By Liv Facey
Attention students! It's nearly time to go back to Moordale. If you've been asking, "When does Sex Education season 3 come out?" we've got good news for you: you don't have to wait much longer for even more frisky adventures of Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), and their horde of hormonal classmates.
Netflix announced that Sex Education season 3 was a go back in February 2020, shortly after the second season of the British comedy series hit the streamer. Much to fans' chagrin, the wait between seasons was extra-long this time around, with the third edition arriving more than a year and a half after the second. (Naturally, COVID was to blame for the delay.)
But that lengthy countdown is nearly over, as the new season will hit the streaming platform this September, just in time for back-to-school season. So grab your notebook and a pen—here's everything you need to know.
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When does Sex Education season 3 come out?
After waiting what seems like for-ev-er, Netflix confirmed in June that the third season of Sex Education would be released on Friday, September 17, 2021.
The news was announced on Twitter as the steamer gave fans a sneak peek at what’s to come, including fan-favorite characters being forced to wear uniforms.
The wait is almost over! Sex Education Season 3 premieres September 17 — FIRST LOOK: pic.twitter.com/kNj7a3MiV0June 24, 2021
Netflix also confirmed that the third season of Sex Education will be comprised of eight episodes, following the same structure as previous seasons.
The first two seasons of the show both premiered in January, but fans have had to wait a bit longer for the hit series to come back as the show’s production schedule was thrown off by the pandemic, and filming only began September 2020.
Season 3 of #SexEducation is now in production! pic.twitter.com/ipaPgBKvojSeptember 9, 2020
Where did Sex Education season 2 leave off?
Season two of Sex Education was a lot. Many changes happened for the kids at Moordale Secondary, so let's start from the top. A rampant chlamydia outbreak gave the school a big problem, which brought Oti's mom Jean (Gillian Anderson) to the school as a sort of Sex Ed teacher/guidance counselor and eventually led to the ousting of Mr. Groff (Alistair Petrie), Moordale's headteacher and Adam's strict dad. About time if you ask us!
We then saw Jean find out about Otis being an illicit sex therapist, resulting in a fight between the two, but Jean eventually forgives him. In other shocking news in the Milburn household, we find out that Jean is pregnant with her ex Jakob's child.
Oti's BFF Eric Effiong (Ncuti Gatwa) broke up with his boyfriend, Rahim, after former bully turned erstwhile makeout buddy Adam publicly confessed his love for Eric at the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
Maeve called social services on her drug-addicted mother. Otis broke up with Ola (Patricia Allison) and, after having a one-night stand with queen bee Ruby (Mimi Keene), Otis tried to confess his love to Maeve in a voicemail—which Maeve's new friend Isaac sneakily deleted from her phone. Whew! Talk about a lot going on.
Is there a Sex Education season 3 trailer?
Yes! Netflix has graciously spoiled us leading up to Sex Education season 3, as not only do we have a full trailer but also funny fake promotional videos of the cast attempting to encourage students to attend Moordale Secondary.
The highly anticipated trailer was released 10 days before the release of the third season, on September 7. The trailer features all of our favorite characters as they attempt to overcome the massive changes this season…including the arrival of a new headteacher, Miss Hope Haddon. (We're getting Umbridge vibes from this one, eek.)
On July 19, 2021, Netflix dropped a fictional advert encouraging students to attend Moordale Secondary. Most of the main characters, minus our fave Eric, were shown in the video praising their beloved school alongside the new headmistress, played by Girls actress Jemima Kirke.
The faux ad shows head boy Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) reading from a script and Maeve looking super uncomfortable, so it’s probably safe to say that things at the school aren't going nearly as good as they're trying to portray.
pic.twitter.com/xAf40kZNhVJuly 19, 2021
We also got some super cute teaser pictures on August 16, which showed the new school uniform as well as Adam and Eric holding hands while they skip through the woods (which after last season is a big deal!).
We are respectfully bowled over. 🎳 Here's your next look at Season 3 of @sexeducation, ~coming~ 17 September. pic.twitter.com/0iX7MYW9XtAugust 16, 2021
What can we expect from Sex Education season 3?
We don’t know the dirty details yet, except that there will be a time jump skipping over the summer and beginning with the new school year.
We also know what Netflix’s given us in the official synopsis: “It’s a new year, Otis is having casual sex, Eric and Adam are official, and Jean has a baby on the way. Meanwhile, new headteacher Hope (played by Jemima Kirke) tries to return Moordale to a pillar of excellence, Aimee discovers feminism, Jackson gets a crush and a lost voicemail still looms. Prepare for commitment animals, alien phenomena, vulva cupcakes and much more of Madam Groff.”
Based on the synopsis, there'll be a lot going on in season three, including plenty of tension surrounding that voicemail from the season two finale. Otis will probably think Maeve heard his voicemail and simply decided to ignore it, which will make at least the first half of the season awkward between the two.
Who's in the cast of Sex Education season 3?
Many familiar faces are set to return for Sex Education season 3, with the show smoothly juggling multiple storylines. Fans can expect to see: Otis (Asa Butterfield), Maeve (Emma Mackey), Otis’ mum Jean (Jillian Anderson), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling), Adam (Connor Swindells), Ola (Patricia Allison) and her dad, Jakob (Mikael Persbrandt), and Mr. Groff (Alistair Petrie).
Netflix has also announced some great new editions to the cast in the form of Girls actress Jemima Kirke as Headteacher Hope Haddon, who from trailers seems to be a bit of an authoritarian. Recording artist Dua Saleh will also join the show as Cal, a nonbinary student who befriends Jackson. This is Dua’s first credited television role.
Harry Potter alum Jason Issacs is also joining the show as Mr. Groff's more successful older brother who we can’t wait to meet. Lastly, Resident Evil actress Indra Ové is joining as the new foster mom of Maeve's younger half-sister Elsie.
SEX EDUCATION S3 CAST NEWS:~@jemimakirke is joining as Moordale's new headmistress ‘Hope’~Dua Saleh (@doitlikedua) is playing ‘Cal’, a student who clashes with Hope~Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) is playing ‘Peter Groff’, Mr Groff’s more successful/less modest older brother pic.twitter.com/zkfGCm9hjeSeptember 24, 2020
We also expect to see Simone Ashley, who has recently been cast as one of the lead characters in Bridgerton season 2, come back as Olivia, as well as the rest of her group Ruby (Mimi Keene) and Anwar (Chaneil Kular), a.k.a. The Untouchables.
Also coming back for the third round are Aimee's boyfriend Steve (Chris Jenks), Miss Sands (Rakhee Thakrar), Mr. Hendricks (Jim Howick), Adam's mum Maureen (Samantha Spiro), Jackson's mums Sofia (Hannah Waddingham) and Roz (Sharon Duncan-Brewster).
We’d also expect to see season two additions including French student and Eric’s now ex-boyfriend Rahim (played by Sami Outalbali), Chinenye Ezeudu as Jackson’s friend Viv, and George Robinson as Maeve’s new friend Isaac.
Will there be a season 4 of Sex Education?
Based on comments made by show creator Laurie Nunn, we can definitely see a future beyond season three. Nunn told The Hollywood Reporter: "I think these characters… they’ve got legs, I think I could do some more with them if we’re given the chance."
She continued: "[Netflix] is very supportive and really wanting us to tell the stories that we feel passionate about. It really feels like we’re all on the same page, wanting to make the same show."
Gillian Anderson also shared her thoughts with Collider: "It has been discussed and I think, given how much people are enjoying it, I don’t see why it wouldn’t [continue], but things change. Things are changing at Netflix daily, as we speak. And so at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s call but those guys at the top."
Liv is a freelance journalist who is currently studying English at university. She has previously written for The Times, The Resident and The Bookseller.
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