Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Unseen Fawlty Towers

I dreamt there was an as yet unbroadcast 'last' episode of Fawlty Towers that explained the whole saga, tying up lots of loose ends and things alluded to through the two series. The dream took the form of a BBC documentary about it. The sort you see on BBC4.

We knew Basil wanted to escape from the hotel and have a different life, and the documentary showed various scenes when he was up to something as yet unseen, being crafty etc. Some of these scenes in the dream from the show were actually real and well known, others were made up for the dream, but in the dream they were familiar and real.

We are also shown at various points Basil switching off TV sets in the hotel lounge and reception, or changing channels with a 'We won't watch that!' kind of flippancy.

As explained in this last unbroadcast episode, it turns out Basil was a writer and he was writing scripts for a BBC comedy. His experiences day to day running a hotel in Torquay as seen in the series are actually what he wrote about.

Indeed, the whole thing came complete circle when, in the very last shot of the episode, Basil's wife looks in a Radio Times saying.. "oh I haven't seen this for years! I wonder what is on telly tonight..." and opens it up as the camera slowly reveals she sees a comedy called Fawlty Towers set in a hotel in Torquay.

So what we were seeing was the series that Basil had been writing. Art imitating life dressed up as art. The ultimate clever clever artifice.

John Cleese says he decided to remove this episode from the series as to retain the mystery.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

St Patrick's Day

The day before St. Patrick's Day, on Monday 16th March, I noticed the owners of a pub down the road had put up on their front wall a large fabric St. Patrick's Day banner. It took a while to notice, but I realised it had the incorrect date on it - Friday 17th March. I suggested that the banner would be in that case quite old as last year the 17th fell on a Monday.

As the cider flowed and we pondered some surrounding issues in the pub over the road, I realised it could be possible that the banner was from the future. But then I couldn't work out how far in the future a Friday 17th would be.

This got me thinking.. remember at the end of 2008 they added an extra second onto the year to account for the Earth slowing down? (Which was pretty amazing in it's own right). Well, perhaps the landlord was actually a brilliant renegade astrophysicist who had worked out, accounting for EVERYTHING, that in 2009, 17th March was actually on Friday and he was making a stand.

Either way, I didn't go in as the banner wasn't ironed that well.