Today the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation posted a video on YouTube (see below), which was a very telling interaction with the host (who, by the way, is a distant cousin of Jane Austen) and Justin Young, leader writer of Sanditon seasons two and three. The most striking revelations of this interview, which should, by all means, put things to rest, are the following:
- When season one ended and the talks about bringing back the show ensued, a storyline was written for seasons two and three that included Sidney. That storyline was presented to Theo James. However, even after, what was termed as “very friendly discussions,” Theo James decided to walk away from the part and puruse others. He was satisfied with where it ended — how it ended — his famous “broken fairty-tale” response.
- They were about to shelve the show since Theo wasn’t returning, but Masterpiece didn’t believe it needed to end there. They believed the series could continue anyway.
- As far as recasting, it became apparent that wouldn’t be a very good idea. Theo and Rose had specific chemistry, and they believed it wasn’t something they could easily replicate with another actor. In addition, they thought that person would be compared to Theo James saying, you’re not Sidney – you’re not the person we fell in love with, etc. It wasn’t a workable or plausible solution, which I totally agree.
Watch this insightful Q&A below, and hear the truth behind the reasoning regarding Sidney Parker’s character. Let’s put it to rest, once and for all. (No pun intended.)