Sex Education Season 4 Gets Character Update from Showrunner

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Sex Education Asa Butterfield and Mimi Keene

Sex Education Season 4 sees many characters from its first three seasons return, but a new update indicates that they will have smaller roles this time around.

The highly-discussed Netflix series features an impressive cast led by Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey. After a stellar debut season, the spotlight slowly highlighted other characters, including Eric, Adam, Ruby, and even Gillian Anderson's Jean Millburn.

At the end of Season 3, Moordale Secondary School was shut down after it lost the support of its investors, meaning that all students had to find a new school for the next term. This ending opens up the possibility of meeting new characters in Season 4.

Sex Education Creator Teases Importance of New Characters

Sex Education main characters

In a new report from The Guardian, it was revealed that the main characters from the first three seasons will have "less screen time" in Season 4. 

The upcoming season will reportedly shift its focus to Cal Bowman (Dua Saleh) and the newcomers namely Anthony Lexa's Abbi, Felix Mufti's Roman, and Alexandra James' Aisha. 

They are described as a group of students who have a "self-consciously progressive vibe" and a "no gossip" mandate that the original set of characters, particularly Eric, is surprised by. 

This new update is disappointing to a good chunk of the show's core fanbase. 

Fans online have expressed their desire for the final season should be focused on finishing the core group's stories in a satisfying way while others said that they are not interested anymore after reading the report and interview.

The Guardian also shared some story details from Season 4, with the outlet stating that many of the show's core characters will have their "own journeys of strife and self-discovery."

It was also mentioned that Asa Butterfield's Otis, Emma Mackey's Maeve, Ncuti Gatwa's Eric, and Gillian Anderson's Jean Milburn will have "relatively little interaction" in Season 4 due to story-related reasons.

Eric will reportedly find a new set of friends while he struggles with his faith. Maeve is now in the United States for her studies. Jean, meanwhile, is suffering from postpartum depression while her son, Otis, is no longer attached to his peers. 

Speaking with The Guardian, Sex Education creator Laurie Nunn talked about what to expect in Season 4, hinting that responding to failure is one of its core storylines: 

“When you’re in your late teens, there can be this feeling that if you mess up, that’s it – that’s your final chance, and life is over. I felt that very strongly when I was at school.” 

Nunn continued by teasing that Season 4 will include "slightly darker themes:"

“I wanted to say that that is not the case, there are always second chances. Because I started from that place, those slightly darker themes started to come out.”

Will the Old Cast Get Their Due in Sex Education Season 4?

For many, it is quite disappointing that the main characters of Sex Education will have lesser roles in Season 4, mainly because it is the show's swan song on Netflix.

The dynamic between the core characters, their chemistry, and the relationships that they built in the first three seasons are the things that made Sex Education stand out, and reducing such interactions could become a problem for Season 4. 

Allowing new characters to shine in Season 4 would've been ideal if it were not the show's last hurrah and if the spotlight could carry over in future installments. 

It's possible that The Guardian's report could've overexaggerated the small roles of Sex Education's main characters, with a chance that they will still be pushed to the forefront and be able to stand out from the rest. 

What characters like Otis, Maeve, Eric, and the other core cast members need is a proper closure that would address their issues and lead them to a better future. 

Sex Education Season 4 starts streaming on Netflix on Thursday, September 21.

- In This Article: Sex Education Season 4
Release Date
September 21, 2023
Asa Butterfield
Emma Mackey
Ncuti Gatwa
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.