School is out for the summer as COVID-19 has delayed production on school-set comedy drama Sex Education, starring Asa Butterfield.
However, current plans could see filming for season three (which was due to take place from April 2020) pushed back to August – which would mean an only relatively short delay compared to some projects – although Butterfield has suggested that the number of (ahem) intimate scenes in the show could pose a problem due to social distancing guidelines.
Sex Education has won over a legion of fans with its charming coming-of-age story, in which awkward teen Otis Milburn (Butterfield) teams up with his savvy classmate to give sex advice to pupils at their school.
It’s a novel concept that allows for some outrageous humour as well as occasionally sage wisdom about embracing who you are, not to mention the central love story between Otis and his wise-cracking friend Maeve (Emma Mackey).
For proof of the pairing’s popularity, look no further than just how furious people were when their relationship was put in peril at the climax of season two, when Isaac showed his selfish side in an attempt to have Maeve to himself.
No doubt viewers will be hankering for answers about what happens next, so it’s lucky that Sex Education has indeed been renewed for a third season, although the coronavirus pandemic has affected the show’s filming schedule.
In May, it was reported that Netflix was hoping to begin production on the show in August after the UK government introduced new filming guidelines, which allow various shows to resume work next month.
According to Deadline, filming dates have not yet been confirmed due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, but crew members believe that August is a realistic start date for shooting on the third season.
However, if filming does have to be pushed further, we could be looking at a major delay until summer 2021, as the aesthetic of the series relies upon having good (or at least half-decent) weather.
Since the show contains a number of intimate scenes which require the cast to get up close and personal with each other (the clue is in the name), it seems unlikely that the Sex Education crew will be able to film all of season three in August.
Here’s everything we know about Sex Education season three so far. (Warning: **spoilers for seasons 1 and 2**)
Has Sex Education been renewed for a third season?
Netflix confirmed back in February that Sex Education had been renewed, with production set for May 2020. However, as outlined above, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the intended release date of January 2021 may no longer be realistic.
When is Sex Education season 3 released on Netflix?
There is no release date for Sex Education season 3 yet, but Netflix has now confirmed filming can begin in August using new guidelines on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Given that executives have said the show relies on shooting in the British summer, Autumn is seen as the latest possible filming date – so we’d expect concrete news one way or another in the near future.
Should filming go ahead, there remains a chance that the next season could be released in its usual January slot – fingers crossed!
Series star Asa Butterfield confirmed in a June interview with Deadline that he should have been filming Sex Education in “sunny Wales right now”.
“We should (be filming). We should be in sunny Wales right now. It’s a shame, but this whole situation is pretty mad. It’s been a lot of holding your breath to see what happens. I have a feeling this is going to go on for a while — I don’t know when we’re going to go back and start shooting. It’s hard to tell..”
However, he later stated that “Sex Education is going to happen as soon as possible”.
He also added that due to the high number of sex scenes in the show, the pandemic could cause more of an issue for Sex Education than other shows.
He said, “It’s quite hard to keep the two-meter distance when you’re kissing someone or doing anything else. I’m sure that’s something they have realised. As well as that, when you’re on a set making film and TV, there are so many parts to this machine. It will make it incredibly difficult to enforce a rule around quarantine, but you have to because this virus is going to be around for ages. Luckily that’s not my job to figure those things out.”
Sex Education season 3 cast: Who’s returning?
As the ending of season two teased a number of potential new relationships, viewers should expect to see the main cast return – Otis (Asa Butterfield), Maeve (Emma Mackey), Eric (Ncuti Gatwa), Jean (Gillian Anderson), Adam (Connor Swindells), Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood), Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) and villainous Mr Groff (Alistair Petrie) – all of whom appeared in the series’ renewal video.
Hopefully, we will also be seeing more of Jackson’s friend and tutor Viv (Chinenye Ezeudu), who was introduced last season and quickly became a fan favourite.
New characters Rahim (Sami Outalbali) and Isaac (George Robinson) also made a big impression on viewers – with the latter proving quite controversial by the season finale. Given how essential they were to the plot of season two, viewers should expect to see them again in season three.
It remains to be seen whether we can expect a return for Anne-Marie Duff, who played Maeve’s mother in season two, or Edward Bluemel who portrayed her brother Sean in the first run but did not return for the second.
New students are bound to arrive at Moordale as well, but Netflix has not announced any new cast members at this point in time…
Will Sex Education return for further seasons?
Good news for Sex Education fans – its creator Laurie Nunn told The Hollywood Reporter that she thinks the show’s characters have “got legs” and that Sex Education could run for several more seasons.
“I think I could do some more with them if we’re given the chance,” she said. “(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.”
Sex Education season 2 ending explained
*CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS*
By the end of series two, Otis has broken up with Ola after embarrassing her, Maeve and himself at a party, where he loses his virginity to popular girl Ruby.
After making amends with Jean, whom he fell out with prior to throwing a party, and chatting to his partially estranged father, he realises that he is in love with Maeve and leaves a voicemail telling her so. However, Maeve’s neighbour Isaac, who has a crush on her himself, deletes it before she has a chance to listen.
Eric, who has spent the entirety of season two in a love triangle, picks his former bully Adam over boyfriend Raheem, after Adam storms the stage during Moordale’s school musical and professes his love for him.
After breaking up with Otis, Ola realises that she has feelings for her friend, Lily, and begins a relationship with her.
Sex Education season 3 theories: What will happen next?
Obviously exact plot details aren’t readily available – but we can be sure that the show will continue to explore the relationships between the pupils of Moordale Secondary School – especially what might happen next with Maeve and Otis and Eric and Adam.
Star Asa Butterfield has spoken out on what he thinks the future has in store for Otis and Maeve, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in June.
“They both have a bit of growing to do if they are potentially to become a couple,” he said. “But, equally, I can see them just being good friends. I love Emma (Mackey), and we all get on amazingly well.
“It’s hard to put your finger on when you do experience that chemistry, but there are moments — fireworks, really — when you work with someone and it just feels right. Emma is so good at playing all of Maeve’s different shades and also showing her vulnerability.
“Otis is one of the few people who can get her to show those cracks. We didn’t actually get many scenes in season two together, which was really sad. I’m hoping they write some more for us next year.”
If we hear more whispers about possible developments in season three, we’ll post them here – so make sure to keep checking back!
Sex Education season 3 trailer
There isn’t a full trailer for season three just yet – but Netflix did release this humorous short featuring Mr Groff walking the corridors of Moordale, when they announced the show would be returning…
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