Netflix's 'The One' Is Based on a Book of the Same Name, but How Similar Are They?

'The One', a new show on Netflix, is based on a book of the same name, and both explore how dating culture may change in the years to come.


Mar. 19 2021, Updated 10:49 a.m. ET

Hannah Ware in The One
Source: Netflix

The latest series to climb the charts on Netflix is The One, a mind-bending science fiction show set in the near future. It tells the story of a dating app that matches people based on their DNA. Although the series may seem totally original, there are some who wonder whether the series is actually based on a book. 

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Is 'The One' on Netflix based on a book?

As it turns out, The One is based on a John Marrs book of the same name, which was released in 2017. Like the show, the novel tells the story of a group of people who use a dating app to be genetically matched with their ideal mate. 

netflix the one book
Source: Netflix
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According to its official synopsis, the book is set "a decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets.”

The One received plenty of acclaim following its release, but John actually self-published the book before a major publishing house picked it up. 

'The One' had an unconventional journey to TV.

After John self-published The One, he told author Delphine Boswell that he was contacted almost immediately to turn his book into a TV show. “The book was originally self-published, and in its first week, I was approached by Penguin who asked if I’d be interested in it being traditionally published with them,” he explained. “The same week, a production company asked me if they could option it to turn it into a TV project. Of course, I said yes!” 

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John also said that he had visited the show's set, and described the experience as "surreal. "I went and visited the set to watch filming in January," he said. "It was very surreal. I was sitting behind the cameras, counting 50 people on set and thinking, ‘They are all here because of an idea I once had on an escalator coming home from work.’ It was a fantastic day being there and seeing the process involved of bringing a book to life." 

Source: YouTube
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'The One' was adapted by a British TV veteran

The One initially hit Netflix on March 12, and slowly climbed into the platform's top 10 in the days after that. The show was adapted for the screen by Howard Overman, who has done a lot of work on TV both in the U.K. and the U.S., including Misfits, Future Man, and Atlantis

The One stars Hannah Ware as Rebecca Webb, the scientist, and entrepreneur in charge of The One DNA program. Lois Chimimba, Dimitri Leonidas, Stephen Campbell Moore, Diarmaid Murtagh and Wilf Scolding are also in the cast. 

The series debuted to fairly mixed reviews but has proved compelling enough to hook plenty of Netflix viewers looking for something to binge. Given the heady, philosophical nature of its premise, it's also a show that might get some viewers thinking about what love really means. 

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