • When the car stalls, Basil gives it the count of three to restart its engine, but doesn't try turning the key again before giving the car a "damn good thrashing".

    • At the beginning of Gourmet Night, Manuel fetches Basil from outside to answer the phone. Basil enters the building first, but somehow Manuel gets to reception first.

    • When the duck falls to the kitchen floor, a technician can be seen crouching behind one of the dining tables.

    • "André's Restaurant" from Gourmet Night was 294 Preston Road, Harrow

    • When Manuel has burst through the kitchen doors and is dancing around with the duck on his foot, watch Connie Booth (Polly) in the background, she starts sniggering.

    • You can see one of the crew behind the swing doors to the kitchen during the scene where Manuel knocks the duck out of Basil's hands when coming through the doors.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Sybil: Can I help?
      Basil: Yes! Go and kill yourself!

    • Colonel Hall: (reading from menu) Duck with Orange, duck with cherries, duck surprise.
      Mrs. Hall: What's duck surprise?
      Basil Fawlty: Er… that's duck without oranges or cherries.

    • Polly: Mr Fawlty!
      Basil: Yes?
      Polly: Can I have a word with you?
      Basil: Ah, yes. [to the Twitchens] Oh, ah, this is Polly. She will be serving you later this evening.
      Polly: [looking at the Twitchens] Ah…
      Basil: Well?
      Polly: It's Kurt.
      Basil: Yes?
      Polly: He's potted… the shrimp.
      Basil: What?
      Polly: He's potted the shrimps!
      Basil: Shrimps? We're not having shrimps tonight, Polly.
      [Basil turns back to lead the Twitchens off.]
      Basil: Now, eh, would you—
      Polly: He's soused!
      [Everyone turns back to stare at her outburst.]
      Polly: … the herrings.
      Basil: What're you on about?
      Polly: He's pickled the onions, and he smashed the eggs in his cups…
      [Polly mimes a dizzy drunk with rolling eyes.]
      Polly: [singing] under the table…
      [Basil turns at the Twitchens.]
      Basil: Excuse me.
      [He leans over to Polly.]
      Basil: [whispering] Have you been drinking?!
      Polly: No, not me!
      Basil: [whispering] Well, will you behave yourself?!

    • Ronald: They're the wrong shape.
      Basil: Oh dear. What shape do you usually have? Mickey Mouse shape? Smarties shape? Amphibious landing craft shape? Poke in the eye shape?

    • Basil: (yelling at his car when it breaks down whilst trying to deliver a replacement dinner) Come on! Come on! Start! Start, you vicious bastard! Come on! Oh my God! I'm warning you! If you don't start... I'll count to three! 1, 2, 3! Right! That's it! (leaving the car, he starts yelling at it) I've had enough! You've tried it on just once too often! Right! Well, don't say I haven't warned you! I've laid it on the line for you time and time again! Right! Well, this is it! I'm going to give you a damn good thrashing! (runs off, then returns holding a flimsy tree branch and starts beating the car over the bonnet.)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Elizabeth Benson appears first in 'Gourmet Night' (series one epiode five) as the mother of the highly strung child, she then reappears as Mrs White in 'The Kipper and the Corpse' (series two episode four) whose wardrobe is temporary home to the corpse.

    • John Cleese did not learn to drive a car until the year after this show was recorded. The BBC needed a double to drive Basil Fawlty's car (Basil's faulty car?). Look closely as Basil drives with the duck into the Fawlty Towers parking lot. After Polly leaves the scene, the picture jump-cuts. Only on the other half of the jump-cut do we see Cleese.

    • Opening scene sign: WA RTY TOWELS