I was expecting we would all be off to London this week, but alas we were confined to the increasingly claustrophobic Sanditon. OK, there was some ‘liberty’ and Char and Georgiana were not the only ones taking it.
Anyway, back to the action, such as it was.
Char and Georgiana told Mrs Griffiths (who is looking a lot like Jane Austen herself, which I am not sure how I feel about) a bunch of fibs and went for a picnic, without maids. Who should pop out of the landscape but Georgie’s boyf, up from London. His name is Otis! Otis Molyneux.
Note: The writers may have named Otis in reference to James Otis (1725-1793), an American Patriot who is credited with the catchphrase: ‘taxation without representation is tyranny’ and who believed that fundamental freedoms, life, liberty and property, should be extended to black people.
Char put on her disapproving face and demanded he account for himself but all we learn is that he is ‘a merchant’ in London, has been granted his freedom from slavery and Sid doesn’t approve of him.
The picnic amongst the bluebells involved some light canoodling between the lovers. Char played the gooseberry.
‘Tongue?’ asked Char, ‘…or a little pork pie?’
For goodness sake, Andrew Davies!
Back in town the Terrace was not going well. Parker, still facing possible ruin, reneged on his promises to Young Stringer about employing more men and decided to buy the wife a costly pearl necklace instead, like you do. Actually, that is what people do. So 100 per cent for emotional accuracy, Andrew.
What of our Goth trio? Not looking good, I have to say. Devious minx Clara caught the incesty duo Edward and Esther up to no good and is using it to torment Esther. Clara let slip a snippet about her past, which involves an uncle in the night. My prediction: Clara inherits from Lady D and Edward marries her.
Then Sid discovered Otis was in town and banned him from going near ‘my ward’. When Char intervened and accused him of prejudice and being a slaver he shouted at her in public (in public!) and then handed her over to the care of Young Stringer to ‘take home’. Like she can’t walk? Anyway, they had a heart-to-heart on the beach and she told him, all casual like, that she wished all men could be like him. Sigh. Odds currently Sid (man with a past) 8-1, Young Stringer (man with a future) 3-1.
According to Sid, Char’s big idea, the Regatta, looks to be a non-starter, but Tom Parker’s an optimist. Prediction: Final scene of final episode will be full of boats and bunting.
Char’s hair: Dear Costume Department, I get you don’t like Regency hair but please stop it with Char’s long hair look!
Sanditon Town: am liking the strong mise en scène very much, dodgy CGI notwithstanding.
Question: If Otis is a merchant of any standing, why does he travel on the outside of the coach?
Otis went swimming but he was fully clothed, expensive boots and all, so zero (again). Another question: Do Esther’s very bare arms count?
Fidelity to the original
The moorings have been sledgehammered and we’ve found ourselves drifting in the doldrums.
New metric – Weather
Please remember that an English spring does not permit anyone to go swimming in unheated lakes and seas. Especially in Austenland, where even a short walk in the rain always results in double pneumonia.
I reviewed Episode 1 of Andrew Davies’ Sanditon (ITV) for the Historical Writers’ Association.
Suzanne Foxton says
This my prediction for Sanditon. Sidney is so restrictive and harsh with Georgiana because he is in love with her. He proposes, and demands she entrust her fortune to another so that there may be no doubt of the purity of his intentions. Georgiana bestows her fortune upon Charlotte in gratitude for her unflagging friendship and support. Charlotte uses the money to invest in Sanditon and fund young Stringer’s foray into architecture; he and Tom, with Charlotte’s enthusiastic and creative contributions, proceed to build the town in the image of their shared vision. Babbington finally wears down Esther, after she attempts suicide (and is saved by Dr. Fuchs) and he tenderly nurses her to recovery. Edward and Clara realise their love for each other, much to Lady Denham’s consternation; however when she witnesses their sincere and affectionate devotion to each other, she softens, and leaves her estate to them. That’s all I can speculate – not sure what to do with Otis, Arthur and Diana, the Beaufort sisters, old Stringer, Mrs. Griffiths, Crowe, or the creepy vicar. Doubtless there will be more shocks and revelations, additional characters, and anachronisms! I’ve read several unfavourable reviews of Sanditon by Austin purists and those who insist upon historical accuracy, but so far I find the series a hoot and am surprisingly gripped by both the characters and the performances. And it looks utterly fabulous. Rip those bodices please; also, let’s see as many well-appointed rooms, electricity tower-free vistas and manure-free horse-strewn streets as possible. And while we’re at it let’s hear as much stilted, “period” dialogue as we can stuff our ears with, jolted by the occasional “…you muffed it.” Costume dramas – always well met.
Naomi Clifford says
Woooh – I think we need a flow diagram!
Not sure I agree about Georgiana and Sid (he’s too patriarchal and that’s not a good look in the circs) but I very much like Stringer’s architecture career being funded. Thinking of a young Thomas Hardy.
Not sure Edward can love anyone. Clara, being a damaged soul, needs someone more nurturing. Perhaps a reformed Sid?
Sooo, FWIW my money is on: Char + Stringer (Young) and Georgiana + erm, Arthur. I know! Who’d a thunk it? But he did run eagerly off to dance with her at the ball. And he’s sweet.
Perhaps Georgiana will use her fortune to prop up the Sanditon project after Lady D pops her clogs, leaving everything to the Church.
But if I am right, G is 19 and that means we have to wait two years for her to come into her fortune. Could there be a dash for Gretna Green in the offing?
Literally anything could happen.
Toni Alexander Foskett says
I am quite awestruck at Charlotte’s Spencer’s portrayal of Esther.
Only last week I had her pegged as a strangely alluring but dangerously damaged woman, by the time I had finished episode 4 she had my sympathy over her plight.
Toni Alexander Foskett says
As to possible plot progression?
I think Parker’s vision of Sanditon is doomed and so is he. I think he make some attempt at an honourable death after insuring himself up to the hilt. Lady Anne may well have been poisoned. Apart from that I have no idea.
Naomi Clifford says
Well, there’s certainly everything to play for and whenever I think the plot is going one way it veers off. I understand we all go to the West Indies at some point so we’ll see what transpires there.
Naomi Clifford says
Agree Charlotte Spencer’s acting is very good, and the role hints at a more subtle backstory than say that of Clara.