ITV’s dramatisation of the unfinished novel has offended the sensibilities of many Janeites. Alison Flood wonders if this makes sense
Soon Sanditon will be coming to PBS and those of you in the USA will be able to watch this production (January 12, 2020). Having seen it myself, I can say there is much to enjoy and much to cry about as well.
Sanditon is a continuation of Jane Austen’s novel, but you’ll only see the first episode cover the eleven chapters she wrote. From there, the story unfolds from another pen — well many pens from book adaptation to screen. It’s an engrossing story, not only about the main love interests of Sidney and Charlotte, but a story of endeavor, greed, foolishness, love, jealousy, and a myriad of other emotions all rolled up into wonderful characters. It will eventually grab onto you, hold your interest, and then break your heart cruelly at the end. It has nudity, sexuality, and a few shocking scenes.
Those who enjoyed the series have ranted and raved about the ending, and are now campaigning, insisting, and stalking ITV, the stars, writers, and producers to finish the story in Season 2. My gut tells me they won’t, but we’ll see.
The story is grossly unfinished, just as Jane died before finishing the book. Is it worth watching? Sidney and Charlotte’s journey is definitely worth the watch, the changing of a hurt man’s personality, the growing into womanhood of a young girl, laced with touching and beautiful scenes that will sweep you away in Episode 7 and early in Episode 8. There will be characters you love, hate, and could punch for their foolish ways. It’s heartbreakingly lovely altogether, and Sidney Parker definitely gives Mr. Darcy a run for his money.