‘Sanditon,’ Unfinished No More-The New York Times

“Charlotte, are you excited to be back?”

When that question is raised at the opening moment of the trailer for the second season of “Sanditon,” it sounds like a humorous nod to the show’s own history.

Based on Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, Sanditon was first aired in the UK in 2019 and wasn’t updated by major broadcaster ITV after disappointing viewership. .. And after an intensive campaign by fans and a successful American run in early 2020, Sanditon is now back in at least two seasons. The six-part Season 2 will premiere on Sunday with a PBS “masterpiece.”

After ITV canceled the show in December 2019, fan movements in the UK began with a barrage of furious messages on social media. As a result, a fan group called Sanditon Sisterhood was finally formed, and the Twitter campaign was launched. Hashtag #SaveSanditon..

“I was shocked when I heard that I wouldn’t come back,” said San Francisco lawyer Leilani Batiste, who participated in the effort. And like a book, the story was unfinished at the end of the season. here we go! “

Austin wrote the 11th chapter of “Sanditon” and began writing the 12th chapter in early 1817 when he quit his job at the age of 41, a few months before his death.

An incomplete novel that wasn’t published until 1925 is set in the quiet seaside town of Sanditon, where entrepreneur Tom Parker (played by Kris Marshall in the series) is trying to turn it into a fashionable resort. increase. Charlotte Haywood (Rose Williams), a young woman from a modest farmer, became friends with Parker after her carriage crashed near her home. She soon she meets Tom’s dashing brother Sydney (Theo James) and learns about Georgian Limbe (Crystal Clarke), a young heir from the West. The main characters in the first colors of indies and Austin.

As far as Austin’s plot is concerned, by the end of the first season of the series, both women shattered their romantic dreams and left Cliffhanger to fans regarding the fate of Charlotte-Sydney’s romance.

Belinda Campbell, Executive Producer and Managing Director of Red Planet Pictures, who produced the show, said: “We wanted it to come back, so we ended up with an unresolved main love story.”

ITV was overwhelmed by its reputation in the UK, but when it debuted on PBS in January 2020, the show was popular with US viewers. The premiere was the most watched “masterpiece” episode of the year, with an average audience of over 20 on the show. It was 1% higher than other “Masterpiece Classic” era dramas this season and was not a surprise to “Masterpiece” executive producer Susanne Simpson.

“We made a lot of Austin adaptations. We knew that viewers would love” Sanditon. ” They did, “she said in a video call. We have a much younger audience than usual and that’s what we’re always looking for. “

But by that time, ITV had already unplugged, but when American viewers like Battiste took part in the Twitter campaign, the popularity of the show on PBS further voiced protests. ..

“We had a tweet goal, such as 20,000 tweets a day. We made zoom calls and communicated every day. It was a really great community,” Batiste said in a video call. “Several Sanditon Brothers” was included. )

By the time the pandemic blockade began in March 2020, Red Planet had received a large amount of fan mail, Campbell said.

One of the most inspirational exhibits was Sanditon Sisterhood in September 2020 by asking one of the beaches used during the show’s filming to paint a giant sand painting of Charlotte and Sydney. I visited when I got international attention.

Maurice Wheeler, CEO of WeAreFamily, a UK marketing agency specializing in fandom, said: And felt serious; and the Twitter campaign ensured that the right people felt the size and weight of the fandom. “

“They also got involved with writers and actors and involved them,” he added.

“Masterpiece” executive producer Simpson said the flood of support played a major role in giving producer partners ITV and BritBox the confidence to continue the series.

“We wanted to get it back. Fans wanted to get it back,” she said. “It was a matter of bridging the funding gap.”

Justin Young and the rest of the producers, who took over the lead writer from Andrew Davis, began to think about what the second season would look like while Masterpiece was arranging funding (Davis is a writer and executive producer). It remains.).

They also needed to understand which cast members could come back and would be happy to come back. It turns out that their romantic hero, James, doesn’t want to come back.He claimed that his journey ended as I wanted, “James said. statement It was released last spring. )

“We did it well, but Theo stuck to his gun,” Young said.

“They said to me,” We have a leading actress, why should she be hanging on a cliff and left forever miserable because Sydney has left? ” ..

PBS announced the resurrection of “Sanditon” in early May 2021. With Davis’ approval, Young’s solution to the Sydney dilemma was the old-fashioned solution. He killed the character to start a new season.

“I wanted Charlotte and Georgia to drive this season. In the first series, I saw Georgia through the lenses of Charlotte and Sydney. Now it’s a real thing that makes the colored characters the equivalent protagonists. I had the opportunity. “”

Clark said in a video call that he was initially unsure of returning to play Georgian. She said, “She was worried about the character’s representation and being included behind and in front of the camera.”

However, she said the work increased the cast and crew’s color members for the new season, after hearing about a new storyline that “sees all the love from Twitter” and delves into the complexity of the character’s background. I was excited to come back. ..

“I love exploring issues like the boycott of sugar,” Clark said of a late 18th-century campaign by an abolitionist movement that urged people to avoid goods produced by slaves in the West Indies. Mentioned. And the contradiction that her money, which allows her to have privileges and freedoms, comes from the oppression of people like her. Those ideas came out in Season 1, but now they’re really central. “

It also focuses on the independence of the female mind and spirit embodied by Georgiana and Charlotte. Despite the many Austin-style suitors, a dashing colonel! A gloomy widow! A flashy artist! Handsome soldier! — The series struggles to show two The women in the center are paving their way.

“We wanted to focus on Charlotte’s rebellion and strength against the social pressure to get married,” Williams said in a video call. “The first time I see Charlotte in the first series, I always come back. She has a hunting rifle, and to me it embodies the confidence, ability, and independence she has always had. . “

“This second series feels like Charlotte is finding a true sense of self,” she added.

It will be the music that will reach the ears of the show’s most enthusiastic supporters. Batiste of Sanditon Sisterhood said that the spirit and independence of female characters, and their intimate friendship, are a big part of the fan group’s very passionate reaction.

“This series focuses on this incredible group of women, and from a very diverse background, how everything works,” she said. “”

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