Due to the 500 word limit this is a film only review
The idea behind Fawlty Towers came from a hotel John Cleese and the other Pythons were staying at one time. The owner was apparently so rude to all the customers that all the python team except Cleese left to go to another hotel. Cleese stayed on observing this rudest of all hotel managers and the idea of Fawlty towers was born.
This remastered set is spread over 3 discs and contains all the episodes from the two series and a separate disc of extras. When I bought it it was around £20. The set has a 12 certificate which I think is about right but I doubt younger viewers would find it as funny. It has to be said parts of the humour has dated a bit but the situations Basil finds himself in still have me laughing.
Set in Torquay Basil Fawlty is the manager of a hotel which you would have to be insane to stay in for more than one night. From inedible food to Manuel a waiter who is about as useful as a chocolate fire gaurd - but Basil likes him because he is cheap. Then we have Basil the manager himself who sees the guests as an inconvenience as most of them are (in his opinion) riff raff. Then we have Basil Fawlty's wife who could bring the dead back to life by shrieking at them. Finally comes the long suffering Polly who is supposed to be only helping out but seems to be the only one who knows what she is doing.
Thrown into the mix are the permanent residents, the old Major who is about the only guest Basil tolerates although the Major is shown as slightly senile Basil respects him as he served in the army. However, to the spinsters Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibbs he is incredibly rude to but they just think he is being a bit 'naughty' and giggle it off.
Each episode sees Basil pushed to the edge not only of his patience but also his sanity things just seem to keep going wrong for him and when he tries to put them right things get even worse. Whether it is dealing with a guest who dies in the night or one who is hard of hearing but refuses to use her hearing aid - as it runs the batteries down to having a health inspector in the hotel when Manuel's pet rat gets loose Basil just seems to get more and more stressed and every step of the way he lives in fear of his 'little nest of vipers' aka Cybil.
The writing and acting across the episode is in general excellent the odd weaker performance does come in but only in bit parts rather than a main one.