It’s fair to say that the series finale of Andrew Davies’ Sanditon adaptation has prompted huge discussion amongst both Jane Austen fans and casual viewers alike!
Fair warning, this article contains spoilers, so if you haven’t yet seen the final episode and are planning to, click to see some spoiler free interviews with the cast.
The final episode saw many of the storylines resolved, but it was Charlotte and Sidney’s ending which left some viewers devastated. After finally admitting their feelings for one another, the pair parted with Sidney agreeing to keep his word and marry Eliza – a woman he doesn’t love.
We asked our Facebook friends for their thoughts and it’s fair to say we were inundated! Here’s a flavour of what people thought:
“I loved Sanditon it was brilliant right up until the last half of episode 8, it was very disappointing that Sidney and Charlotte will not get married as they are so much in love, I really hope that there will be a second series and Sidney and Charlotte will be together and get married. I wonder want Jane would think not in pressed with the ending.”
“The ending is immeasurably disappointing. But only the last ten minutes, everything else is wonderful.”
“Loved it, but so disappointed with the ending. It certainly kept you hoping, right to the last second that Sydney would change his mind! Just hope there is a second series and all ends well for Charlotte.”
“I was fuming!! Had been looking forward all week to watching the final episode of Sanditon, and to watch that….I felt broken hearted for both of them! Especially poor Charlotte! Boo hoo hoo”
“My thoughts…. I watch a lot of shows and expect a shock, surprise or twist. Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones etc. But no Jane Austen adaptation has “jumped the shark” like this and not delivered the happy ending. There is an unwritten contract between the writer and producers with the audience. We understand there maybe twists and turns, there maybe misunderstandings but in the end (maybe even the last few minutes or so) the heroine and the hero will make it in the end together. There is a declaration of love, a wedding or an acknowledgment of their future together. It is why we all watch and why we are all fans, ravenous for these tales. Not for the way this ended, we were cheated and I feel deceived. Don’t call it Austen then. Make up a story but don’t attach her name.
“Worst ending ever, as a life long fan of Jane Austen I felt disappointed that the ending was so dreadful!”
“It felt unfinished. Loved every episode up until the ending. Very disappointing. I was very upset”
“Hate it!!! I am proper gutted – poor Charlotte!”
“Loved it right up until the ending. Everything seems very rushed in the end. The ending was not Jane Austen.”
“Shock, I can hear Jane Austen spinning in her grave. Wondering what the hell they did to Sanditon”
Not all of the feedback was negative, with many people suggesting/expecting a second series:
“I’ve heard so many people criticising the last episode saying its not the happy ending they expect from an Austen story. To those I advise reading her Juvenilia, full of unhappy endings, objectionable characters with questionable motives. Sanditon was Janes last story and I think her writing was starting to grow beyond the need to end a story with an obligatory wedding and ‘all’s well with the world‘ type ending. I honestly think Jane would’ve done something similar to the ending we saw.”
“Jane Austen, always considered as an amazing english novelist. I loved this series of Sanditon. If this is the ending with Sidney sacrificing his happiness with Charlotte, I’m resolved to believe that although being divided for now, whatever the future holds for them, their love will endure. With the unknown outcome of additional story lines and the ending would suggest another series, surely.”
“Exceptionally traumatic….I have never reacted to so much emotion in my life in the way I did on Sunday evening. This just shows how wonderful the actors are and how real their performances. Even Pride and Prejudice didn’t conjure up the emotion I am still feeling two days later. I think Andrew Davies has done a wonderful job bringing this to life in his own inimitable way, knowing that the novel was unfinished. It was an unexpectedly shocking end and has to be the best and saddest cliffhanger I have ever seen…I am living in hope for an amazing Season 2 with a classic Jane Austen ending.”
“Not really surprised as it was an unfinished novel and hopefully this was done purposely to have room for a second series for a happy ending for Charlotte and Miss Lamb”
“Lady D will die and leave her money to Tom therefore allowing Sidney to get out of his engagement…….. well I hope so, poor Charlotte. Next series sooooon please!”
“Loved it! An very un-Austen ending but I really liked that about it. I really hope they do season 2 and there was no better person than the legendary Andrew Davies to take on her unfinished novel.”
“I loved the ending. I don’t want another series. It showed a maturity in Austen that not all endings are happy and money & duty will win over love.”
“I thought and hoped that Sidney would chase after the coach and tell her he’d changed his mind. To be honest I was devastated, but now I think it might have left it open for another for another series. I hope!”
“The clue was in Lady Denham’s story about her lost love. And I believe a second series is planned!”
“I really loved it, if Lord B and Esther had not got together, there would have been ABSOLUTE SCENES in my house. I was annoyed at Sidney pulling the old “you make me a better man” trope previously, it’s not just about how SHE makes YOU feel, you selfish grump. And disappointed there was no resolution to the Miss Lambe/ jolly Mr Parker relationship, I think they’d be lovely together. Very much hoping for a second season, maybe exploring more of the West Indies at the time?”
It’s not too late to share how you think on our Facebook page! And if/when a second series is announced, we’ll be sure to let you know!