I thought that I would share my thoughts on Welcome to Sanditon and answer some comments that I’ve seen.
The first comment I’ve seen several times is that the plot is centered on the ice cream vs. juice bar conflict. But this is just the tip of the ice burg of conflict; Gigi’s criticism centered on the fact that she (and Pemberley Digital) were and still are being lied to. “Pemberley Digital came to Sanditon to see how Domino interacts with a real community. All you’re using it to sell is fiction.” The problem isn’t a lying or overly ambitious politician, but a politician that wants to change the entire town without consulting his townspeople, and he’s using Domino to tell his side of the story.
Next I see a lot of people saying the characters aren’t as real as they were in LBD. Part of the problem with character revealing is the in-world reason for the videos being uploaded. In this respect Sanditon is completely different from LBD. In LBD it was easy to reveal main points about the main character because it was Lizzie’s vlog. Lizzie was making the videos to tell the world about her life. Sanditon is not a personal vlog, it’s a company partnering with a town to develop a new app and share the story of the town, not a single person. Another thing to remember is that with Sandtion the writers don’t have a year to develop the complex characters. It’s a miniseries, not a full length adaptation.
Finally some general thoughts on approach of the writers: adapting an unfinished work gives the writers more freedom. Several of the writers of LBD commented that they wished they hadn’t stuck so strictly to the source material. Adapting Sanditon forces them to stray from the material because in general the material doesn’t have a plot. I applaud the writers for trying something new. Also whoever wrote Tom Parker did an amazing job of making him sound like a politician.
My feelings about Sanditon improved today with the introduction of more plot points and direct conflict. I am looking forward to see how the writers take these conflicts and make them into a story.