Get ready to embark on an emotional journey through the intricate tapestry of love, friendship, and life’s unpredictable twists in “One Day,” the highly anticipated British television series. Adapted from David Nicholls’ acclaimed 2009 novel and inspired by its cinematic counterpart, this Netflix original premiered on 8 February 2024, captivating audiences with its poignant storytelling and compelling characters. As viewers delve into the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, they are drawn into a captivating narrative that spans over two decades, exploring the complexities of relationships, the pursuit of dreams, and the enduring power of connection. With each episode, “One Day” promises to immerse audiences in a heartfelt saga that resonates long after the credits roll.

In the following article, we will take a deeper look at everything we know about One Day:

Who is in the cast of Netflix’s ‘One Day’?

One, the web series on Netflix has a diverse cast. The show is led by Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall, who play Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhem, respectively. 

The rest of the cast is as follows: 

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  • Eleanor Tomlinson as Sylvie
  • Essie Davis as Alison Mayhew
  • Tim McInnerny as Stephen Mayhew
  • Jonny Weldon as Ian
  • Brendan Quinn as Callum
  • Billie Gadsdon as Jasmine
  • Toby Stephens as Lionel Cope
  • Joely Richardson as Helen Cope
  • Amber Grappy as Tilly
  • Adam Loxley as Graham
  • Tim Preston as Gary
  • John Macmillan as Aaron
  • Rebekah Murrell as Suki
  • Jodie Price as Sonya
  • Sophie Wolff as Tara
  • Joseph Pharoah as Andy
  • Meghan Treadway as Kate
  • Ella-Rae Smith as Naomi
  • Mathilde Thomine Storm as Tove
  • Sam Swan as Damian
  • Beth Lindsey as Sarah
  • Mark Rowley as Mr. Godalming
  • Anthony Calf as Sid
  • Edouard Chény as Jean-Pierre
  • Emily Eaton-Plowright as Candy
  • John Tueart as Andrew
  • Hannah van Vliet as Lotte

Release Date: 

The series adaptation of One Day was released on 8th February, 2024. 

Where can you watch ‘One Day’?

One Day is a Netflix original, so you can only watch the series on Netflix.

Is ‘One Day’ based on a true story?

Netflix has numerous TV shows based on true stories, but “One Day” isn’t among them. There’s no real-life inspiration for Dexter and Emma’s friends-to-lovers tale with a tragic ending depicted in the series. Nevertheless, the characters, their connection, and their story feel genuine. While their story mirrors many others globally and throughout history, there isn’t a specific couple or unique story that served as the basis for “One Day” in any format.

What is the difference between the ‘One Day’ series and the 2011 Anne Hathway movie? 

Casting

Unlike the 2011 film, Ambika Mod, an Indian-British actress, plays the lead role of Emma, whose background is adjusted to match her casting: Emma mentions her Hindu mother and Christian father. Furthermore, Emma’s best friend Tilly and her Parisian fling Jean-Pierre are portrayed by Black actors, reflecting our diverse society.

Chapter-wise approach to the material

Adhering to the novel’s format, each episode of the series focuses on one year in Emma and Dexter’s lives. This provides a deeper understanding of their diverging circumstances, their banter and love, and the milestones they experience. The film, constrained by its two-hour runtime, had to condense certain chapters, such as the first day they met, Emma’s affair with the headmaster, her career struggles, and Dexter’s downward spiral into alcoholism. The episodic format also allows for a deeper exploration of the supporting characters, enhancing the viewing experience.

Emma’s Relationship with Dexter is not as straightforward

Hathaway’s Emma is more direct with Dexter from the start, initiating a suggestive encounter on their first meeting. Despite their unfamiliarity, they share mutual acquaintances. In her bedroom, she consciously undresses in front of him, signaling her intentions, although they refrain from intimacy. During a vacation, she comfortably disrobes in front of her best friend, deviating from her usual behavior.

In contrast, Mod’s portrayal of Emma is incredulous about her chance encounter with Dexter and his interest in her. Years later, during a vacation together, she insists on privacy during a skinny-dipping moment, revealing her lack of confidence. This aspect of her character development, essential in the series, receives less focus in the film adaptation.

Emma & Tilly

In the film, Tilly is a minor character, briefly glimpsed at Emma’s apartment and later at her wedding. However, in the TV series, Amber Grappy portrays Tilly with depth. Tilly evolves from Emma’s roommate at school to her closest friend and supporter in adulthood. Their relationship is explored as they check in on each other frequently. Tilly’s wedding serves as a backdrop for Emma and Dexter’s reconciliation and offers a platform for Emma’s writing through a memorable wedding speech.

Emma’s Death

In both adaptations, Emma’s death occurs under the same circumstances. However, the TV version introduces rain into the fatal car accident. Mod’s Emma is biking to meet Dexter in the pouring rain when she’s struck by an oncoming car, while Hathaway’s version depicts her biking through an alleyway in broad daylight before being hit by a truck on the other side.

Dexter’s Grief

Remaining faithful to the source material, both the film and the TV show depict Dexter’s struggle to cope with Emma’s loss, resorting to increased drug and alcohol use. However, the Netflix series portrays his recovery, supported by friends and family who cherished Emma. In the finale, Tilly arranges a visit to Dexter on the anniversary of Emma’s death. Emma’s ex-boyfriend Ian, Dexter’s ex-wife Sylvie, daughter Jasmine, and Dexter’s father unexpectedly gather at Dexter’s house to reminisce about Emma and reassure him of their support. Ian’s gesture of traveling three hours is particularly touching, fostering a moment of connection between him and Dexter. This ending closely mirrors the book, where Dexter finds solace with the women in his life, although it’s a new scene that provides closure for all characters.

A still from Netflix's 'One Day.'
A still from Netflix’s ‘One Day.’

One Day Shooting Locations: Where was the Netflix show filmed?

One Day, a story that spans years and continents, features various shooting locations that authentically depict the settings where pivotal moments in the characters’ lives unfold.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, scenes were filmed at the University of Edinburgh’s Old College building for the college graduation party, while Emma’s dorm room was portrayed by a building in Edinburgh’s Viewforth area. The characters embark on a nature adventure by climbing Arthur’s Seat, the highest point in Holyrood Park. Another significant scene takes place on the Vennel Steps, offering a picturesque view of Edinburgh Castle.

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In Rome, Italy, Dexter meets his mother at Mater Terrae Restaurant, portrayed by the Bio Hotel Raphaël. The Boutique Hotel Campo de’ Fiori serves as the setting for his parents’ stay.

London, England, provides numerous filming locations, including Old Suffolk Punch for the Mexican restaurant, Primrose Hill for intense conversations, Fire nightclub, The Adelphi Bar at Smith & Wollensky for a date, Quaglino’s for dinner, The Savoy Hotel for Sylvie’s stay, Maoz for Dexter’s workplace, Charlton Lido for Emma’s swim, Bella Roma for dining, and Maison Bleue Canteen for Dexter’s café.

In Paros, Greece, scenes were filmed at the old port in Nousa and around the town of Parikia, showcasing the island’s natural beauty and white marble quarries.

Sylvie’s family home in episode nine is depicted by Bennington Lordship in England’s countryside, featuring enchanting gardens open to the public.

For Tilly’s wedding venue, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England, known for its appearances in various productions, provides an elegant backdrop just a short drive from London.

Lastly, in Paris, France, real destinations like Rue Pierre Semard and Passerelle Emmanuelle Riva serve as backdrops, while Emma’s apartment exterior is filmed on Rue des Gobelins in the 13th arrondissement.

One Day Series Recap & Summary: 

“One Day” revolves around the complex relationship between Emma and Dexter, characterized by their evolving dynamics over the years. Initially, their connection is rooted in friendship, with Emma’s reluctance to engage romantically due to fears of jeopardizing their bond. Despite underlying romantic tension, they maintain a platonic relationship marked by mutual support and occasional doubts about their feelings.

As time progresses, both characters undergo personal growth and face challenges in their respective careers and relationships. Emma struggles with her aspirations as a writer and navigates a tumultuous relationship with Ian, while Dexter grapples with his identity as a television presenter and experiences the loss of his mother. Despite their individual struggles, their friendship endures, offering solace and encouragement amidst life’s uncertainties.

The narrative unfolds through significant encounters between Emma and Dexter, highlighting pivotal moments that shape their connection. These encounters, such as their reunion at Tilly’s wedding and subsequent intimate moments, serve to deepen their bond while also exposing unresolved emotions and tensions between them.

Their reunion takes place in Paris, where their long-standing friendship culminates in a passionate encounter. However, their differing expectations and fears threaten to unravel their bond, leading to a moment of reckoning for both characters. Emma’s ultimatum underscores the stakes of their relationship, highlighting the intensity of their emotional entanglement.

One Day Series Ending, Explained: 

In the concluding episode of “One Day,” tragedy strikes as Emma meets a fatal accident, leaving Dexter shattered. The narrative extends beyond her death, depicting Dexter’s prolonged struggle with grief over several years. The first anniversary of Emma’s passing finds Dexter drowning his sorrows in alcohol, unable to cope with the overwhelming loss. His father, Stephen, shares his own experience of loss, urging Dexter to try to live as though Emma is still with him. Despite his initial resistance, Dexter eventually breaks down, realizing he must accept Emma’s death.

Fast forward to the second anniversary of Emma’s death, Dexter attempts to rebuild his life in a new flat. Surrounded by friends and family, they toast to Emma’s memory, evoking mixed emotions in Dexter. A visit to Scotland with his daughter Jasmine brings Dexter face-to-face with memories of Emma, highlighting the enduring impact of their relationship. The ending of One day takes place on the Vennel Steps, where Dexter reminisces about their first kiss, acknowledging the lasting presence of Emma’s memory in his life.

One Day Series Review: 

Currently at an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb and a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews for One Day have been mostly positive. Nadria Goffe, in her review for Slate, writes, “If the 2011 film was hard to watch, then Netflix’s new rendition is absolutely excruciating—but this time, it’s a compliment.” Other reviews have called the series ‘beautifull’, ‘perfect’ and timeless. 

Episodes Listing:

There are a total of 14 episodes in One Day and they are not titled.

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Watch the trailer here:

Where to watch One Day

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