The classic episode of Fawlty Towers 'The Americans' will once again be shown on BBC1 tonight. Here is the script:
Basil Fawlty: Ah, Polly, you haven't forgotten that the terror alert drill is at one today, have you?
Fawlty: Good, good. [Phone rings] Hello, Fawlty Towers? Yes, dear, I know the terror alert drill is about to start. Yes, I know the Americans are coming here. Yes. Yes. No, yes. [hangs up]
Major McGowan arrives in the hotel lobby: Morning, Fawlty, papers arrived yet?
Fawlty: No, they're late again.
The Major: Too busy writing stories about fake terrorism to make Americans burst into tears, I expect.
Fawlty: We have a party of Americans coming here today. To, er, stay in the hotel.
The Major: Americans? I suppose they'll be avoiding more wars here like Pill Gitton and pretending they won them!
Fawlty: Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said that Americans have brains like cheese?
The Major: You mean soft?
Fawlty: Never mind. [paper boy arrives with newspapers, Fawlty points at his watch. Headline on the top one says 'Americans who funded Irish terrorists now scared of fake terrorists invented by the CIA'. The Major wanders off. As one o'clock approaches all the hotel guests come in to the lobby and wait for the drill to start]
Fawlty: Right, in - [phone rings, he answers it] I'm doing it to please the Americans, I'm doing it! [slams phone down] Now, when that man on TV says 'Terror threat level now serious' you're all to go outside and suck your thumbs.
A female guest: That's it?
Fawlty: Yes. What did you expect in Britain, people running around panicking and screaming like thousands of Americans did when the 'War of the Worlds' play was put on American radio in the 1930s?
[TV man soon says 'Terror threat level now serious', guests go outside and suck their thumbs then come back in. Meanwhile Fawlty's head has been struck by a falling CIA rocket bomb that was supposed to land in a Pakistani village to kill civilians there]
[Scene: hospital in Torquay, Fawlty in a bed there, nurse comes in]
Nurse: Now, Mr. Fawlty, [as he starts getting out of the bed], you must stay in bed in case there's another terror alert.
Fawlty: But the hotel! The Americans! Polly can't cope!
Nurse: If she can run rings around the Americans like 99.8% of the world's intelligent people can, I'm sure she can cope.
[nurse goes out, Fawlty leaves the hospital anyway]
[Scene: the lobby of Fawlty Towers as he walks into it]
Two elderly lady guests: Mr. Fawlty, you should be in hospital!
Fawlty: And you should be dead by now. Where is Polly? [goes behind the reception desk as four Americans come into the hotel, two men and two women]
Man#1: Hey, buddy, what with all these terror alerts we need clean underwear and a sense of humor - at last.
Fawlty: I'm sorry?
Man#1: Terror, you know, when nothing happens or when the US government lets two unmanned jets fly into New York City, jets they sent there.
Fawlty: Oh, I see! You're Americans. I thought there was something feeble about you.
Man#2: We would like to be scared of our own shadows, and having no idea of the real world would like to go on and on about a flag and terrorists and a war on terror like children.
Fawlty: Bit tricky, that one. Let's see. Shadows, shadows - Nato! You want to hide behind Nato and have no idea of the real world. And your children worship a flag and are scared of people that the British would laugh at?
Man#1 [in Pennsylvania Dutch] Zu befel, Herr Oberst!
[Scene: Fawlty goes in to the dining room where the Americans are sitting at a table, his head bandaged]
Man#1: Can I have a prawn salad, if you please, sir?
Fawlty: Less of the pompous 'sir', we're grown-ups in this country.
Man#2: And one cheese quiche, also.
Fawlty: One chimpanzee salad, and one bush git.
Man#1: And one spaghetti bolognaise with baby potatoes.
Fawlty: So that's one bush git with a cowardaise salad, one babyish fears in Idaho and one born every minute salad. I'd better not mention you never winning any wars.
[Polly comes into the room] It's OK, Polly, I mentioned Americans never winning wars once but I think I got away with it. So that's one lack of humour with some crybaby potatoes, a chimpanzee as a president, and a total lack of any sense of humour.
Man#2: Will you stop mentioning us not winning wars!
Fawlty: Well, you started it.
Man#2: No we didn't.
Fawlty: Yes, you did, you have never successfully invaded any country in your history but go on and on about being 'mighty' and winning two World Wars you never even entered until the British had already nearly won them.
[Polly arrives again]
Polly: Mr. Fawlty, I think you should get in touch with the United Nations.
Fawlty: Can't you see I'm busy here, you silly girl?
Polly: It's very important.
Fawlty: Nothing the UN does is important. So, one chimp President with a drink problem, one babyish liar with a suntan and one lesson in satire for people that have yet to achieve a single thing since 1776.
[doctor comes into the lobby, Fawlty quickly leaves the dining room and goes into the lobby where Spanish waiter Manuel is]
Fawlty: Look, Manuel, a weapon of mass destruction!
[Fawlty hits Manuel on the head, another CIA radio-controlled bomb lands on his one, both shrug and carry on running the hotel. Americans appear from the dining room]
Man#1: How did they ever take over 90% of the world and start the Industrial Revolution and win all of those wars?
Man#2: Because they're British, not Americans?
Man#1: Oh well, at least we have TV and red, white and blue comfort blankets to make us feel safe at nights.
Man#2: Didn't the British design those blankets and our country?
Woman#1: Looks like American women have ended up with the loser's prize in life with these guys.
Woman#2: I'm emigrating to England.
[Credits run as classical music plays. List of American inventions takes up no space at all on the screen]