Sanditon Season Two Promises New Drama, New Friends, and New Men
Returning for season two in March of 2022, PBS’s Sanditon continues its journey in the unfinished world of Jane Austen’s final novel.
Sanditon is a strange member of the Jane Austen adaptation family. The novel was never finished due to Austen’s death, but what it started off was the story of Charlotte Heywood, a young woman who, after a carriage accident involving her family, goes to visit the seaside resort of Sanditon.
Charlotte faces multiple culture shocks due to the scheming nature of things there. The novel breaks off mid-way, so there is no real ability to tell how the story would come together, but Sanditon the show has taken the shell and transformed it into a great program.
There have been some who found the nudity and tragic elements very “un-Austen-like,” but in my opinion, while a happy ending is always down the line, Austen was also growing as an author. She may not have written hardcore sex scenes, but I doubt she would be so offended by this adaptation.
The show also expanded upon the character of Miss Lambe, turning her into Georgiana Lambe, played by the excellent Crystal Clarke, the first canonical Jane Austen character of African ancestry. And she’s a wealthy heiress. During a digital panel for the series, it was shared that, in season two, not only does she meet an artist, but she also gets a lot more political.
“We hear a lot from Georgiana in Season 2,” Clarke teased.
Due to Theo James leaving the show, Sidney Parker has been written off, but PBS was quick to show us all the new men coming to Sanditon:
New male characters in Season 2 include: Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Industry), a wealthy man who is cerebral and antisocial to the point of reclusiveness. The flamboyant artist Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos, Versailles) may be worldly, but is also enigmatic. Colonel Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones, Grace) is the self-assured leader of the war regiment taking up residence in town. His underlings, Captain Declan Fraser (Frank Blake, Normal People), and Captain William Carter (Maxim Ays, Still So Awkward), both strike up a connection with Charlotte’s younger sister, Alison Heywood.
Sanditon maybe a little too much for some Austen fans, but I love that it is a story that keeps us guessing. Unlike so many other works, we don’t know how it’s all going to play out, and the opportunities it gives the writers are delicious. As an Austen fan, I can’t think of any other way to pay tribute to her than to make her unfinished novel a living test that tries to access the cleverness of its author from beyond.
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