CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews raunchy Jane Austen adaptation Sanditon 

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Sanditon 

Rating:

Breeches be bothered! Nearly 25 years ago, Colin Firth set pulses galloping when he emerged from a lake in Pride And Prejudice, shirt and trousers clinging wet.

How tame that seems now. The gentlemen of Sanditon were fully nude as they charged down to the water’s edge for a dose of ‘sea-bathing’.

Sozzled Arthur (Turlough Convery) was in such a hurry to tear off his clothes that he hopped across the sands bare-bottomed with one leg in the air, wrestling his long johns. And to judge from the teasers that aired before the eight-part serial started, we haven’t seen everything yet. So to speak.

Jane Austen’s little-known final novel, set in the imaginary seaside town of Sanditon and following the adventures of young Charlotte Heywood, was unfinished at her death aged just 41 in 1817. This adaptation is, like the earlier P&P, the work of Andrew Davies.

Sex aside, Sanditon was an absolute joy. The show is based on Austen's lesser known final novel and follows the adventures of the young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams pictured second from left)

Sex aside, Sanditon was an absolute joy. The show is based on Austen's lesser known final novel and follows the adventures of the young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams pictured second from left) 

Notorious for ‘sexing up’ classic literature for TV, Randy Andy is leaving even less to the imagination than he did in the Nineties.

Miss Austen made only the most oblique allusions to matters immodest. Two centuries later, ITV is so insistent on showing us the action her work becomes practically pornographic.

When wide-eyed heroine Charlotte (Rose Williams) stumbled on her friend Clara in the woods with dastardly Sir Edward (Lily Sacofsky and Jack Fox), the pair most certainly weren’t having a teddy bear’s picnic. Later, Clara tried to explain that she was obliged to do something bad to avoid something worse, but even Charlotte wasn’t fooled. We all saw what you were up to, Clara. From several angles.

The problem with all this is not that it’s unfaithful to Jane Austen’s imagination, or even that the Regency Love Island crudity is a betrayal of her story-telling. It’s that, in future, anything

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