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The Psychiatrist


Synopsis

When Mr Johnson arrives at reception, he is just type that Basil Loathes. He is a young open-chested, medallioned playboy. Basil becomes irritated when Sybil flirts with him and makes snide remarks about him resembling an ape.

When the Abbotts arrive, Basil goes into fawning mode when he realises, after some misunderstanding, that they are both doctors. He escorts them personally to their rooms. Meanwhile, Mr Johnson inquires of Sybil about a room for his mother who is arriving the next day. As the hotel is full, he agrees to have her stay in his room.

When Raylene, an attractive Australian girl, arrives, Basil tries to appear to be uninterested in her but gives himself away as he makes a series of Freudian slips. In her room, he accidentally gropes her breast when reaching for the light switch. Sybil steps into the room and spots this believing that he is groping her. Basil frantically explains to her the misunderstanding.

While the Abbotts are dining, Basil discovers that Mr Abbot is a doctor of psychiatry. Basil becomes paranoid that he is being analysed by Mr Abbott and dismisses psychiatry as being all about sex. When Mr Abbott asks Basil how many times he and Sybil manage it, Basil thinks he is talking about sex. He responds about average..... two or three times a week. Learning from Sybil that they were talking about holidays, Basil has to make a spectacular backtrack.

Without Basil's knowledge, Mr. Johnson has smuggled an attractive young woman into his room in violation of the hotel's rules. Basil learns of her presence when he passes the room and hears him talking to somebody.

So obsessed is Basil about finding the young woman, he enlists Manuel to help him by positioning a ladder outside to see into the room. The ladder is wrongly positioned to peep into the Abbotts room, who look back at Basil, bemused. The precariously placed ladder falls backwards. Sybil becomes aware of the situation and goes outside to slap Basil around the face.

Next morning, Basil tries to explain to Sybil that he looked in the window because he wanted to catch Mr Johnsons's extra guest. When Sybil doesn't believe him, he becomes determined to prove her wrong, so he hides in the broom closet in the upstairs hall. In the broom closet, he accidentally covers his hand on some cleaning product. Hearing a door go, he comes out of the closet and grabs at the woman he believes is Mr Johnson's secret room guest, but instead accosts Raylene, leaving large handprints on her breasts. Sybil emerges just in time to see. Basil frantically tries to explain the situation.

Basil visits Raylene's room to ask her to leave, but she is in her bra top. He hides in the wardrobe so that Sybil doesn't get the wrong end of the stick, but he is copped again by Sybil who believes that he must have a thing for Raylene. This time Basil gets angry with Sybil and knocks on Mr Johnson's door to show that he is hiding a young woman in his room. Mr Johnson says that there is indeed a guest in his room - his elderly mother. Basil looks on mockingly until an elderly woman emerges. When everybody has left, Basil crouches on the ground in total frustration.

Airdate: 19 February 1979

The Psychiatrist - Fawlty Towers The Psychiatrist - Fawlty Towers


Overview

The Psychiatrist is very similar to The Wedding Party in that it portrays Basil's attitude to any naughty goings-on in his hotel. In the former, Basil convinces himself that there is some swinging going on in his hotel - he is totally deluded. In The Wedding Party he is convinced that Mr Johnson has smuggled a young woman into his room, only this time he is absolutely correct. It is easy to feel sorry for Basil in this episode as all of the misunderstandings are other peoples. Of course their misunderstandings are understandable as Basil takes some stupid risks to prove to Sybil what is essentially a minor point.

Throughout the episode Sybil becomes more and more convinced, owing to the fact that Basil is prowling round the hotel rooms searching for evidence and getting into compromising positions with a young Australian girl, that Basil is undergoing some sort of mid-life crisis. Perhaps this indicates that any spark of passion that once existed in Basil and Sybil's relationship is now firmly extinguished

The final scene shows Basil in one of his full manic modes, crouching on all fours, and then keeling over after his total failure to convince Sybil that he has been telling the truth.





Quotes

[Basil and Mr. Johnson discussing where to eat]:
Basil: Are you dining here tonight, here in this unfashionable dump?
Mr Johnson: I wasn't planning to.
Basil: No, not really your scene is it?
Mr Johnson: I thought I'd try somewhere in town. Anywhere you recommend?
Basil: Well, what sort of food were you thinking of... fruit or...?
Mr Johnson: Anywhere they do French food?
Basil: Yes, France I believe. They seem to like it there, and the swim would certainly sharpen your appetite. You'd better hurry, the tide leaves in six minutes.

[Basil being caught by Sybil accidentally groping a woman]:
Sybil: Oh, and one word of advice: If you're going to grope a girl, have the gallantry to stay in the room with her while you're doing it.



Trivia

The hotel sign reads WATERY FOWLS.

Only episode where we see the paperboy rearranging the letters on the hotel sign.

Longer than all the other episodes with a running time of 36:16 rather than the usual 30 minutes.

Nicky Henson was once married to Una Stubbs, who played the role of Alice in The Anniversary.



References

William Gladstone was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1868.
Earl Haig was the senior commander of the British forces during World war I.
Robert Baden -Powell became famous for inspiring the Boy Scouts movement.
When Basil makes fun of Mr Johnson, Sybil jokes about what sort of people Basil thinks girls should be aroused by.
Sybil: ...we girls should be aroused by people like Gladstone and Earl Haig and Baden-Powell.

Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1979 to 1990.
Mr Johnson discussing the the book Notable sights in Torquay.
Mr Johnson: one of the world's shortest books ... like The Wit of Margaret Thatcher.



Guest Cast


Nicky Henson -- Mr Johnson
Basil Henson -- Dr Abbott
Elspet Gray -- Mrs Abbott
Luan Peters -- Raylene Miles
Aimee Delamain -- Mrs Johnson
Imogen Bickford-Smith -- Girlfriend








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