‘The Anniversary’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.


In this ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode, it’s Basil and Sybil’s wedding anniversary. Some of their friends have been secretly invited by Basil to come to the hotel to celebrate. But Sybil believes that Basil has forgotten about their wedding anniversary. She leaves in a huff in the car, making Basic go in a panic.

When the friends arrive at the hotel, Basil covers up Sybil’s absence by telling them that she’s ill. The story keeps changing every time Basil tells it to them, from being ill to having her legs ‘puffed up’. Polly gets involved with Basil’s cover story, as he gets her to unwilling put on Sybil’s wig and be her.

Behind-the-scenes, this episode got more rehearsal time compared to other ‘Fawlty Towers’ episodes in the making. This is because of a BBC strike that happened at the time, allowing the actors to rehearse for another week. However, John Cleese seems to fumble on one of his lines. 😀

The line in question is “Look, it’s perfectly Sybil! Simple’s not well!” I’m sure it should have been the other way round with ‘Sybil’ and ‘simple’. I’m surprised they didn’t reshoot that for the episode. But the character performances in this episode are stronger and entertaining, thanks to rehearsal time.

The guest cast are as follows. There’s Ken Campbell as Roger and Una Stubbs as Alice. There’s also Pat Keen as Virginia and Robert Arnold as Arthur. And there’s Roger Hume as Reg and Denyse Alexander as Kitty. The episode also features Christine Shaw as Audrey, Sybil’s friend in the TV series.

Also in the episode, Manuel attempts to make a paella for Basil and Sybil’s wedding anniversary. I enjoyed it when Manuel complains to Mr. Fawlty about Terry. who competes with him to make a paella as well. It was funny when Manuel interrupted Basil drinking out of a bottle and soaking him.

‘The Anniversary’ is a very well-written, well-performed character-driven episode from the ‘Fawlty Towers’ series. It does highlight Basil’s relationship with Sybil very well and how he thinks of her for the wedding anniversary. Although why he couldn’t tell the truth to his friends is beyond me in this.

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.

‘The Anniversary’ rating – 8/10

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