The Apple TV Plus Series 'Dear Edward' Is Based on an Incredible True Story

Is 'Dear Edward' based on a true story? The Apple TV Plus series explores what life is like for the sole survivor of a tragic plane crash.

Katherine Stinson - Author

Feb. 3 2023, Published 4:51 p.m. ET

Edward (Colin O'Brien)
Source: Apple TV Plus

How do you rebuild after a tragedy? That's the question Dear Edward poses from the second the story begins in the aftermath of a plane crash. The Apple TV Plus series follows 12-year-old Edward (Colin O'Brien), the sole survivor of the aforementioned plane crash.

Naturally, Edward's survival makes him something of a celebrity without his consent while struggling with the grief and trauma of what happened to him.

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The scary thing about Dear Edward is the fact that it is something that could possibly occur in real life. So is Dear Edward actually based on a true story?

Here's what we know.

Is 'Dear Edward' based on a true story? It's adapted from a book of the same name.

dear edward actor colin obrien
Source: Apple TV+

Maxwell Jenkins and Colin O’Brien in "Dear Edward."

Here's a scary answer for you – Dear Edward was in fact, based on a true story. The Apple TV Plus series is adapted from a book of the same name by author Ann Napolitano.

Ann based her story off of the real-life tale of Ruben van Assouw, the lone survivor of a 2010 plane crash.

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Wait, so how old was Ruben when he survived the plane crash exactly? According to the RadioTimes, Ruben was only 9 years old when he survived the tragic crash of Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771.

Making things even worse was the fact that Ruben was on board with both of his parents, who perished in the crash.

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We know what you're wondering now. What happened to Ruben after the crash? Is he OK? The same RadioTimes report notes that Ruben was adopted by his aunt and uncle after the crash, and they were dedicated to keeping Ruben out of the harsh glare of the media spotlight after he was traumatized by the crash.

The mystery surrounding Ruben's life post-crash is what inspired Ann to write Dear Edward in the first place, to fill in the (fictional) blanks.

Will there be a 'Dear Edward' Season 2?

As of Feb. 3rd, 2023, there's no confirmation from Apple TV Plus that Dear Edward will be renewed for a second season. However, it looks like the 10 episodes in Dear Edward Season 1 should suffice to tell the complete story of the original Dear Edward book (although you never know how long they'll stretch things out — it's a TV adaptation after all!)

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The first three episodes of Dear Edward are available to stream now on Apple TV Plus. One new episode of Dear Edward will drop every Friday until the Dear Edward Season 1 finale debuts on Friday, March 24th, 2023.

The real-life inspiration for Dear Edward has yet to comment on the series. You can stream Episodes 1-3 of Dear Edward, now on Apple TV Plus.

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