Sanditon Season 2 introduced a lot of new characters to Jane Austen‘s seaside resort and I’m sorry to say many of them kind of sucked. You had Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos), a Byronic portrait artist who was revealed to be a racist con man after Georgiana’s (Crystal Clarke) fortune. He stinks. Then there was the reveal that Colonel Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones) not only had an affair with Lucy Colbourne back in the day, but abandoned her while she was pregnant. That’s really bad, Francis! Perhaps even worse? The revelation that he lives his life moving from town to town, where he racks up debts and leaves locals footing the bill. (Maybe it’s not worse, but just as bad.)
Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) may have won Charlotte’s (Rose Williams) heart, but he bungled his would-be proposal so badly that Charlotte is now engaged to farmer Ralph (Cai Bridgen) back in Willingdon. Captain Carter (Maxim Ays) not only lied about his military record (and personality) to impress Alison (Rosie Graham), but he also did, uh, literally nothing to save his “beloved” from drowning. And Alison, though sweet, isn’t exactly the brightest star in the firmament. (It took her how long to realize Carter was a loser?)
But there was one bona fide great new addition to Sanditon Season 2 and that is Captain Declan Fraser (Frank Blake). While other redcoats conned locals out of cash and led ladies astray, Captain Fraser was a gentleman. He was brave in battle, polite to the people he met, and begrudgingly helped his boy Carter woo the woman he loved. Where other romantic heroes botched their proposals or spun nefarious plans, Captain Fraser calmly proposed to Alison after it was obvious they had formed an attachment. Everyone else in Sanditon Season 2 makes wild assumptions, struggles to express themselves, or simply acts foolishly. But not Captain Fraser! Captain Fraser walks through Sanditon Season 2 like a nice, normal person just minding his own business. Captain Fraser will jump into a lake to save a woman from drowning! Captain Fraser rules.
Captain Fraser is the best addition to Sanditon Season 2 and we need to say it!
Sanditon Season 2 had a unique challenge to address. Because the show was originally cancelled and only renewed well after the cast had moved on, several key characters would not be returning to the Jane Austen show. Specifically, Charlotte’s two main love interests, Sidney Parker (Theo James) and Young Stringer (Leo Suter), wouldn’t be coming back. That meant that Charlotte’s story had to be tweaked to introduce new characters like Alexander Colbourne, Colonel Lennox, and his redcoats. While Sanditon showrunner Justin Young has revealed to Decider that the redcoats and Lockhart were always part of Sanditon Season 2’s plan, there’s no doubt that the original plan for Sanditon‘s future looked quite different. What we’re left with, though, is a parade of unscrupulous soldiers and emotionally-stunted men in cravats. The one glimmer of greatness? You guessed it. Captain Fraser.
Captain Fraser was an oasis of calm in Sanditon‘s maelstrom of madness. While everyone else was grieving, scheming, or struggling to articulate their emotions, Captain Fraser remained solid. He behaved like a normal dude, pining after his best friend’s girl. There was no dramatic attempt to seduce Alison nor did Captain Fraser sabotage his buddy. He simply just hung back and stepped in when the timing was right. It was smooth, confident, and honestly refreshing.
I love Sanditon so much and just want the best for everyone on this show, but I have to just say it: sometimes my beloved Sanditon characters did dumb-dumb things in Season 2. They self-sabotaged, ignored advice, or were stubbornly bone-headed. Not Captain Fraser, though. Captain Fraser was the best part of Sanditon Season 2 because he was just a simple dude who rocked.
Cheers to Captain Fraser and let’s hope he comes back in Season 3.