Masterpiece on PBS has announced that it is renewing its drama series Sanditon for Seasons 2 and 3. Initially conceived of as a limited venture, one that sought to complete Jane Austen’s infamous unfinished final novel, it seems that that there will be more adventures afoot for heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams)—given that it ended on a cliffhanger, that is something fans can be grateful for.
In its press release, PBS did not confirm any further casting (will Theo James return?), but producer Susanne Simpson did note the fans in her statement about the renewal: “We are absolutely delighted to announce a second and third season of Sanditon, a show that has inspired such a passionate and devoted fan base. Audiences can expect romance, humor and plenty of twists and turns in these new seasons of Sanditon.”
The #SaveSanditon movement has been a rabid one since the show first aired in January of 2020, and while I am on record as really not liking the first season (mostly because of its unearned piggybacking off Austen, but also partially because of its messy storytelling), I do think that the ship can be turned around with some key changes. It’s a salacious Georgian soap opera, after all—it shouldn’t need much! Currently, “Justin Young (Death in Paradise, Ripper Street), who wrote four episodes of the first season of Sanditon, will develop the new seasons and take the role of lead writer and executive producer. [Andrew] Davies, who originally created the series, will also return to write several episodes and executive produce.” One remains hopeful!
UPDATE: Season 1 star Theo James (who was the reason, let’s be honest, most people were watching) will not return. He issued a statement on Twitter saying that he feels his character’s journey is closed:
The new season will likely begin filming later this year in Bristol (UK). Masterpiece adds, “After fans were left hanging in suspense by the first season’s finale and clamoring for more, the drama will continue to follow the high-spirited and independent heroine, Charlotte Heywood, as she returns to the picturesque coastal resort of Sanditon. Charlotte’s journey is one thread of an intricate tapestry of compelling stories full of intrigue,excitement, and romance. Against the backdrop of beautiful vistas, familiar faces return and new inhabitants are introduced — all of whom will behaving adventures as joyous and surprising as the seaside town itself.”
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