‘Sanditon’ Is The Underrated Show That ‘Bridgerton’ Fans Can’t Stop Recommending

Featuring your new favourite regency gentleman.

If you’re reading this, you’ll have either recently finished a Bridgerton binge or are a general period entertainment dilettante, perhaps taking a turn around the streaming services for your next frothy, lacy fix. If you’ve not yet settled on a suitorwho else so regularly ends up in your bed with a glass of wine accompanying, after allmight we put forward the humble TV-series Sanditon?

Or rather, might we let impassioned Brigerton fans make the case for us? It’s pretty universal on Twitter: if you enjoyed the Shondaland-produced Netflix regency drama, you’ll probably like Sanditon.

The series is something of a sleeper hit, having actually first aired in the UK in 2019. It hit the states in 2020, via PBS and has experienced something of a Renaissance since it began airing in the U.S.

The series was originally cancelled by its original British network, ITV, in 2019 with a spokesperson stating that creators would have “loved it to return,” but cited a lack of audience as the reason behind its cancellation. 

Enthusiastic fans rallied under the #SaveSanditon hashtag, and Amazon UK did seem like they were assessing its viability last year, and it looks like it paid off. 

On May 7, 2021, PBS announced the series would return for season two and season three, per Deadline.

“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,” said executive producer Susanne Simpson. “Audiences can expect romance, humour and plenty of twists and turns in these new seasons of Sanditon.”

What is the plot of Sanditon?

Set in Sanditon, a fishing village that’s rebranded itself as a seaside resort, the series mainly follows Charlotte Heywood, played by Rose Williams. Fairly swiftly upon her arrival in the town from Sussex, she ends up catching the eye of the Parker brothers. A love-triangle situation of course ensues, and as per usual Twitter is fairly obsessed with one arm of it: 

Theo James plays Sidney Parker, the handsome but initially cold younger brother. While his and Charlotte’s relationship is the mainstay of Sandriton, all of the characters have pretty eventful plotlines.

Who stars in Sanditon?

Sanditon, as is the nature of most period TV dramas, follows an ensemble cast. The bulk of the series centres around the lives of the following main characters.

Rose Williams As Charlotte Heywood

Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood

Rose Williams, an English actress, has previously displayed her period and historical acting chops in Reign, Medici and A Quiet Passion. As Charlotte, she has a pretty rude awakening when she enters Sanditon society and realises she’s slightly out of her depth—at least at first.

Theo James as Sidney Parker

Theo James as Sidney Parker

You might have caught Theo James in a lone episode of Downton Abbey but the role he’s most known for is Tobias in the Divergent film series. Well, perhaps until Sanditon that is. His character Sidney is very much in the vein of the Mr Darcy archetype: initially cold and detached, though of course, his meeting Charlotte begins to change that.

Crystal Clarke as Georgiana Lambe

Crystal Clarke as Georgiana Lambe

American actress Crystal Clarke plays Georgiana, the only Black character ever written by Austen. Georgiana Lambe is a wealthy friend of Sidney Parker’s. This isn’t Clarke’s first time tackling an iconic author’s work for the screen, having previously played Tina Argyll in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence

Kris Marshall as Tom Parker

Kris Marshall as Tom Parker

No, don’t adjust your sets. That is Colin from Love Actually in your period drama. British actor Kris Marshall plays the older Parker brother who is most enthusiastic about reviving Sanditon as a resort. Perhaps to his detriment…

Anne Reid as Lady Denham

Anne Reid as Lady Denham

BAFTA-winning actress and British TV veteran Anne Reid plays Lady Denham. Lady Denham is the formidable matriarch who lords over Sanditon, very aware that folks are fighting for her affection for their inheritance.

Is Sanditon based on a book or true story?

Like Bridgerton, the Sanditon series is based on literary source material. Sanditon is an unfinished novel by Jane Austen. Only 11 chapters were completed and it’s speculated that Austen had to stop work on the manuscript due to her illness.

Where can I watch Sanditon in Australia?

Sanditon season one is available to stream in Australia on Foxtel Now.

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