It’s a hot night in Torquay and Manuel has the night off because it is his birthday. Sybil is flirting with a guest in the bar while Basil is being given some attention by Mrs Pegnoir, a French antiques dealer. In the lobby, Basil catches Polly snogging with her boyfriend. He tells her to change her revealing top as they are running a highly respectable hotel.
With his prudishness primed, Basil refuses to give a young couple, Alan and Jean, a double room when he realises that they are not married. After much bickering, Sybil intervenes and gives them the room they want.
When Alan needs some batteries for his electric razor, he goes to reception to ask Basil if there are any chemists shops still open. Basil gets the wrong end of the stick and launches into an angry puritanical rage. Eventually realising his mistake, he walks into the office and puts his head into his hands.
Later, Sybil and Basil are lying in bed reading when the front door bell goes. Basil goes down to let in a drunk Mrs Pegnoir who has forgotten her pass key. Inadvertently, he gets into a compromising position with her just as Alan and Jean walk in. Making his excuses, he runs back upstairs to bed. Another compromising position occurs when Manuel comes home drunk, this is witnessed by Alan.
The next morning, Mr and Mrs Lloyd, Jean’s mother and stepfather, arrive at the hotel. From then on Basil sees some very strange goings-on between the Lloyd’s, Alan and Jean and Polly. Basil accidentally walks in on Jean and Mr Lloyd hugging, not realising that they are related. He tries to delay Mrs Lloyd from going into her room and then has to do the same again when he sees Polly hugging Mr Lloyd. Not only that but he also sees Polly dressing herself after coming out of Alan and Jean’s room ( really she had been trying on a dress ). Totally disgusted, Basil tells the Lloyds to leave and prepares to fire Polly.
When Sybil tells Basil that he is mistaken and that the Lloyds are related to Alan and Jean and also that Polly is a friend of the family, Basil is forced to reverse his decision. Running up to the Lloyds room he is preparing himself to say that he made a mistake. On entering the room this becomes I’m so sorry but my wife has made a mistake!
The next day, Sybil goes to visit her friend, Audrey. Basil is left on his own with the flirtatious Mrs Pegnoir. As he undresses for bed that evening, he hears a knocking on his bedroom door. Thinking it is Mrs Pegnoir, he tells her to go away. It is actually Sybil, and when she is finally let in, Basil tells her that he was having a terrible dream. Sybil informs Basil that she thinks she heard a burglar downstairs, so Basil goes down in his underpants to investigate. In fact, the burglar is really Manuel sleeping off a hangover and Basil bashes him over the head with a frying pan. Basil ends up lying on top of Manuel with no trousers on just as Alan and Jean and the Lloyds are entering. Nonplussed by his behaviour, Mr Lloyd adds, we’ve been to a wedding!
Along with The Psychiatrist, The Wedding Party portrays Basil’s prudish attitude to sex. From the off, when Polly walks into reception in a revealing top with her boyfriend, Basil’s nose is severely put out of joint. He tells her to change, and then has to contend with the flirtatious couple Alan and Jean who want a double-room. He tells them they can’t have one as they aren’t married and mutters something about it being Against the Law of England. Basil’s imagination works over-time in this episode, and he eventually manages to convince himself that Polly and two other couples are engaged in some sort of strange sex orgy. When Basil finally discovers that he has misunderstood absolutely everything that has been going on, he tries to blame Sybil.
Throughout this episode Basil has to contend with the drunken amorous advances of Mrs Pegnoir. He rejects them, probably because he is scared stiff of Sybil’s reaction and because he has forgotten how to react in such situations. When we see that Basil and Sybil sleep in single beds, it perhaps explains why Basil is jealous of other peoples’ canoodling.
[Basil inquiring about Sybil’s friend]:
Basil: How’s Audrey?
Sybil: She’s in a terrible state.
Basil: Ah, good, good.
[Basil talking to Major Gowen]:
Basil: Did you ever see that film “How to Murder your Wife?”
Major Gowen: “How to Murder your Wife?”
Basil: Yes, awfully good, I saw it six times.
[Basil discussing one of Sybil’s irritating habits]:
Basil: [about Sybil’s laugh]It reminds me of someone machine-gunning a seal.
The hotel sign reads FAW TY TOWER with a crooked second W.
In the final scene, the actor Andrew Sachs was injured when he made a sudden move and John Cleese accidentally hit him with a saucepan.
The first time we see the Fawltys bedroom – they each have single beds.
When the doorbell goes, Basil moans that someone has forgotten their pass key. He goes down to let them in but has to slide two bolts back to open the door. Even with a passkey no-one would be able to gain access!
Basil asks the Major if he has ever seen the film How to Murder Your wife [see quote above]. This was a 1965 comedy film starring Jack Lemmon.
Basil, almost certainly lying, mentions that he killed four men in the Korean War. The Korean war was a cold war conflict between Communist North Korea and South Korea in the 1950s.
While lying in bed, Basil is reading the novel Jaws by Peter Benchley.
Basil is listening to the music of the 19th-century composer Frederic Chopin.
Mrs Pegnoir mentions the 19th century English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Lord Byron was as much known for his prodigious sex life as he was for his poetry.
Yvonne Gillan — Mrs Peignoir
Conrad Phillips — Mr Lloyd
Diana King — Mrs Lloyd
Trevor Adams –Alan
April Walker — Jean
Jay Neill — Bar Guest