Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom made by the BBC and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975. Only twelve episodes were produced, but the series has had a lasting and powerful influence on later shows.
The show is set in a fictional hotel Fawlty Towers in the Devon town of Torquay on the "English Riviera".
'Ballard Berkeley' (qv) made his professional stage debut in 1928, and performed for many years in London's ...
, played by Ballard Berkeley
, is a slightly senile, amiable old soldier who is a permanent resident at the hotel. He is one of the few guests whom Basil seems to like. This is because of his former military status, making him a symbol of the establishment
status that Basil craves. He is often introduced as their "oldest resident", and in the episode "Waldorf Salad", Basil reveals the Major has lived there for seven years. He enjoys talking about the world outside, especially the cricket scores and workers' strikes, and is always on the lookout for the newspaper. In the episode "The Germans
", he shows that he has trouble forgiving the Germans because of the wars; the best he can say is that German women make good card players. In the same episode, he also demonstrates his outdated racial attitudes when he comments about the ethnic difference between "wogs
" and "niggers
" — but in a manner innocent of malice or bigotry. Despite his good intentions, the Major can cause Basil's plans to go awry, notably in the episode "Communication Problems
", when Basil tries his best to keep the money he won in a bet a secret from Sybil.
Major Gowen Photos
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