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Fawlty Towers

Season 2 Episode 2

The Psychiatrist

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 26, 1979 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A psychiatrist and his wife come to stay and Basil becomes paranoid that Sybil is sharing their intimate details. Meanwhile, a charming guest that Basil loathes has snuck a woman into his room and Basil tries to get proof of that without looking like he's flirting with an attractive Australian guest.moreless

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  • As only 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers were ever made, to choose the best one would be like giving a fine to a homeless person but regardless this is the finest episode of Fawlty Towers.moreless

    In it; a psychiatrist and his wife are staying at the dysfunctional hotel and the prim Basil Fawlty doesn't want them to meddle in his "personal details." A guest that Basil despises has smuggled a girl into his room and he must catch him out while avoiding to be caught lusting after an attractive Australian guest. This is a rare episode that has sub - plots when usually they're paper - thin which means we can enjoy the classic sitcom in intricate plots and not just 2D ones. Everything that makes Fawlty Towers side - splitting is present and at its best; Basil Fawlty's prudishness, fawning and visible progression toward a breakdown, Sybil Fawlty's proof that she wears the pants or the pink dress of the family and confirmation that nothing in the hotel can go right. Populer side characters; the Spanish Porter Manual and waitress Polly are given very small parts in this episode as it's very Basil and Sybil - centric but when they do appear they don't disappoint. John Cleese proves he was the King of Laughs with physical humour and delivery of one - liners that are physically impossible not to laugh at and no complaints about performances and the ending will leave you in stiches. The Psychiatrist is gold.moreless
  • excellent

    A psychiatrist and his wife come to stay and Basil thinks Sybil is telling them all about his life. And gets extremely paranoid causing him to become his usuall rude self and therefore has another fight with his wife Thyis is another great episode very well written its a shame they only made twelve eisodes it is a big hit.

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Although the scene where Basil is showing the Australian woman to her room takes place after 9:00 pm, we can clearly see it's still daylight outside through the front door.

    • When Basil is "checking" the window of the psychiatrist's room, the window wobbles indicating that it isn't real glass.

    • In this episode, Basil asks if Mrs. Johnson is "the late president's wife", referring to former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.

    • A boom mic is clearly visible in the top right-hand corner of the screen for several seconds (until the camera moves down to compensate) when Basil is talking about swimming to France.

    • When Sybil slams the bedroom door on Basil, the set wall shakes.

    • Sybil tells Dr. Abbott that she and Basil bought the hotel in 1966, according to the scripts. Yet in the 1975 episode called "The Hotel Inspectors," Basil pleads with Mr. Walt, saying, "It's taken us twelve years…" This error will play again in the next episode, when Basil mentions twice that he's been running the hotel fifteen years, which means it's been in the Fawltys' hands since 1964.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Sybil: (to Basil) If you're going to grope a girl, have the gallantry to stay in the room with her while you're doing it, mmm?

    • Mr. Johnson: Is there anywhere they do French food?
      Basil: Yes, France, I believe. They seem to like it there. And the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You'd better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.

    • Basil: He gets paid for sticking his nose...
      Sybil: Oh, Basil...
      Basil: No, I'm going to have my say.. into people's private.. um.. details. Well, just speaking for myself, I don't want a total stranger nosing about in my private parts. Details!

    • Basil: And Mrs Abbott, how do you do?
      Mr Abbott: Doctor Abbott, actually.
      Basil: I'm sorry?
      Mr Abbott: Doctor Abbott.
      Mrs Abbott: Two doctors!
      Basil: You are two doctors?
      Mrs Abbott: Yes.
      Basil: Well, how did you become two doctors? That's most unusual. I mean, did you take the exams twice, or ...?
      Mr Abbott: No, my wife is a doctor.
      Mrs Abbott: I'm a doctor!
      Basil: You're a doctor, too! So you're three doctors.

    • Manuel: Crrazy! She go CRRRRAZY!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Normal BBC policy holds that the credits do not identify people without speaking parts. However, Imogen Bickford-Smith played such a vital role in this program that she had to get credited. (It's a wonder why this episode was not titled with her in mind.)
      Imogen Bickford-Smith would also appear in a minor role for the 1983 film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

    • Opening scene sign: WATERY FOWLS