Pictures have been released, and short snippets of personality qualities and backgrounds have been hinted at. We have a group of new men on the scene of Sanditon, which as far as I am concerned, will fill the gap of Theo James’ departure very well. I’m sure most of us will also miss Leo Suter as young Stringer, but he did not return due to other commitments.

Despite the rude comments on social media that the new cast is “bland” and “can’t hold a candle to Theo,” I say handsomeness is in the eyes of the beholder. These men definitely tempt me. From what I read on Twitter, the consensus of those anxiously awaiting Season 2 also find these casting choices agreeable.

So, who are the new arrivals and, what can we speculate about their personalities? Between the promotional pictures released and the last podcast from PBS, we know just enough to tickle our fancy and speculate where this will all lead.

Let’s start with the militia first. From my research into the militia during the Regency era the men were considered gentlemen and engaged in local affairs. The officers spent much of their days in frivolity, mingling with society, flirting, gambling, and in other pursuits. There wasn’t much else to do except military drills when not at war.

Captain William Carter, Colonel Lennox, Captain Declan Frazer

Now we have our three new men in uniform arriving on the scene. It will be interesting to see how their arrival and presence in Sanditon will affect the locale. Will Tom Parker be glad of their arrival or not?

Tom Weston-Jones, who plays Colonel Lennox, was described early on by PBS as the “self-assured war hero.” Tom indicated in the recent podcast that Lennox is used to getting what he wants. He is a handsome rival for Charlotte’s affections. I mean look at him in uniform! He commands not only respect but notice. Ladies like to swoon over men in uniform, and if this picture says much of anything else, is that at least Lennox brings a smile to Charlotte’s face.

It will be interesting to see how he goes about enticing Charlotte. Will he use flattery? Will he flirt? Will he be a gentleman? Tom hinted that there is an element of Lennox that gets under Charlotte’s skin. I wonder what that could be. He also stated that they “get each other,” so there must be personality traits that they share. Will Charlotte fall in love with the handsome Colonel, or will he merely be a tool to bring healing and a smile back to her face? The question looms in my mind if Charlotte will be ready to love again by the end of Season 2, or if we will wait until Season 3 to see.

Captain Carter is the young and handsome officer we assume will attempt to gain the affections of Allison Heywood, Charlotte’s sister. In the recent PBS podcast, Maxim Ays, who plays Carter, stated that he’s a compassionate and caring individual but a bit slow to come to realizations. Does that mean he’s a bit too slow to realize he’s in love with Allison and Captain Fraser swoops in?

From what we’ve read, Captain Fraser, played by Frank Blake may also charm Allison’s heart. However, he’s a scarred war hero, not only physically but apparently emotionally, thinking he’s a bit to “rough around the edges” to be loved.

Now of great interest, comes two other men into the picture. Let’s talk about the artist who arrives to paint portraits of the rich residents of Sanditon. Charles Lockhart is coming to town.

Played by the talented Alexander Vlahos, he describes Charles as a “peacock” and “rock star,” arriving on the scene. No doubt, he’s going to be another Lord Byron character type, with flare, risque behavior, and lots of fun to watch. I think Alexander V. will steal the show with this flamboyant dandy, who may find love. (And a tremendous thank you to Alexander Vlahos for the fan interaction during filming. What a treat!)

Then last, but not least, it’s the mysterious Alexander Colbourne, arriving to tempt our imaginations. He’s the recluse with a mysterious past, who has a ward and a child from what we’ve gathered. Ben Lloyd-Hughes, who plays the role states that, “He finds her very intriguing and intelligent, and they have a very heated complex first meeting which doesn’t necessarily go very well, but there is a certain chemistry that he isn’t quite sure what it means.”

That statement is enough to sell me on this character, and my mind, along with many others, are rampantly drawing conclusions of a hate/love relationship that’s filled with strained chemistry and eventual HEA somewhere down the line. Sound familiar? I believe that Colbourne is going to be much different from Sidney. I don’t see him as a flashy individual but a quiet, pensive type, brooding over hurts from the past, afraid to love again, but hopelessly and secretly in love with Charlotte. As you can see, my plotting brain has gone wild in speculation. I will have to see if I’m right. I’m sure as readers, you have your own thoughts as well as to what this mysterious man will bring to the series.

Alexander Colbourne played by Ben Lloyd-Hughes, who is “thrilled” to play the part.

Now it’s time for a reality check. Season two airs March 20, 2022. Do you realize that we probably won’t know for sure who Charlotte ends up with until Season 3? I can only pray for world peace and Covid conquered until that last episode arrives on PBS probably some time in 2023.

We should probably keep in mind, too, that when these men accepted these roles, they hadn’t a clue what it meant to be an Austen-type hero on screen. For the next few years, they will be subject to a wild bunch of Sanditon enthusiasts hoarding photos, making GIFs, designing memes, dreaming about them, worshiping them, and living vicariously through Charlotte. Heaven help them as this all unfolds, and fans go wild when the show airs.

Thank you men of Sanditon! We may be a bit obsessed, but overall we are harmless. And you can be assured, that we are eternally grateful for the part you played in bringing Sanditon back. You are all true Austen heroes.

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