Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers (1975)

44 mistakes in season 1

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Revealing mistake: When the Colonel first meets Basil, the same shot is used twice of the Colonel twitching.

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A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Visible crew/equipment: At the end of the end of the episode where everyone is cleaning up, there is a shadow of the boom mic on the wall.

xx:xx:xx

The Builders - S1-E2

Deliberate mistake: When Basil is arguing with Polly and eventually decides to call O'Reilly, he trips over the gnome. However when we see Basil come out from behind the desk, he takes the gnome out of a side gap in the desk, perfectly out of reach of Basil tripping over it.

xx:xx:xx

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Audio problem: In the first scene when Basil is trying to repair his car, when he tries to start the engine, the engine sounds are totally out of sync with Basil turning the ignition key.

xx:xx:xx

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: There appears to be a very obvious splice edit in this episode. When Basil manages to get Kurt off him after being pinned to the kitchen table, he pushes Kurt against the wall knocking him out. Before this Basil is lying flat on the table and we never see him get up to a standing position beforehand.

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Fawlty Towers mistake picture

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: When Basil goes to fetch the branch to give the car a thrashing after it breaks down, the car manages to move onto the pavement all by itself.

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The Germans - S1-E6

Revealing mistake: When Basil is turning the fire alarm on and off, he puts the key next to the red box and turns it. However, there isn't a slot for the key to actually go in; he's just holding it close and turning it.

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David Mercier

The Builders - S1-E2

Continuity mistake: When Sybil catches Basil with the closed-off dining room and they start an argument, the door to the rooms upstairs is closed, two shots later it is open, but nobody came or went that way during their conversation.

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Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Revealing mistake: When Basil is out of the car and shouting at it after its final breakdown, you can see a crew member reflected in the right hand side of the windscreen giving John Cleese cues. It's not Cleese himself, as the reflection remains after he runs out of shot to get the tree branch, and the reflection doesn't mimic every action performed on screen.

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UKFilmFan

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Visible crew/equipment: When Basil runs to change the menu and Sybil says "why?" you can see a shadow of the boom on the pigeon holes at the side.

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James Warrender
Fawlty Towers mistake picture

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: When Basil is driving home the second time, he is turning into a street where a van is parked. When he turns the street is dry. In the next scene where he is backing away from the van, the street is all wet.

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Per Mikkelsen

The Germans - S1-E6

Audio problem: When Basil has lost the key to the fire alarm he decides to throw the typewriter at it. The typewriter sound hitting the (hidden) floor is a sort of scraping sound. Surely the typewriter would have crashed down or smashed.

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Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: When Basil's car breaks down for the final time after reversing away from the van, watch closely on the garden path of the house right next to the car. The garden gate is open, and you can see it swing shut (look at the black shape just above the hedge) just as Basil says "One, two three." The gate was shut when he first reversed around the corner, but was open again after the shot cuts back to the car (after it's moved to the right along the pavement).

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UKFilmFan

The Germans - S1-E6

Deliberate mistake: When Basil asks Manuel to pull the hose on the fire extinguisher, the top of the hose falls off easily, resulting Basil to be squirted in the face. The bit where the hose is attached to squirts water out diagonally, but this would cause water not to go down the hose. This fire extinguisher was especially constructed to make sure the water was directed at Basil's face.

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The Germans - S1-E6

Visible crew/equipment: When Basil runs from the restaurant and into the office, as the door opens to the hallway you can see a monitor in the office, showing what we can see. The director must be watching the action from in there.

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The Germans - S1-E6

Audio problem: When Basil claps at the end of the opening hospital scene, the sound happens just before he actually claps.

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Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Visible crew/equipment: Just after Basil gets the duck from Andre, he tells Manuel to get the trolley. Basil then walks into the door, and the duck goes flying. You can briefly see the arm of the crewman holding the door closed. A few seconds later, Manuel comes through the door and stands on the duck. For about 5 seconds you can see the crewman's face.

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A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Continuity mistake: When Basil brings in Lord Melbury's cases, they swap hands between the exterior and interior shots.

xx:xx:xx

David Mercier

The Germans - S1-E6

Visible crew/equipment: After Basil has turned the fire alarm off, a boom mic is very clear in the top corner of the screen.

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A Demon

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Audio problem: When Basil is pretending to be a duck and quacking, you can tell it is false because the quacking stops a second after Basil stops pretending to quack.

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OliviaD3601

A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Audio problem: Throughout the episode the picture Basil is distracted from putting up has no glass covering on it. However, when he smashes it at the end you can hear the distinct sound of glass breaking.

xx:xx:xx

David Mercier
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The sound isn't glass as you can see just as he goes to smash the picture there is no glass on the picture.

The Builders - S1-E2

Continuity mistake: Towards the end of the episode, a couple of scenes before Mr Stubbs arrives, we see Basil start up the tape player prior to hiding in the kitchen. The garden gnome on the desk is right next to the tape player at this point. When Sybil turns the tape off the player has rotated 45 degrees or so (despite nobody else having come into reception in the intervening time) and the gnome is now further along the desk towards the camera as we look on the wide shot. The gnome in the next shot is seen beside the checking-in book when Basil wanders out of and back into the office a couple of scenes later, yet when Mr Stubbs is asking about the lintel for the new door shortly after that and we see Sybil writing in the book, the gnome has moved out of shot altogether.

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Neil Jones

A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Visible crew/equipment: When the bald hotel guest asks Basil for his drinks and slams his hand on the table, in the next shot a boom mic can be seen briefly as it is pulled away.

xx:xx:xx

Dwarf

The Builders - S1-E2

Revealing mistake: In the scene where Polly brings Mr O'Reilly a cup of tea, it is obvious on several occasions that there is nothing at all in the cup. Not only does he hold it in such a way that you can see inside, but when Basil snatches it away nothing spills out.

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David Mercier

A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Visible crew/equipment: Near the start of the episode, after the guest has told Basil that he will only be staying until Sunday, Basil walks from the dining room to the office, and the shadow of the camera following Basil can be seen in the reflection of the studio lights in the picture above the Drawing Room door.

xx:xx:xx

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Audio problem: When Basil impersonates the duck, the sound effect used continues when his mouth is closed.

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A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Visible crew/equipment: When Basil asks the family sitting by the window to move, a boom mic can be seen in the top right hand corner.

xx:xx:xx

Dwarf

The Builders - S1-E2

Continuity mistake: After hitting O'Reilly, Sybil goes to the desk and grabs the phone. In the first shot, Sybil grabs the phone with her right hand, she puts it next to her ear and then put her left hand on the microphone. She turns her back to Basil and O'Reilly. In the next shot, the phone has not been put next to the ear yet, while Sybil's left hand is not on the microphone but on the cable.

xx:xx:xx

Great_Captain

The Builders - S1-E2

Revealing mistake: In the part where John Cleese is smacking Manuel's head against the place where the dining room doors are supposed to be, you can see very that Manuel is kicking the wall right when his head is supposed to hit it, creating the sound of his head hitting the wall. Check it out because it's very obvious and hard to miss.

xx:xx:xx

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Continuity mistake: When Manuel fetches Basil from outside, Basil enters the building first in the exterior shots, but Manuel gets to reception first in the interior ones.

xx:xx:xx

David Mercier

The Wedding Party (a.k.a. Sex) - S1-E3

Visible crew/equipment: Just after Basil and an old woman leave the kitchen, the scene cuts to the interior of Mr. Lloyd's room. As soon as the first shot of the interior begins, a boom mic is visible for a split second at the bottom of shot.

xx:xx:xx

Casual Person

The Germans - S1-E6

Other mistake: When Basil shuts Manuel in the burning kitchen and slams the door, the walls shake.

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Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Visible crew/equipment: At the start of the episode, when Basil follows Manuel into the hotel, the shadow of a crew member holding a boom mic can be seen bottom right as the camera follows them across the terrain.

xx:xx:xx

Neil Jones

Gourmet Night (a.k.a. Gourmet's Paradise) - S1-E5

Visible crew/equipment: At the end, the stage lights can be seen in the silver lid.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

The Builders - S1-E2

Visible crew/equipment: When Stubbs says to keep the door closed, a boom shadow is seen on the wall by the door.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

The Builders - S1-E2

Revealing mistake: The umbrella Sybil uses to hit O'Reilly and Basil with is padded to protect the actors.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

The Builders - S1-E2

Revealing mistake: Look at the skirting board of the section of wall Basil hits Manuel against. There are black shoe marks on the paint from previous takes where Manuel kicks the board.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Revealing mistake: When Manuel throws the grapefruit at the other guests, you can see the woman closest to the camera react before Manuel throws it.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

A Touch of Class - S1-E1

Revealing mistake: When Basil sends the grapefruit flying, we see Polly go through the doors to the kitchen. However, if you look closely at the doors as she goes through you will see just a plain wall. Not the kitchen as is seen in other episodes.

xx:xx:xx

A Demon

The Builders - S1-E2

Other mistake: In the end credits, Major Gowen's surname is incorrectly spelled "Gowan."

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The Builders - S1-E2

Visible crew/equipment: When the Major says "He lost it you know" to Polly before entering the dining room, the silhouette of a boom mic can be seen on the top right hand of shot.

xx:xx:xx

Casual Person

The Builders - S1-E2

Revealing mistake: When Basil smashes Manuel against the wall where the dining room is meant to be, we can see it is made out of cardboard. Notice how it begins to fall off, even though it is meant to be sealed and covered in wallpaper.

xx:xx:xx

Casual Person

The Wedding Party (a.k.a. Sex) - S1-E3

Revealing mistake: Basil goes back to the second floor chasing after Polly. As he passes the last part of the banister, he touches the edge of it and it wobbles like rubber.

xx:xx:xx

Casual Person

The Hotel Inspectors - S1-E4

Visible crew/equipment: When Basil enters the "Private" room, the camera is reflected on the glass door pane.

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Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: This is way too vague to be accurate. The office (which has private on both doors) is visited by Basil on innumerable occasions throughout this episode and so needs to be more precise.

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Quotes

Mrs Richards: And another thing. I expect to be able to see the sea.
Basil: [whispering to Manuel.] Deaf, Mad and Blind. [To Mrs Richards.] Yes, this is the view as far as I can remember... Yes, yes it is.
Mrs Richards: When I pay for a view, I expect something more interesting than that.
Basil: But that is Torquay, madam.
Mrs Richards: Well it's not good enough.
Basil: Well may I ask what you expected to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain...
Mrs Richards: [interrupting.] Don't be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.
Basil: You CAN see the sea! It's over there between the land and the sky!
Mrs Richards: I'd need a telescope to see that.
Basil: Well might I suggest you move to a hotel closer to the sea. Or preferably in it.
Mrs Richards: Now listen to me. I'm not satisified but I've decided to stay. HOWEVER, I shall expect a deduction.
Basil: Why, because Krakatoa isn't erupting at the moment?
Mrs Richards: Because the room is cold, the bath is too small, the view is invisible and the radio doesn't work.
Basil: No, the radio works. You don't.

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Trivia

Melody Lang, who plays Mrs. Taylor in this episode, is Andrew Sachs' wife.

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