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One Day author David Nicholls is revealed as the screenwriter of THAT episode in the Netflix series which left people ’emotionally destroyed’ – and viewers joke he should ‘pay for their therapy’


Fans of Netflix‘s One Day have jokingly thanked the original author of the book, David Nicholls, for ‘making the family cry’ after it was revealed he wrote the screenplay for the penultimate episode.

The streaming giant revealed on X, formerly Twitter, that Nicholls, who wrote the novel in 2009, had taken on the 13th episode which has left fans heartbroken.

As fans reached the final instalments of the will-they, won’t-they love story between university pals Emma (Ambika Mod) and Dexter (Leo Woodall), they took to social media in floods of tears saying they’ll ‘never get over’ the ending.

The 13th episode sees the couple, who have been in a relationship for three years after spending more than a decade circling around the notion of romance, arguing when Emma expresses frustration that she’s struggling to fall pregnant. 

They arrange to meet later in the day for a house viewing as they look to find a space fit for a big family – but on her way to the viewing, Emma is knocked off her bicycle and tragically dies.

The penultimate episode of One Day on Netflix, which left viewers 'emotionally destroyed', was written by the novel's author, David Nicholls

The penultimate episode of One Day on Netflix, which left viewers ’emotionally destroyed’, was written by the novel’s author, David Nicholls

Now, Netflix has revealed it was the original author, David Nicholls, who helped bring the gut-wrenching episode to life. 

The streaming service’s UK and Ireland account tweeted: ‘Fun fact: episode 13 of #OneDayNetflix (yes, that episode) was written by original author.’

It added a quote from Nicholls himself, who said: ‘The great gift was having the actors in place, having watched them and heard their voices and intonations – a fusion of writing for Em and Dex and Ambika and Leo. Just bliss.’

The penultimate episode of the series sees Emma (Ambika Mod, pictured) and Dexter, arguing over fertility before tragedy strikes

The penultimate episode of the series sees Emma (Ambika Mod, pictured) and Dexter, arguing over fertility before tragedy strikes

The original author of the book, David Nicholls (pictured) said it was a 'great gift' to work with Mod and Woodall on the episode

The original author of the book, David Nicholls (pictured) said it was a ‘great gift’ to work with Mod and Woodall on the episode

Responding to the revelation, fans praised the original author of the book for writing an episode so heartbreaking, they were left in a ‘puddle of tears’.

One person joked: ‘Well I’m emotionally destroyed so I’d say you did a great job.’

Another said: ‘I hope David is ready to pay my therapy bills, cause after episode 13th I was a puddle of tears!’

‘I felt so anxious watching that whole episode. It was brilliantly done. The last one is the one that really broke me though,’ one person wrote, to which Nicholls himself replied: ‘Yep, 14 is wonderful. Nicole [Taylor, the series’ head writer] wrote something great I think.’

Viewers of the series took to X, formerly Twitter, to joke Nicholls' writing had left them 'emotionally destroyed'

Viewers of the series took to X, formerly Twitter, to joke Nicholls’ writing had left them ’emotionally destroyed’

Viewers praised the ‘beautiful’ episode while joking that Nicholls was ‘the one to blame’ for leaving them in floods of tears.

One joked: ‘Thanks for making my whole family cry, really appreciate it!’

The series follows the friendship of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, checking in on them on St Swithin’s Day, July 15, every year from 1988 until 2007.

They meet for the first time at their graduation party at the University of Edinburgh and spend the night together – but don’t have sex.

The pair resolve to be friends and remain incredibly close, but as the years tick by, viewers are desperate for the characters to realise they’re madly in love and get together for good.

Viewers were left devastated in the 13th episode when Emma suddenly dies, three years after the couple finally get into a relationship – and the 14th and final episode sees Dexter battling to cope with his grief. 

Ahead of the series’ release, Nicholls revealed his writing process for the 2009 novel in The Sunday Times.

He revealed he was at a point in his career when he had ‘stumbled as a screenwriter’ with some of his series not being renewed, and this led to him exploring fiction.

But after writing two novels, Starter for Ten and The Understudy, he felt unsure of where to go next in exploring his third novel. 

Inspiration struck after he was given the opportunity to adapt Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles – a tragic tale hinged on fate in which heartbreaking events seem written in the stars for the eponymous character, which leaves the reader wondering, ‘if only’.

He revealed he is ‘proud and grateful’ for the novel’s reception and is aware it’s the most famous of all six of his books. 

‘When people occasionally say, “I enjoyed your book,” I know which book they mean,’ he said. 

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Nicholls also said he never wanted to write the screenplay for the whole series. 

‘I spent so much time with it. It felt like it needed a fresh pair of eyes, but it’s been bliss,’ he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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