Concept

The Germans

Summary
"The Germans" (named on some releases as "Fire Drill") is the sixth episode of the BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers. In the episode, while suffering the effects of concussion, Basil Fawlty repeatedly offends some German guests. Despite warning his staff "Don't mention the war", he keeps ignoring his own advice. His insults culminate in a goose-stepping impersonation of Adolf Hitler. Sybil, in hospital for a few days, instructs Basil on several tasks he must do at the hotel, including running a required fire drill and hanging a moose head. At the hotel, Basil has a conversation with the senile Major Gowen, who tells a Test match anecdote whose in-character comic basis is to have him reject a racist term (Indians aren't "niggers"), only to unexpectedly replace it with another (Indians are "wogs"). The Major also expresses his dislike of Germans when Basil tells him a German group is due the next day. Basil then has several pratfalls with Manuel while trying to hang the moose head, including many calls from Sybil reminding him to do so. At one point, he leaves the head on the hotel counter to get a hammer, during which Manuel practises his English from behind the counter; a confused Major thinks the moose head is talking. The next morning Basil successfully mounts the head. After another call from Sybil, Basil prepares to start the fire drill, but ends up creating confusion with the guests between the fire alarm and the burglar alarm (with the fire alarm being "a semitone higher" than the burglar alarm). Matters are made worse when Manuel actually causes a fire in the kitchen, setting off the alarm, but Basil, unaware of this, assures the guests it is only a drill. After starting the alarm, he tries to use the extinguisher on the fire, which bursts and sprays him in the face, blinding him. Manuel races out of the kitchen and tries to help Basil, only to accidentally knock him out with a frying pan. Basil wakes up in hospital after suffering concussion, and Sybil attests to Dr Finn that Basil cannot cope with the hotel alone.
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