Mr Hutchinson arrives at Fawlty Towers reception desk and immediately starts to irritate Basil with his over pompous and pedantic manner of speech. After an embarrassing incident when another guest, Mr Walt, standing at reception believes that he has just been told to P-Off by Basil, Sybil informs Basil that her friend Audrey has heard that there are three hotel inspectors in town.
When Mr Hutchinson makes a comment that in his professional activities he has a wide experience with hotels, Basil’s contempt turns into grovelling as he becomes convinced that Mr Hutchinson is in fact one of the dreaded hotel inspectors. Now, Basil is primed to cater to Mr Hutchinson’s every whim.
In the dining room Basil’s toadying backfires as Mr Hutchinson moans ad nauseam at anything and everything. Mr Walt is totally ignored as Mr Hutchinson becomes the centre of Basil’s universe. Later, Basil discovers from Sybil that Mr Hutchinson is in fact a spoons salesman. Now, Basil wants revenge.
Mr Walt casually mentions that he is in Torquay on business with two colleagues. Now, Basil thinks that Mr Walt is the hotel inspector.
When Mr Hutchinson starts to complain about a mix-up in the kitchen over orders, Basil chokes him to prevent Mr Walt getting a bad impression. Mr Hutchinson is rendered unconscious.
At reception an angered Mr Hutchinson starts to pummel Basil, but Basil offers nothing in return due to Mr Walt’s presence. Mr Hutchinson leaves the lobby after stating that he expects to receive no bill. Basil tries to bribe Mr Walt into not mentioning anything about the incident when he writes the hotel’s review, but Mr Walt explains that he just sells outboard motors. Now for Basil’s revenge on Mr Hutchinson.
Manuel stops Mr Hutchinson and tells him that Basil wants to say adios. Basil hits him with custard pies and Manuel pours milk into his briefcase. Then Mr Hutchinson is forced to the door and ejected. Basil walks back to reception and sees three businessmen in suits. They are obviously the hotel inspectors. Basil screams in terror.
The Hotel Inspectors definitely captures Basil’s paranoid side. Some hotel inspectors are in town and Basil quickly assumes that spoon salesman Mr Hutchinson is one of them. The grovelling Basil shows Mr Hutchinson and the catering to his every whim, despite Mr Hutchinson being a very difficult customer, is usually the sort of behaviour he reserves for the upper classes. This
theme is revisited in Basil the Rat when Basil shows deference to Mr Carnegie, the health inspector.
As usual, Polly becomes complicit in all of Basil’s shenanigans, helping Basil out when Mr Hutchinson throws a hissy fit after believing that Basil told him to shut up. Manuel even joins in when Basil says “goodbye” to Mr Hutchinson by pouring milk into his briefcase.
Sybil’s laziness is apparent again in this episode in the very opening moments. She is droning on to her friend Audrey while Mr Hutchinson is waiting to be attended to. She gets Basil from the office to attend to the waiting guest.
[Basil and Sybil having a tiff]:
Sybil: Don’t shout at me. I’ve had a difficult morning.
Basil: Oh, dear, what happened? Did you get entangled in the eiderdown again? Hmm? Not enough cream in your eclair?
Or did you have to talk to all your friends for so long that you didn’t have time to perm your ears?
[Mr Hutchinson displaying his overly pedantic method of speech]:
Mr Hutchinson: Now listen, there’s a documentary on BBC2 this evening about “Squawking Bird”,
the leader of the Blackfoot Indians in the late 1860s. Now this starts at 8.45 and goes on for approximately three-quarters of an hour.
Basil: I’m sorry, are you talking to me?
Mr Hutchinson: Indeed I am. Yes, now, is it possible for me to reserve the BBC2 channel for the duration of this televisual feast?
Basil: Why don’t you talk properly?
[Basil getting exasperated by Mr Hutchinson’s demands]:
Basil: Can we get something else, Mr Hutchinson? A tea cosy for your pepper pot, perhaps?
The hotel sign reads FAW TY TO ER.
The only episode to show Basil smoking.
Mr Hutchinson asks if the hotel has a table tennis table. Basil replies, Indeed we do. It is not … in absolutely mint condition.
But it certainly could be used in an emergency. John Cleese has stated that this is one his favourite lines in the entire series.
As Basil enters the “private room”, a camera is reflected in the glass door pane.
Mr Hutchinson wants a documentary reserved for him to watch on BBC2 [see quote above]. This is one of several channels run by the British Broadcasting
The Tv program Mr Hutchinson wants to watch is about the Blackfoot Indians [see quote above]. This is the collective name of
four American Indian tribes in Canada and Montana.
Bernard Cribbins — Mr Hutchinson
James Cossins — Mr Walt
Geoffrey Morris — John
Peter Brett — Brian