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Heartstopper creator reveals why major character was left out of Netflix show

Warning, minor spoilers ahead!

heartstopper change
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
24 April 2022
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Are you watching Heartstopper on Netflix? The new coming-of-age LGBTQ series based on Alice Oseman's best-selling graphic novel series of the same name has gone down a storm with longtime fans and new audiences. 

MORE: Heartstopper hints at important season two storyline you might have missed 

However, some have been expressing their confusion over a major character's absence from the episodes. Warning, some minor spoilers ahead!

WATCH: Heartstopper season one is available to stream on Netflix now  

Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: "I don't understand why Aled was replaced by Isaac when Isaac is barely a character #Heartstopper."  Another asked: "Does anybody know why Aled isn't in the Heartstopper show?" while a third added: "Wait so is Aled not in the Heartstopper show?? What the…"

MORE: Exclusive: The cast of Heartstopper on how they created Netflix's most joyous show

MORE: The sweet story behind Olivia Colman's secret role in new Netflix series Heartstopper

In the original Heartstopper comics by Alice Oseman, Aled appears as a close friend of Charlie, Elle and Tao's, making up the fourth member of their friendship group. However, in the Netflix adaptation, he has been replaced by a new character named Isaac, played by Tobie Donovan.

Explaining the decision to replace Aled with Isaac, Alice told HELLO!: "Basically, Aled is a character in one of my other books, who has his whole own separate story and I decided that I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted with this character so it worked to create a new character."

heartstopper aled

Aled has been replaced by a new character named Isaac (far right) 

There is another new addition to the show's line-up in the form of Imogen, played by Rhea Norwood, who Alice explains was created to add a bit more "drama and angst to the storyline".

She said: "I came up with [Imogen] because I wanted Nick to have a friend who wasn't one of the lads. We knew we needed a bit more drama and angst in the story and Imogen is the one who brings the drama midseason."

heartstopper book

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, £9.34, Amazon


However, Alice was keen to stress that she thinks the new characters "really fit the world of Heartstopper" and so are no different to her comic characters.

Elsewhere, Alice also explained the decision to carry over some of the whimsical elements of the comics into the show, namely the sudden appearance of hearts, stars and leaves at "moments of high emotion". 

MORE: Netflix announces shocking change - and users are not taking it well

"That was always there from day one," she said. "I think that's one of the things Netflix was really drawn to when we were pitching it to them. We tried really hard to portray the aesthetic of Heartstopper."

She continued: "We've taken that and done so much more with it. Even the transitions sometimes look like comic panels. I think it's great and gives it such a distinct and unique and magical aesthetic which really suits the tone of the show."

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