Cry no more, “Lizzie Bennet” fans: your wait for more Jane Austen-inspired magic has come to an end! The first episode of “ Welcome To Sanditon,” the highly anticipated sequel to “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” launched today along with the announcement that the series will be partnering with Theatrics interactive entertainment company to provide more ways for fans to interact with the series. After signing up for a free account on the Theatrics website, fans are encouraged to create an original character, film a video of themselves playing that character and then upload it onto the “Welcome To Sanditon” Theatrics page. These fan-made videos have the potential of being chosen to be in an episode of the show and will have fans playing city residents that Gigi Darcy encounters during her time in Sanditon.
The “Welcome To Sanditon” series will follow William Darcy’s sister Gigi Darcy, who has agreed to move to the town of Sanditon to help her family’s company Pemberley Digital in the beta-testing of their new fictional platform “Domino.” The series will follow Gigi as she gets to know the Sanditon residents that hope the app will reinvent their small town into a travel destination. Personally, I’m tuning in to see Gigi’s love life develop, and have my money set on the mayor’s handsome assistant becoming her main squeeze. While “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” stuck closely to the original storyline of Austen’s beloved “Pride and Prejudice” (there would have been riots if not), the online adaptation of Austen’s final, unfinished manuscript “Welcome To Sanditon” has allowed fans more involvement in helping create a storyline that fills in the text’s gaps.
“People are constantly asking us about ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’: ‘How did interaction with fans affect the story?’ And the truth is that when you’re working from an amazing and well-loved story like ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ there’s only so far you can stray from the original before you aren’t telling a version of Austen’s novel anymore,” states Co-showrunner of “Welcome to Sanditon” Margaret Dunlap. “Using ‘Sanditon’ — where literally no one knows what Austen’s ending was going to be — as the basis for our next project seemed like the perfect way both for us to do something new, and to be able to invite the fans to help create the town alongside us.”
Check out NMR’s exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”: