Costume drama fans have been loving ITV's new drama series, Sanditon. An adaptation of Jane Austen's last novel, which she wrote it shortly before her death in 1817 and never lived to see it published, it was given the small-screen treatment courtesy of Andrew Davies. Andrew memorably turned Austen's most famous novel Pride and Prejudice into appointment TV (and made us all Colin Firth fans) back in 1995.
Sanditon's beach scenes were filmed in the beautiful Somerset region
Of course, one of the biggest challenges of making a historical show look accurate is picking the right location, and for Sanditon, production company Red Planet Pictures went above and beyond. They built an entire outdoor seaside town set with an1820s feel in the back lot of The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol.
The cast of the big-budget adaptation, which includes Kris Marshall and Anne Reid, also filmed in 22,000 square feet of indoor studio space which had been transformed to look like Regency England. But that's not all: the show was also filmed on location in the Bristol area, at historic Methodist chapel The New Room and The Georgian House Museum, as well as at places further afield.
The production company built a huge outdoor set in Bristol
These included Cleveden, Sand Point, Uphill, and the rugged cliffs of Brean Beach in North Somerset, all of which helped to create the titular seaside town. Filming ran from February until the beginning of July and ITV will air eight episodes of the series, starting at 9 PM on Sunday.
It tells the story of a young woman called Charlotte Heywood (played by Rose Williams) who goes to stay in Sanditon and meets some unusual and colourful characters along the way. Jane Austen called the book The Brothers, but its name was changed to Sanditon when it was first published in 1925. As well as Pride and Prejudice, Andrew Davies has also adapted War and Peace and Les Misérables for television, meaning the new series not only looks beautiful but has an impressive pedigree.
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