Sex Education Season 3: Everything We Know


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In the tumultuous year and a half since Sex Education season 2 hit screens in January 2020, you’d be forgiven for forgetting just how tumultuous things had already become at Moordale Secondary. Last time we saw our favorite hormone-addled Brits, Jean (Gillian Anderson) had learned she was pregnant with Jakob’s (Mikael Persbrandt) baby. Otis (Asa Butterfield) left a confession of love on Maeve’s (Emma Mackey) voicemail, only for Maeve’s neighbor, Isaac (George Robinson), to delete it. Adam (Connor Swindells) declared his feelings for Eric (Ncuti Gatwa)—on stage, no less. Maeve called social services on her mother. Oh, and Moordale itself was still floundering in the wake of its sex scandal, which ultimately labeled the beleaguered institution as the “Sex School” and saw Jean and Mr. Groff (Alistair Petrie) fired. Season 3 picks up as a new term begins, and with it comes an unfamiliar awkwardness amongst the students.

Off-screen, however, Butterfield said filming was as effortless as ever. “We’ve been doing this now for three seasons, so I find I can now slip into the world of Otis quite easily and it feels very natural,” the actor told ELLE in an interview. “I think one of the reasons [the show has] done so well is because everyone just enjoys themselves. As actors, having the freedom to play with the words and experiment and be a bit goofy—these are the magic moments, which you wouldn’t be able to write into a script. And I think that really elevates the show.”

If you’re hoping for more of those magic moments between Butterfield and Gatwa, you’re in luck; that friendship isn’t going anywhere. But the introduction of a new headmistress could shake up the rest of the relationships at Moordale. Here’s what we know about the new season so far.

When will season 3 come out?

The third chapter is set for release on Sept. 17, 2021. All eight episodes of the Netflix hit will drop at once.

Who’s in the cast?

All the recurring cast members from seasons 1 and 2 are set to return, including Butterfield, Gatwa, and Mackey. But several new faces will also join, including Jemima Kirke as Hope Haddon, a seemingly “cool” new leader at Moordale who soon reveals herself to be bizarrely controlling as she attempts to get the school “back on track.”

Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The OA) joins as Peter Groff, Mr. Groff’s “more successful and not very modest older brother,” per Deadline. Recording artist and performer Dua Saleh will play Cal, a nonbinary student, in their first credited television role, and Indra Ové (Resident Evil) will play Anna, Elsie’s foster mother.

kedar williams stirling as jackson marchetti, dua saleh as cal in episode 3 of sex education season 3

Dua Saleh (center) joins season 3 as Cal, a nonbinary student at Moordale.

Sam Taylor/Netflix

jemima kirke in episode 3 of sex education season 3

Jemima Kirke (right) plays Hope, Moordale’s new leader.

Sam Taylor/Netflix

There will also be a deeper focus on Eric’s heritage this season, Gatwa told ELLE. “This season, I really enjoyed [Eric] exploring his heritage and his parents’ culture a lot,” he said. “I find those things very powerful because I just feel like, when we talk about representation and inclusion and all of those things—it’s always really powerful to be like, ‘I’m on a Netflix set. This is a Netflix set, this is going to go out to the world. I’m on a Netflix set, and everybody here’s Black.’”

Is there a trailer?

On July 19, Netflix released a full-length trailer parodying an advertisement for Moordale. In the clip, our favorite students read off of cards provided by the new headmistress, who makes it clear she’s not there to be anyone’s friend.

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And on September 7, the streaming giant finally released a full-length trailer, hinting at several memorable moments to come: “shame signs”; stuffy school uniforms; “backwards” PSAs; and, of course, plenty of sexual tension between Otis and Maeve. Watch the full clip below.

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