There's a Surprise New Character in 'Heartstopper's First Look Images

The cast of Heartstopper, including the characters Charlie, Nick, Tao, Elle, Darcy, Tara, and Isaac, pose for a photo together at a zoo with a giraffe behind them. All are smiling.

The Heartstopper gang is back again for Season 3.

Netflix

If the dog days of summer have you turning up the air conditioning and wishing you could fast-forward to autumn, the good news is that one of Netflix’s most anticipated releases of the fall feels closer now than ever. Heartstopper has released first-look images for its third season, along with some details about a new character, bringing the show’s forthcoming installment into focus. 

Heartstopper, adapted from a webcomic-turned-graphic novel by Alice Oseman, follows teens Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) as they meet, fall in love, and grow their ever-expanding group of friends who each have their own coming-of-age stories to tell. Season 2, which landed on Netflix in August 2023, ended with Nick and Charlie having a more serious conversation about their relationship, stopping just short of three words that begin with I, L, and Y. 

Series creator and writer Oseman teased a more serious turn for Season 3. “While Heartstopper will always celebrate the joyful and point towards hope, I’m really excited that we are allowing the tone of the show to mature alongside our beloved characters growing up,” Oseman said to Netflix. “Mental health, sex, university ambitions, and more: Nick, Charlie, and the Heartstopper teens are getting older, learning more about themselves and each other, and experiencing new desires, new fears, and new joys as they approach adulthood.”

Nick (Kit Connor) and Charlie (Joe Locke) stand facing each other in the dark, smiling

Kit Connor and Joe Locke return as Nick and Charlie in Heartstopper Season 3.

Netflix

Oseman isn’t playing around when it comes to the season’s more mature themes. The span of the webcomic that Season 3 will cover tackles Charlie’s mental health struggles and eating disorder, which were hinted at in Season 2. But if the new photos are any indication, there are fun times ahead as well. The first look images, along with sneak peek videos that Netflix has previously released, show the Heartstopper gang at the beach, an amusement park, and perhaps even a party.

Charlie (Joe Locke) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan) sit on a beach. Charlie's arm is looped through Isaac's and they are resting their heads together. Isaac is reading the book Gender Queer.

Heartstopper is about far more than just romance, as friends Charlie (Joe Locke) and Isaac (Tobie Donovan) show.

Netflix

Here's the third season synopsis:

Charlie would like to tell Nick that he loves him. Nick also has something important to say to Charlie. As the summer holiday ends and the months race on, the friends begin to realise that the school year will come with both its joys and its challenges. As they learn more about each other and their relationships, plan social events and parties and start thinking about university choices, everyone must learn to lean on those they love when life doesn't go to plan. 

Elle (Yasmin Finney) has her arms around Tao's (William Gao) neck in the midst of what look like sparkly pink party decoarations.

Yasmin Finney and William Gao as Elle and Tao in Heartstopper.

Netflix

The major revelation from this set of photos introduces a familiar face to those who know the comics. Charlie’s younger cousin Oliver Spring, played by Jensen Clayden (EastEnders), will make a “small but festive appearance in Season 3,” according to Oseman. Oliver hails from the webcomic, but he’s had a bit of a makeover. In the webcomic, Oliver is Charlie and Tori Spring’s younger brother, initially written out of the show. Apparently, his role now is "Fun Easter Egg." 

Oliver is far from the only character to be reimagined for the screen. Though the show, for the most part, is stunningly accurate to the webcomic for the most part, a few characters have been added or altered from their webcomic counterparts, like Isaac (Tobie Donovan), Sahar (Leila Khan), and Imogen (Rhea Norwood).

A child holding a toy truck stands in a doorway. Heartstopper's signature cartoon leaves surround the child. Adults talk in the background out of focus.

Jensen Clayden joins the Heartstopper cast as Charlie's cousin Oliver.

Netflix

Aside from Oliver, there are several characters from the book-verse that will be appearing on our screens come October. Nick’s aunt Diane (Hayley Atwell) will whisk Nick away on vacation, and Charlie will head to therapy with therapist Geoff (Eddie Marsh), a fan-favorite character from the comic. Two more fan favorites, celebrity classicist Jack Maddox (Jonathan Bailey) and Tori’s best friend Michael (Darragh Hand), will also join the Heartstopper world. Sadly, Heartstopper will also say goodbye to Sebastian Croft, who played bully-turned-tentative-friend Ben, and Olivia Colman, who had a sensational turn as Nick’s adoring mom. 

Oseman once again penned all eight episodes of the season, with director Andy Newbery helming all installments. Oseman is also an executive producer alongside Patrick Walters, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, and Euros Lyn.

Heartstopper Season 3 will premiere on Netflix with all episodes on Thursday, October 3, 2024. Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now.


Author Emma O’Neill-Dietel

Emma O’Neill-Dietel is a writer, educator, and history nerd from Philadelphia, PA. She eats, sleeps, and breathes Doctor Who but has been known to enjoy other British TV and movies too. She may love British media but don’t get it twisted; she’s Irish through and through. Follow her on Threads: @emmaod22.

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