“Sex Education” fans can breathe easy. Ncuti Gatwa is set to return as Otis’ beloved BFF Eric Effiong in the hit Netflix series, Variety can exclusively confirm.
Creator, writer and executive producer Laurie Nunn is also confirmed to return to the series about the socially awkward Otis Milburn (played by Asa Butterfield) and his friends as they navigate teenage sexuality in the shadow of Otis’s sex therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson).
Fans feared for Eric’s future in the show after the BBC blindsided everyone when they dramatically revealed Gatwa had been cast as the new Doctor Who hours before the BAFTA TV awards in May. The upcoming season of the British sci-fi show, which has been written by “It’s a Sin” showrunner Russell T. Davies, is currently shooting in Wales. (Davies is also responsible for re-booting “Doctor Who” in 2003 after a 7-year hiatus).
Fortunately some canny scheduling has ensured Gatwa can appear in both series, with filming for “Sex Education” season 4 set to take place this fall. He will also star alongside his “Sex Education” co-star Emma Mackey in the highly anticipated “Barbie” movie next year, which features Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the pneumatic doll and her boyfriend Ken.
Gatwa’s return to “Sex Education” follows the news that a number of his former co-stars will not be joining him, including Simone Ashley, who played Olivia, Tanya Reynolds as Lily, Patricia Allison as Ola and Rakhee Thakrar, who played school teacher Emily Sands. Ashley has pivoted to Netflix stablemate “Bridgerton” while Allison is next set to appear in Disney+ U.K. original “Extraordinary.”
Despite the mini exodus, a source tells Variety season 4 of the show will “see a mixture of old and new exciting faces” as the Moordale Secondary School alumni seek an alternative place to study – and romp – after the school lost its funding and was sold to developers.