"A Touch of Class"
is the pilot episode
in the first series of the BBC television sitcom Fawlty Towers
The episode introduces Basil Fawlty
, the cynical, sharp-tongued owner of the hotel; his nagging wife Sybil
; Manuel, the eager but hapless Spanish
waiter; Major Gowen, a semi-senile and often whisky-soaked permanent resident; and Polly, a maid/waitress and the only member of hotel staff with any common sense.
The episode opens with Sybil reminding Basil of many chores he must do: prepare the bill for some guests in a hurry to depart, hang a picture in the lobby, type the menus for lunch. While Basil is trying to have a snack, Sybil confronts him about an expensive advertisement
that he has placed in an upscale magazine, and he explains that he is trying to encourage a higher social class
of customer. Basil informs Sybil that Sir Richard and Lady Morris, an aristocratic couple who saw the advertisement, will be arriving that evening. Soon after, a leather-jacketed Cockney
guest, Danny Brown, turns up asking for a room, much to Basil's annoyance. Basil - who, it has been revealed, learned "Classical Spanish
" - is further put out when Mr. Brown shows that he can communicate better than he with Manuel, as he speaks fluent Spanish.
While Basil is on the phone to a Mr. O'Reilly (a "cowboy" builder featured in the following episode
) complaining about some recent shoddy workmanship, Lord Melbury, a well-dressed aristocrat, turns up out of the... Read More