Fawlty Towers was an iconic yet short-lived British comedy series created and starring John Cleese of Monty Python fame. The show was about the antics of the impolite manager of a hotel in Torquay. Due to the show being short-lived, ending after 12 episodes, there have been persistent rumors of the existence of a thirteenth, lost episode. The most prominent of which being ‘The Robbers’, which originated from the fanbook titled Fawlty Towers: A Worshipper’s Companion by Lars Holger Holm, who dedicates a whole chapter to tell the story of how an ex-BBC employee let Holm see a lost thirteenth episode at his flat in 1999. After viewing the episode, Lars ran the entire script through a copy facility on a fax machine and features the script in his book. According to Holm, The episode was supposedly going to air on January 6, 1980, but was never aired.
However, John Cleese confirms that the existence of a thirteenth episode is total nonsense and this is backed up by official BBC book, Fawlty Towers Fully Booked.
Real (mostly formerly) lost episodes
Even though all episodes of the British sitcom are available on Netflix, DVD and are still rerun on Cable/Satellite TV, the show was remade for foreign markets multiple times, firstly for American audiences as Chateau Snavely in 1978, which didn’t make it past the pilot episode, But the pilot episode is found and can be easily watched on YouTube. After that came Amanda‘s, a gender-swapped version of the show, again for American audiences. However, Amanda’s was picked up by ABC and ran for 10 episodes on ABC, with three others produced, these three episodes only aired in cable reruns and are easily viewed today. There is Payne, the last American reboot, airing for 8 episodes in the US with 1 only airing in the UK, this episode can be watched on YouTube.
The only lost episode of one of the attempted reboots was that of a German pilot titled Zum Letzten Kliff from 2001, of which only a single three-minute clip exists.