From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Fawlty Towers was a situation comedy broadcast by the BBC in 1975 and 1978. It was created and written by then husband-and-wife team John Cleese and Connie Booth, who both played leading roles. It was broadcast in two seasons of six episodes each.
Fawlty Towers is set in a fictional hotel in Torquay, Devon. The hotel and the characters found within are based on a real hotel run by a man called Donald Sinclair. The Monty Python team encountered this hotel while filming Monty Python's Flying Circus. John Cleese plays Basil Fawlty, a rude, nosy, snobby social climber who shows contempt for his guests. He is married to Sybil (played by Prunella Scales). The hotel employs Manuel (Andrew Sachs), a waiter newly arrived from Barcelona, who speaks very little English, and whom Basil frequently upbraids and physically attacks, as well as Polly (Connie Booth), an art student and part-time waitress. The episodes frequently use a mixture of verbal gags, some slapstick and a lot of awkward and cringeworthy scenarios.
References to Basil Fawlty and Fawlty Towers are often used by hotel reviewers as a term of scorn for particularly bad hotel experiences. Pilot episodes for an American remake have been made a number of times, and a film was planned.