Anyone taking a casual stroll in the Uphill Nature Reserve on England’s Somerset coast last Monday (October 18) evening might have been surprised and intrigued at seeing the phrase “Sanditon is Saved!” projected onto the stone façade of the Uphill beacon just below a large, illuminated image of two smiling women in Regency-era bonnets.
Longtime observers of the Save Sanditon campaign would easily guess that the band of fans known as the Sanditon Sisterhood was up to its old attention-grabbing tricks.
Sanditon Heroines in Light
For its most recent stunt (following the spectacular sand art in September 2020), the Sanditon Sisterhood assembled three outdoor projectionists and the drone videographer Raed Shakman to hike up the hill overlooking the village of Uphill to set up their equipment at the base of the stone tower known as Uphill beacon.
Just after sundown, the crew projected the iconic image of Charlotte Heywood and Georgiana Lambe – billed as the heroines of the upcoming seasons of the recently-renewed show – onto the tower wall.
The Sanditon Sisterhood immediately released one splendid still shot of the Uphill Beacon adorned with light in the form of Sanditon’s leading ladies and the triumphal hashtag “#Sanditon Is Saved.”
Using Bits of Sanditon Magic to Say Thanks
While the image was stunning, anyone thinking the Sanditon Sisterhood marched four men uphill for one perfect picture underestimates their flair for the dramatic. Shakman, the drone videographer, captured footage of the whole undertaking, including sweeping scenes of the Old Church of Saint Nicholas, a site fans of Sanditon will readily recognize from the show’s first season. The stunt culminated on Sunday (October 24) with the YouTube premier of the video entitled Sanditon Is Saved – The Journey Continues….
The 2.5-minute video, combining Shakman’s footage and one of Ruth Barrett’s original compositions for Season 1, “Sanditon Theme” and “Journey to Sanditon,” is a public thank you letter to all who helped bring about the renewal of Sanditon after the show was abruptly cancelled by iTV in December 2019.
Celebrating a Successful Renewal Campaign
The Sanditon Sisterhood also describes the video as a celebration of the successful renewal campaign. The rollicking Sanditon theme music and familiar scenery immediately call to mind some of the enchanting aspects of the show that fans fought so hard to bring back. In this sense, the “Sanditon Is Saved” stunt does provide a tangible touchpoint for all who loved Season 1 enough to tweet, email, and post letters during the 18-month renewal campaign (including me).
Season 2 of Sanditon premieres in the US on Masterpiece PBS on March 20, 2022.