Jane Austen’s legacy continues: originally conceived as a one-off series, PBS Masterpiece has revealed new details about the second season of Regency drama Sanditon, on the heels of its renewal for a second and third season.
Sanditon tells the tale of young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), who by chance ends up in the titular seaside town of Sanditon, where she is keen on adventure, but not so keen on its scheming inhabitants. In the Austenian tradition of stories like Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte immediately clashes with Sidney Parker (Theo James), the younger brother of a local entrepreneur, Tom. At the end of the first season, Charlotte and Sidney had overcome their differences and admitted their love for each other… only for Sidney to admit he planned to honor his commitment to marrying Eliza Campion (Ruth Kearney), as he had promised earlier in the season.
The ending left many viewers shocked, going against all known laws of Regency romance, but according to a press release from PBS, the show’s second season is only going to stir up more drama:
The new series will pick up the action nine months later, as the town is growing in popularity, and will feature characters familiar and new. Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) returns to the beautiful seaside resort and soon attracts the attention of not one, but two new men. And, in her last summer season before turning 21, Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke), keen to forge her own identity, gets up to mischief in the name of love…but will she run the risk of being lonelier than ever before? The Parkers are back, as Tom (Kris Marshall) strives to rebuild Sanditon. But there are many unforeseen issues awaiting him, while the secrets and lies of the dysfunctional Denhams continue to rock the foundations of the sunny seaside town.
PBS also announced a flurry of cast members set to arrive in Sanditon, including Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Alexander Colbourne, Tom Weston-Jones as Colonel Francis Lennox, and Rosie Graham as Charlotte’s younger sister, Alison Heywood. Also joining the cast are Maxim Ays, Frank Blake, and Alexander Vlahos, in a number of new, salacious roles.
Originally based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel — the last she wrote before her death — the series’ renewal means that it will stray from the path of its original source material. At the time of her death in 1817, Austen had only completed eleven chapters of the novel, meaning that whatever Sanditon does next is sure to stir up controversy — especially since James’s exit from the show, claiming his character’s story is complete.
While production has started on Sanditon’s second season, no premiere date has been released. While they wait, American Austen fans can stream the show’s first season on PBS Masterpiece’s website.
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