The Bright Side of Fandom

Thank goodness for the light in the world! Yes, there’s a dark side to fandom, but there is also the bright side to fandom. In the case of Sanditon, it’s a cause, a victory, and rejoicing.

Sanditon will rise from the ashes as sure as eggs are eggs. (Thomas Parker)

Of course, who can forget the words of Lady Denham about rising from the ashes? The truth of the matter is that’s exactly what happened if you listen to the podcast about the Making of Sanditon: The Return. Sets were torn down; the cast and crew went on with their lives. Thanks to fans, however, who bemoaned its demise, they would hear nothing of it. 

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It’s not unusual these days as the hounding of fans can make networks and producers take note that people want more, in spite of decisions made to cancel shows. Another recent cancellation is Manifest from NBC, which also caused an uproar.  It ended in a dramatic jaw-dropping last episode which had so much to resolve!  Alas, even though NBC wouldn’t bring it back, with persistence Netflix stepped up to the table and gave fans a final season to close out the mysterious story. They are currently filming as well, and those fans are enjoying the behind-the-scenes pictures, actor interaction, and news on Twitter.

With interest, I watched at the sidelines the Sanditon Sisterhood’s endeavor to bring back Sanditon. Although I was not closely involved in the campaign (life strangling me with other commitments), I did watch and occasionally came to Twitter to see the progress. In April of 2021, I opened a new Twitter account and suddenly found myself spending a lot of time on social media after the announcement on Masterpiece PBS, May 7, 2021, that Sanditon had been renewed for two seasons. As a result of that announcement, I found myself sucked into the “joyful” crowd by June, who became excited about the renewal even though Theo James had jumped the rowboat.

When they started filming, I was on Twitter more than I care to admit, sometimes taking far too much time, scrolling through updates.  There were the sleuths who found great shots from the distance. The crew occasionally put up photos on Instagram. Then to our great joy, a few of the actors became active with the fan base, such as Jack Fox and Alexander Vlahos, posting for us gems of their mustaches and sideburns, among other things. The fact that they took the time out to interact with fans during filming was priceless. Then we had Liam Hoops, Justin Young, Bethany Mogan, Steve Brett, and many others involved in the show’s creation, giving us little glimpses here and there. Pictures of Tom Weston-Jones or Ben Lloyd-Hughes were few, except for a few slips from photos taken far away.  We wondered if they were in an actor protection plan.  A few of the others on breaks between filming snapped photos here and there.  It was like one big happy family of fans, cast, and crew, enjoying and loving every moment of filming for seasons two and three.  Everyone involved gave us just enough taste to make us hungry for more.

When the first official photos were released of the men in redcoats, Charlotte, and the regulars walking on the streets of Sanditon, we lost it.  When further pictures came out, finally of Colbourne, we lost it again.  All of the characters brought out emotions pent up for months – Lockhart, Lennox, Colbourne, Charlotte.  When the GIFS and memes abound, I laugh with the rest of you.  And to top everything off, there is so much great speculation on the characters and possible plotlines it makes us enthralled at the possibilities. For me, it’s been hours of entertainment and comradery with people around the world that I’ve never met, but who share the same love and respect for Sanditon and what is yet to come.  I’ve had some good laughs and happy tears during the process.

When the trailer is released and the show is aired, we are all going to go bonkers together, become therapists for one another, and draw closer in our support and love for the show.  At that moment, we will bask in the light of the “bright” side of fandom. 

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