One Day’s creative director reveals how they initially shot two endings for the show

You’re telling me this NOW??

I don’t think the ending of a TV show has broken so many people as much as One Day has in a very, very long time. And just when we thought we weren’t heartbroken enough, someone had to twist the knife in further by using AI to predict what Emma would have looked like if the ending was different and she didn’t die.

But although the TV show stays very faithful to the book with its tragic ending, showrunner Nicole Taylor, who had primary creative control over the show, said there was one scene at the very end where they actually filmed two different versions.

Speaking to The Wrap, Nicole said: “There was a line at the end that we did shoot deliberately two versions, one without and one with, but it was when he’s looking up at Arthur’s Seat, and they have just done a flashback to when [he and Emma] are coming off it from Episode one.”

One Day ending

“And he looks up at Arthur’s Seat, and he says, ‘You were the whole story,’ because she says [in the flashback] I don’t want to be a footnote in the story of your life.’ He says ‘You were the whole story.’” They didn’t end up including it in the end as the flashback scenes speak for themselves in that she was the whole story. Viewers already know this.

Speaking about Emma’s death more widely, Nicole also said she didn’t want to kill off Emma in the show at first. “I didn’t want to do that to her because I love her, and the audience does not want [that]. Everyone who read the book remembers how they felt when that happened. You just want to throw the book out the window,” she said.

One Day ending

Nicole added: “There was a lot of thought. I went into this, wanting to reflect on and sort of interrogate whether that was still the ending that we wanted. I thought that was a reasonable thing to do. I was thinking about other endings, but fundamentally, that ending is stitched into the work as a whole. The story kind of has its own thematic integrity, it has its own structural integrity.

“I feel like the overall meaning of the piece requires that, and I felt like any changing of the ending would be gratuitous and undermine the overall impact of the piece so I think it was the right thing to have a good think about it, question it and not just take it as given.”

I know all this is true but why does it STILL hurt so much?

One Day is available to watch on Netflix now. For more like what Emma would look like old and all the latest Netflix drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

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