‘A Touch of Class’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.


The first episode of ‘Fawlty Towers’ introduces Basil Fawlty. He meets the mild-mannered Lord Melbury who comes to the hotel in Torquay. This is a pretty good episode from the series, as it establishes Basil’s snobbery in wanting to raise the hotel standards as well as impress Lord Melbury.

Michael Gwynn guest stars as Lord Melbury in the episode. It’s amusing how Lord Melbury takes advantage of Basil’s pandering to him. This includes asking Basil to take out money for him out of his own pocket. It turns out Lord Melbury is a confidence trickster. Basil is not happy when he finds out!

Robin Ellis guest stars as Danny Brown in the episode. Robin Ellis is well-known for starring in the original ‘Poldark’ drama series on BBC television in the 1970s. Danny turns out to be from the CID, working on a case to expose Lord Melbury as a confidence trickster. Polly learns of this from Danny.

There’s also Martin Wyldeck and Pat Symons as Sir Richard and Lady Morris. These two come to the hotel after Basil put an expensive advertisement in the papers. Sir Richard and Lady Morris are shocked by Basil’s behaviour to Lord Melbury at the end of the episode and they leave off in disgust.

I love the slapstick and miscommunication between Basil and Manuel during the episode. This includes Manuel having ‘too much butter on those trays’ and Basil telling Manuel to take people’s cases up to their rooms. It was funny when Basil told Manuel to ‘throw it away’ with that grapefruit.

‘A Touch of Class’ is a decent beginning to the ‘Fawlty Towers’ TV series. It sets things up nicely with Basil established as a snob and being a really bad, rude hotel manager. It was also funny with the scenes between Basil and Manuel and how it develops with Lord Melbury as a confidence trickster.

The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Fawlty Towers’ – The Complete Collection (Remastered) DVD, there’s a commentary with producer/director John Howard Davies and there’s a commentary with John Cleese.

‘A Touch of Class’ rating – 7/10

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