‘Communication Problems’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.


Series 2 of ‘Fawlty Towers’ begins with one of my favourite episodes. This is the one that features Mrs Richards, an annoying, deaf old lady who comes to stay at the hotel. Basil finds Mrs. Richard frustrating, especially when she keeps demanding things and when she keeps saying “What?!” a lot.

Joan Sanderson guest stars as Mrs. Richards in this episode. She delivers a superb performance as this annoying, deaf old lady really well and I enjoy every scene with her between Basil, Manuel and Polly. I enjoyed that scene of miscommunication between Mrs. Richards and Manuel from the start.

Also in the episode, Basil wins some money on a horse called Dragonfly. He tries to keep it a secret from Sybil, in order for her not to know that he won some money on a horse. This he fails terribly, especially when he asks the Major to look after the money for him and the Major’s in his own world.

It also turns out that Mrs. Richards has lost some money in her room. When the Major reveals he has Basil’s money, Sybil believes that it’s Mrs. Richards’ money instead. It was so funny when Basil went all panic-stricken. He tries to explain that the money is his to Mrs. Richards, but she won’t listen.

Another of my favourite moments in the episode is when Basil tries to tell Manuel that he ‘knows nothing’ in order to keep his winnings on the horse a secret from Sybil. But when Basil asks Manuel to tell the truth about the money to Mrs. Richards, Manuel says that famous line. “I know nothing!”

This episode features the first appearance of Brian Hall as Terry the Chef at ‘Fawlty Towers’. Terry would become a regular character for the rest of the series, even though he doesn’t have a regular credit. Terry is a smart, laid-back, cockney chef who does his job well and is really likeable all around.

‘Communication Problems’ is one of my favourites and one of the best from the series. Mrs. Richards stands out for me in this episode and it was so funny to see how she became annoying through her deafness to everyone else around her. It was also funny how Basil interacted with her.

The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of ‘Fawlty Towers’ – The Complete Collection (Remastered) DVD, there’s a commentary with director Bob Spiers and there’s a commentary with John Cleese.

‘Communication Problems’ rating – 10/10

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