"His journey concluded as I wanted it to," the actor said in a statement after PBS reversed the show's cancellation.

By Andrea Towers
May 07, 2021 at 11:48 AM EDT
Credit: Simon Ridgway/MASTERPIECE

Fans across the world rejoiced when PBS recently announced it had reversed its decision to cancel Sanditon, the critically acclaimed series based on Jane Austen's unfinished novel, ultimately choosing to renew the series for two additional seasons.

But when Sanditon returns to our television screens, it'll be missing a piece of its core cast, as PBS announced today that Theo James won't be returning to his role of Sidney Parker.

"#StanditonPBS will return w/ seasons 2 & 3 and continue Charlotte's journey through life & love. While Sidney Parker will not return, rest assured that an abundance of romance & adventure lies ahead for the Sanditon heroine. We can't wait for you to see what we have in store…" wrote PBS on Twitter, sharing a statement from James in an included graphic.

"Although I relished playing Sidney, for me, I've always maintained that his journey concluded as I wanted it to," James shared. "The broken fairy-tale like ending between Charlotte and Sidney is different, unique and so interesting to me and I wish the cast and crew of Sanditon every success with future series."

Devoted fans of the series, who fought to get the show back on the air, reacted with surprise and shock to the announcement, with many expressing anger and disappointment that the star had chosen to leave after the show had been brought back.

Casting for the new seasons has yet to be revealed, but the initial announcement confirmed that Rose Williams would be reprising her role as heroine Charlotte Heywood. It's unclear how Sanditon will move forward without James' dreamy Sidney in the narrative, but it definitely opens up a whole new world of storytelling for the show in its new life.

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