Sanditon‘s Season 2 finale was filled with shocks, surprises and delights, romance, heartbreak, and even a wedding! Hear from Sanditon‘s cast about the episode’s key moments, the ones that had you crying tears both happy and sad, cheering, and even yelling at your screen. Plus, we asked three cast members about Sanditon Season 3, and they offered us some tantalizing teasers!
Crystal Clarke on the moment Georgiana learns about her mother
MASTERPIECE: What was going on for you and Georgiana in the powerful moment when she finds out her mother is alive?
Crystal Clarke: I think that from the beginning of Season 2, Georgiana’s resigned herself to try and deal with things by not dealing with them, by just having fun. It’s not that the part of her that is interested in social justice, the part of her that wants to understand herself more, is totally gone. It just that she’s sidelined things in favor of having fun, because things have been so heavy.
So when she finally finds out that her mom is alive, all of these things start rushing to the surface, and now it’s not something that she can ignore. It definitely felt like a moment where all of that repressed emotion just comes out, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. And being handed the necklace—that necklace was what broke me. As an actor in the scene, as soon as I opened it and saw it, I was just a waterfall.
But it’s an interesting moment, because it was tears of joy, but confusion, too. Because it raises the questions of what does this mean and then how can I find her? Will I find her? And what is this going to tell me about myself? So many questions at that moment, and also, just so much sadness from not being told the truth.
MASTERPIECE: What might we expect in Season 3, and what do you hope for Georgiana?
Crystal Clarke: You’re going to see parties, you’re going to see glam. It’s exciting. It’s a highly caffeinated Sanditon.
My hope for Georgiana is identity—I hope she figures out. I hope she is able to learn and have more of an understanding of who she is, and not just through other people’s eyes. I hope that journey comes to a conclusion for her.
Tom Weston-Jones on the humbling of Lennox
MASTERPIECE: In the Season 2 finale, Lennox has a couple of surprising moments—his visit from Leo, and his wager with Tom. In both moments, he’s caught off foot, and we see a vulnerable side to him.
Tom Weston Jones: The scene that I really enjoyed the most—and pardon the pun here, because he lays his cards down on the table—is that card scene with Tom and Arthur Parker. We’d gone through so much, where Tom had been really manipulated, so it was nice for the shoe to be on the other foot, and to be led down a path that I didn’t really understand. To feel completely competent in my convictions, and then suddenly to have that rug swept from under my feet, was great. I really loved it.
I like to think that it’s given him a break. Charlotte, I think [her rejection] is a real blow to him, but to be honest, I think he’s probably had some close calls before with women he’s really fallen for, although maybe not to the length of actually proposing and saying, I’m going to get out and we can find the right life together. But the thing with Tom, specifically, I don’t think he’s ever had to come face to face with his actions in the way that it does.
Learning about Leonora, I think was a huge curve ball. The way that it’s delivered in the writing is really earned—it’s not spelled out specifically, to Lennox, but he’s able to put things to together. What I love about that relationship is it makes him more human, really. It makes him not necessarily this creature of the military and someone who, I suppose, lacks in feeling and has no sense of family or what he actually wants. I think children are something that he would’ve yearned for at a certain time, because he wears so many hats in so many different places, in so many parts of his life. Specifically with her mother, I think seeing her Leonora and realizing what could have been, is a painful realization and one that makes him do the right thing, although that right thing is obviously quite questionable, now. Rejecting her and lying to her, to him, feels like the greater good, even though “the lesser evil,” I suppose, is probably the better way of wording it.
Rosie Graham & Rose Williams on Alison & Fraser
MASTERPIECE: What are your thoughts about the happy ending for Alison and Fraser?
Rosie Graham: It’s takes a while to get there! It was really exciting when I got the part, because at first I’d only had the audition sides, and then I eventually got the first three episodes, and then it was quite a while before I got Episodes 4-6. So I was like, what happens? What is happening to Alison? Is it Carter? Is it Fraser?
I like that Alison learns a lot about herself and about love. I think the things she reads in her poems and romance novels is a view of love that is quite materialistic and surface, and then it transpires that that’s not how her love story works out at all. She starts out not liking Fraser—I think she makes finds him quite curt and rude—and then it turns out that they have quite a lot in common and they both share a love of poetry. And there’s their battle of wits, which I really enjoyed, and which she’s never had with Carter. With him, it was all just like the surface, “we will be in love!” As that starts to crumble, a real strong bond comes out with Fraser. I think it’s a lovely, happy ending. And it’s what she came to Sanditon for! So I imagine she returns to Willingdon very pleased.
Rose Williams: The big sister’s very happy about it. There’s something that I tried to throw in—I don’t think it made the cut, but there’s a scene towards the end of, I think Episode 6, where Charlotte goes to the army camp—and when I was walking past, I tried to look at Fraser like I was checking him out, as if I felt something about him, like the big sister being intuitive.
But I think that Charlotte’s thrilled for her sister because she can sense that he is a good man. He comes from Ireland, from a working country, and he’s lived; he’s been through experiences on the battlefield. He seems like a very solid match for her sister. And if he wasn’t, I don’t think she would confidently allow her to get married. So she’s a very happy big sister.
MASTERPIECE: What do you hope for Alison as she begins her new life with Fraser?
Rosie Graham: I think that there would be some children along the way, continuing the line. I really admire Charlotte’s work ethic in Season 2, I think it’s inspiring, and I like to think that although Alison really enjoys the glitz and glamor of Sanditon, Fraser sees the real her, and sees that she’s a bit of a grafter [a dedicated, hard worker], as well. Also, she’s quite spirited, she loves dance and music, so I like to imagine that she continues to try and do more balls and barn dances in Willingdon. I feel like she’s really creative, so maybe she’d be a singing teacher or music teacher. I like to imagine that she would have a nice wholesome family, but also continue her own creative passions and endeavors.
Rose Williams: I think and hope that Fraser would, as Rosie just said, encourage all of the true personality traits and attributes of Alison that he fell in love with—her love of adventure and lightness and friendship and community. And that he would share her value of community, and that would transpire into their family unit and where they live together. All of the things that he fell in love with about Alison weren’t the surface-level things that Carter fell in love with, so hopefully they’ll continue to bond on that level and then create a family unit reflecting it.
Rose Williams on Charlotte’s shocking revelation
MASTERPIECE: Season 2 ends with a shocking revelation at Alison’s wedding when Charlotte announces/admits that she and Ralph are going to get married. What is going on for her at that moment?
Rose Williams: I think what’s going on for Charlotte is that she knows it’s not right for her, and that her friends are going to think and react in a negative way, because it’s not right for her. That’s why she hasn’t told anyone. I think she feels deeply awkward, and she’s left it to the absolute last minute, and she just wants a hole to appear in the ground and for it to swallow her up.
I found it very hard to shoot because I didn’t like her decision. I felt like, I can’t believe she’s doing this. This is so far from what I wanted for the character that I was like, “These words …” I found it very hard to say those lines—I could barely say the words—because I felt so frustrated for this girl. Why have you done this? You’ve worked so hard to create this independence and now you’ve just given in. What are you doing? That’s how I felt.
MASTERPIECE: What might we expect in Season 3, and what do you hope for Charlotte?
Rose Williams: In Season 3, we see characters meeting with their own unique challenges and really having to dig into deep parts of themselves to find resolve. I hope they come together at the end and maybe even they get their happily ever after, like we always wanted them to—an Austen ending, like it’s tied in a bow.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes on Colbourne’s last scene with Charlotte
MASTERPIECE: What’s going on for Colbourne and what was going on for you in the scene near the end where he goes to Charlotte at Trafalgar House? As a viewer, you really feel that because of his interaction with Lennox, he’s convinced that he is a destroyer of people he loves, which makes his attempt to open up to Charlotte—however late—especially courageous.
Ben Lloyd Hughes: It is so difficult for someone like Colbourne. It is his Everest, to break out of his comfort zone in that way and show, for him, that vulnerability of what he thinks is laying his cards on the table. What really spoke to me about Colbourne so much, is that he is a man of enormous integrity that permeates through him, often to his own detriment. What he thinks is the honorable decision is not necessarily the honorable decision for everyone else, because it’s all subjective. Sometimes he can cut off his nose to spite his face and be so proud. What he thinks is honorable is actually upsetting both himself and other people, and no one is left happy.
We actually re-shot that last scene of Season 2, to really make sure we got it right, because it is such a pivotal moment of what is happening for Colbourne and Charlotte. I absolutely loved the opportunity to play lots of different things all at once. Colbourne has so much going on, so many layers there, that it is not just straightforward. You’ve got what he’s saying, being one thing, and then what he is feeling, being another, and then all the layers before that of his fear, and insecurity, and ego, and pride. And then his love for Charlotte, and how the words are coming out, but not the necessarily in the right order. I love a scene where the audience are not watching the best version of that scene, which is to say that they are aware of what they want these people to be saying, but the people do not have the vocabulary to say it.
MASTERPIECE: What might we expect in Season 3?
Ben Lloyd Hughes: I think Season 3 will bring even more excitement, romance, fun, and tears in both forms. I think one thing for sure is that this is not the end of the story. We know that, 100%, and that is really exciting.