Prepare the Waldorf salads, because Basil Fawlty is heading back to the screen. Castle Rock Entertainment announced that the British sitcom Fawlty Towers is getting a revival, with John Cleese set to return as writer and star. His daughter, Camilla Cleese, will also write and star in the show’s return. Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Michele Reiner, and Derrick Rossi executive produce for Castle Rock Television, which is developing the project. At this time, no additional cast has been revealed.
The series originally premiered in 1975 with Season 1 and 1979 for its second season, with both seasons consisting of just six episodes. It followed Basil Fawlty (Cleese), a cynical man who struggled to keep his hotel and his marriage together. In its short run, the show offered no shortage of problems for Basil, including the difficult guests, hotel inspectors, and more. Its comedy style is similar to Cleese‘s work in the Monty Python franchise, and even contains its own running jokes—including the hotel sign always displaying anagrams of its name.
The original series was written by Cleese and Connie Booth. Along with Cleese, it starred Booth as Polly Sherman, Prunella Scales as Sybil Fawlty, Andrew Sachs as Manuel, Ballard Berkeley as Major Gowen, Gilly Flower as Miss Agatha Tibbs, and Renee Roberts as Miss Ursula Gatsby. In 2000, the British Film Institute ranked the show #1 in its 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. In 2019, a panel of comedy experts for Radio Times heralded it as the greatest British TV sitcom.
What Is the Fawlty Towers Revival About?
For now, a majority of plot details are being kept under wraps. However, we do know that the revival will again focus on Basil, who remains “over-the-top, cynical, and misanthropic.” The revival will follow how he navigates the modern world—and, yes, he will run a hotel. To do so, he will team up with the daughter he only just learned about to “tempt fate” and continue the business. Given Cleese‘s and the original show’s track record, viewers may also expect the revival to carry a similar humor as its predecessors.
About George‘s involvement with the revival, Cleese said:
“What I like about Matt is that, unlike many producers, he really ‘gets’ the creative process. When we first met, he offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember. By dessert we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner. Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”
“Meeting John and Camilla was one of the great thrills of my life. I’m obsessed with Fawlty Towers and the legendary characters he created. I’ve watched the first two seasons so many times I have lost count. I dreamed of one day being involved in a continuation of the story. Now it’s come true.”
The revival does not yet have a projected release window. The original run is currently airing on BBC2 and is available to stream on BritBox.