Fans of Sanditon had to cope with the loss of some key characters when the show returned this year.
This meant that Sidney Parker and Young Stringer couldn’t feature in the second season when it premiered this spring.
Mark Stanley was also unavailable to return as Lord Babington.
With a third season of the hit period drama on the way in 2023, we’ve got news of more cast exits, but at least they’re planned ones this time!
It’s been confirmed that Charlotte Spencer and Tom Weston-Jones won’t be back in Season 3.
Spencer has played Esther Babington in Sanditon since the first season, and her character got her happy ending in the last month’s Season 2 finale.
Weston-Jones joined the show at the start of the second season of Colonel Lennox.
Speaking to Decider, showrunner Justin Young explained: “I don’t think it’s spoiling much to say, I don’t think we’ll see Lennox again in Season 3. He’s kind of gone.”
Addressing Esther’s departure, he revealed: “I think Esther, where we leave her at the end of Season 2, I think she’s got everything she’s ever wanted. She’s happy, married, and now she has a child that she adores so I think that’s the end of Esther’s story as far as I’m concerned.”
Young added: “I’ve always said with respect to this show, I think the way we built it is that, like a novel, I think we have to honor that characters have finite stories. So when their stories are done, rather than just having them in the kind of ensemble treading water, I’d rather just say that’s the end of their story and they move on and we bring new characters in.”
One new character from Season 2 who definitely will be back is Charles Lockhart, played by Versailles star Alexander Vlahos.
Original cast members expected to return include Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise) as Tom Parker, Turlough Convery as Arthur Parker, and Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax) as Lady Denham.
Also back are Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood, Crystal Clarke as Georgiana Lambe, and Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Alexander Colbourne.
Season 3 will premiere early next year on BritBox in the UK, later airing on ITV.
In the US, it’ll be shown on PBS Masterpiece.
Sanditon is available on DVD on Amazon.