One Day – Episode 1 – 1988 | Transcript

1988. On the night of their graduation, Emma and Dexter meet for the first time. It's an evening of almost-romance, and a morning of missed opportunity.

Original release date: February 8, 2024

1988. On the night of their graduation, Emma and Dexter meet for the first time. It’s an evening of almost-romance, and a morning of missed opportunity.

* * *

[bright instrumental music playing]

[gentle breeze blowing]

[woman 1] What are days for?

Days are where we live

They come, they wake us

Time and time over

They are to be happy in

Where can we live but days?

[’80s electronic dance music pulsing]

[“Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles playing]

♪ When your body’s next to me ♪

♪ I begin to sweat ♪

♪ When we touch, I lose control ♪

♪ Now you know what’s next ♪

♪ Fantasizing all the time ♪

♪ Move your body next to mine ♪

♪ Well, I need your love ♪

♪ I need your love ♪

♪ I need your love ♪

♪ Don’t make me wait too long ♪

[crowd cheering]

♪ Oh, I need your touch… ♪

[woman 1 grunts]


No problem.

[cheering continues]

[woman 2] Come and get a pint.

♪ I can’t let go ♪

[song ends]

[electronic dance music playing]

[woman 3] Ten days in the Dordogne.

It’s going to be Katie, Alex, Rory, Biscuit, Douglas, and Fran.

And me.

And you, Dexy, if you come. Will you?

[woman 4] Hi, Dexy, darling.


Don’t go away.

[women giggle]

[woman 4] Have you sealed the deal, then?

[woman 3] Shh. He’ll hear.

[woman 2] And he’s just carrying out all them moves.

[woman 1] What about that one on The Meadows?

I have never laughed so much. [exclaims]

[woman 2] I’m still laughing.

[woman 1] They’re probably still there.

[group laughs]

[Rory] Dexy!

Okay. Tell me that you’re coming to France with the Marlborough lot.

Um… I’m not sure yet.

Caroline is keen, Dexy. That’s all I’ll say. [laughs]

And Annabel, but no surprises there. Dinner in London, yeah?

Dinner in London.

[woman 2] To the last day of uni.

[group] Ever!

Wait. Do it to the end.

“The end”? What kind of a toast is “the end”?

All right, then. To the beginning.

[group] To the beginning!

To the rest of our lives. Whoa. Uh…

[woman 2] Oh. Emma, you’ve pulled.

[group laughs]

Who is that?

Dunno. But I bet he’s doing…



[Emma chuckles]

[woman 2] Wakey-wakey.


[Dexter] Hi.

[Emma] Hi.

[Dexter] Cal.

[woman 2] Hmm?

[Dexter] Callum?

[Cal, slurring] But, Mommy, it’s not a school night.

[inhales sharply] Hi, Dex.

You feeling all right?

Mm-hmm. Mm.

[Dexter and Cal grunt]

Just going for a wazz.

All right.

[Emma chuckles]

[quietly] Mm-hmm. Yeah.

[Dexter sighs]

What a charming encounter.

Uh, sorry about that.

[chuckles] It’s not your fault.

Are you all right?




Okay. [chuckles]

[indistinct, excited chatter]

[Emma] You’re an unlikely pair, you and physics boy.

I… I think you’ll find that was 18 stone of computer science.

How do you know each other?

We lived next door in halls.

Ah, yeah, where the magic happens.


Yeah. That’s where I met Tilly.

[Tilly] Oh my God!

I’m Dexter, by the way.

[chuckles] Yeah, I know.

I’ve seen you around.

I’ve seen you around too.

[man 1] Dex, mate.


[grunts] Thank you, Magnus.

Uh, we… we smuggled in a couple of cases.

[scoffs] Of all the rah things.

Well, should I get you a pint of snakebite?

[Emma] Oh my God.


[Dexter] What?

[Emma] A snakebite, though.

Now I really wanna find a snakebite.

[“Theme from S’Express” by S’Express playing]

♪ S’Express ♪

[speaking inaudibly]

♪ Come on and listen to me Baby, now, ooh ♪

♪ Come on and listen to me, baby, now… ♪

[Emma] Where did you see me before tonight?

Uh, um…

The library.

You’ve never seen me before in your life. [chuckles]

Let’s get another drink.

[Emma laughs]

♪ I got the hots for you ♪

♪ Boop, boop, ba, boop, boop, boop, ah… ♪

[Emma] English. The Romantics, mainly.

I did my dissertation on Elizabeth Barrett Browning

and the sonnets of the Portuguese cycle.

Do you know, uh, Cressida Adams?

[dance music playing]

Uh, no. Who’s that, a poet?

No. She’s, uh, the sister of someone I know from school.

Oh. [chuckles]

Well, she does English, so…

Oh. [chuckles]

Yeah. No. Still no.

[chuckles] Well, your dissertation sounds a page-turner.

[Emma laughs]

[chuckles] What? No, it does.

[Emma groans]

So will Magnus be along with another bottle, or…

No, I doubt it.

All my friends have left, so…

[“Love in a Car” by The House of Love playing]

[dreamy alternative rock ballad building]

♪ Licked my fingers ♪

♪ And I drove my car to the sea ♪

♪ I drove my car to the sea ♪

Um, this is me.

[Dexter clicks tongue]

You should have said hello.


When you saw me around.

[chuckles softly]

♪ My love in a car ♪

♪ Should go forever ♪

♪ Deeper than any sea ♪

♪ Deeper than any sea ♪

[Dexter chuckles]

♪ Deeper than any sea ♪

[Emma laughing]

♪ Deeper than any sea ♪

[song cuts out]

I’m just gonna put a tape on.

[player clicks]

[’80s pop plays]

[tape rewinds]

[reggae plays]

[tape rewinds]

[rock plays]

[tape rewinds]

[“Love and Affection” playing]

♪ But I’m open to persuasion ♪

♪ East or west ♪

♪ Where’s the best ♪

♪ For romancin’? ♪

♪ With a friend ♪

♪ I can smile ♪

♪ But with a lover I could hold my head back ♪

♪ I could really laugh, really laugh… ♪

[Emma grunts]

What’s your plan?


Do you usually ask for a breakdown in advance?

Um, I mean, for your life.

The plan for your life.

Oh God.

Right. Okay.

Uh… [clicks tongue]

My parents are here for graduation, obviously, and…

[inhales sharply]

…they’re driving my stuff back.

So I’ll stay in London for a few days.


[exhales] See some friends.

And, uh… then France.

[inhales sharply]

And then China, maybe.

You know, see what that’s all about.

Then India.


[clicks tongue] What?

That’s your plan for the future? Just go on holiday?

No, it’s not a holiday. It’s travel.

[Emma] Travel?

Yeah, travel.

Could you stop saying “travel”?

What’s wrong with travel?

No, nothing, I suppose.

You know, if you can afford it and you don’t mind, you know,

avoiding reality.

Well… [clicks tongue]


I think reality is overrated.

[scoffs] What a ridiculous statement.

And I didn’t mean, “What are you doing next month?”

I meant, like, the future future.

When you’re, I don’t know, 40 or something.

What do you wanna be when you’re 40?

I don’t know. Not 40?

Am I allowed to say “rich”?

All right, then. Famous.

A bit morbid, this, isn’t it?

It’s not morbid. It’s exciting.

[mocking] “Exciting.”


Are you from Manchester?

No. [scoffs]






[scoffs] I know what you’re doing.

You’re naming all the stations you pass through on the train up from London.

But I bet you’ve never so much as set foot in the north.




And what happens in Leeds?

Nothing. Not to me, anyway.

What do you wanna do?

Uh, change things.

Do something that actually makes a difference.

Like change the world, you mean?


Yeah. Not the whole world.

Maybe just my own tiny corner of it.

I can imagine you at 40. [chuckles]

Can you?

Go on, then.

[Emma chuckles]


It’s 2005,

and you’re in this tiny, tiny sports car with the roof down,

in Kensington or Chelsea or one of those places.

Excellent. Carry on.

[chuckles] Um, and you’ve got

this little paunch that you’ve tucked away under the steering wheel.

[Dexter] No paunch.

And the wind’s blowing through your widow’s peak,

and you’re feeling very, very pleased with yourself.

And wife number three, or is it four,

smiles at you with about 200 shiny white teeth,

and you smile back, whilst trying not to think about the fact

that she’s thick as mince, and you’ve got nothing,

absolutely nothing, to say to each other.

♪ Once more with feeling ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ You know that’s what I like… ♪

Course it doesn’t matter.

‘Cause we’re all gonna be dead in a nuclear war long before then.

[inhales sharply, clicks tongue]

You know, the thing about northerners is that…


…you rate yourselves so very highly for your sense of humor, but

actually, you’re just really bloody rude.

[“Saturday Sun” by Nick Drake playing]

I can go.

What? No, don’t… don’t go. Um…

No. It’s four in the morning. [chuckles]

But if… if I’m so


and shallow…

and corrupt…

Which you are.

…then why are you sleeping with me?

Sleeping with you?

Did I? Were you that forgettable?

[Emma grunts softly]

♪ In a sky ♪

♪ So clear and blue ♪

[Emma] You need to brush your teeth.

[chuckles] Huh?

I don’t mind if you don’t.

You taste of wine and fags.

And so do you.

Wait, do I?

I don’t mind. I like wine and fags.

Okay, um…

Just… Be back in a sec.

♪ What to do… ♪

Now where are you going?

Just the bog.

The bog?

The bog? I’m not familiar.

No playing with yourself while I’m gone.


[exhales deeply]



[grunts softly]

[door opens]

[softly] Did you just tell him not to play with himself?

[laughs] I don’t know if you can recover from that, man. I really don’t.


[sighs] I’m being such an idiot.

He’s used to these perky, giggly, posh girls,

and I’m in there being rude and sarcastic and twitchy.

[mellow ’70s folk rock continues]

♪ In their way ♪

♪ In their way ♪

♪ Saturday sun ♪

♪ Won’t come and see me today ♪

♪ Think about stories ♪

♪ With reason and rhyme ♪

♪ Circling through ♪

♪ Your brain… ♪

[sighs] What do I do?


Do sex.

Mm. Yeah, but…

But what?

[scoffs] I mean, what’s he doing here?

I mean, he’s slept with most of our year, most of the year below.

Has he just worked his way down the list and got to me?

Think you might be overthinking this?

If he is working through a list, it’s your turn, baby.

[Emma scoffs]

Okay. Just go back in there.

Don’t speak, and let your body do the talking.



[Emma spits]

I’m gonna chat.

[Tilly] Chat?

I’m gonna get to know him.

What a waste.


[Dexter] Mm. Nice gown.

[Emma] We call this look “Academia by Night.”

[both chuckle]

It cost 30 quid to hire. Gotta get my money’s worth.

Now, take it off and come back to bed.

Is that an order?

[Dexter inhales sharply]

[Emma sighs]

[“Saturday Sun” ends]

“Emma Morley.”

“History and English.”

“Joint honors, first class.”

Mm, read it and weep, 2:2 boy.


[Emma chuckles]

Incredibly rude.

[grunts] Be careful with that.

Getting it framed, are you?

Actually, my mom and dad are having it turned into wallpaper.

[Dexter hushes]

It’s so late. No more talking.

Do you know… you know there’s nothing sexier than talking?

Uh, arguably, sex, but…

Um… [clicks tongue]


[inhales sharply] Let’s talk.

[birds singing outside]

[Dexter takes a deep breath]

I love that sound.

Do you?

Blackbirds at dawn. Yeah.

Do you not?

[Emma grunts softly]

No. [scoffs]

No, it makes me anxious.

Like I’ve done something I’ll regret. [sighs]

That’s why I love it.

[clicks tongue]

Have you?

Have I what?

Done something that you’ll regret.

Don’t know yet. Ask me in the morning.

[Dexter exhales]

I think it is the morning.

[softly] Yeah.

Have you

done something you’ll regret?


We should try and get some sleep.



[grunts] Nothing tomorrow.

Just the whole of our lives stretching out.

[Dexter sighs]

[car passing downstairs]

[gentle piano music playing]


[gentle piano music fades]

[car honks below]

[shoe clatters]

[Emma] Oh. You off, then?

I didn’t wanna wake you.

[clicks tongue] Um, I was… I was going to leave you a note,

but I… I couldn’t find a pen.

No, it’s fine. Yeah, you can leave whenever you want.

Yeah. Um…

You see, my parents are here, and… and we’re heading back this morning.


[exhales sharply]

[clicks tongue] I was quite drunk last night.

I… I had a really nice time.

Yeah, I can tell from the way you’re searching for your shoes.

Yeah. [chuckles]

No. I… I, um… I mean it.

I’m glad we finally met and talked and the other stuff.

Mm. Under the bed.


Your shoe.

Oh. [sighs]

[clicks tongue]

I really was gonna write you a note.

What was it gonna say, this precious note?

It was gonna say, “I’ve stolen your purse.”


You’d find it tragically empty, I’m afraid.

[Dexter inhales sharply]

[Emma] Mm.

Well, now where are you going?

To shower, get dressed.

Will you be here when I get back, or should I say bye now?


Well, do you know what? I, um… [clicks tongue]

I might see if we can leave later.

[Emma] Mm?


So did you?

[grunts] Tell me!

Did you have sex with Dexter Mayhew?

Tell me now!



So, what did you do?

Uh, we just… we talked and stuff.



What, hand stuff? Mouth stuff?

Foot stuff? [sighs]

Em, no!

Don’t you dare walk out on me! Just tell me more.

What does he smell like?

[Emma] Shh!

[operator] At the third stroke, the time…

[Emma sighs]

…9:32 and…

[clicks tongue] Uh…

Hi, Mom. It’s… me. Um…

Is it okay if we leave a bit later today?

…will be 9:32 and 20…

Yeah, okay.

Don’t change your plans. If you’ve gotta go home, that’s fine.

Oh no, it’s fine.

[message continues]

Ah, amazing.

Okay, great.

Thanks. Yeah. Okay. See you back at the flat.


[Emma] Mm.



[door closes]

[Tilly scoffs]


Oh, hi! [chuckles]

Um, I’m Tilly.

Have we met?


Hi, Dexter.


Right. Uh, breakfast?

[“Rip It Up” by Orange Juice playing]

[softly] Breakfast.

♪ When I first saw you Something stirred within me ♪

♪ You were standing sultry in the rain ♪

♪ If I could’ve held you ♪

♪ I would’ve held you… ♪

Emma got a first. Do you know she got a first?

[Emma] Tilly!

She already told me.

I didn’t tell you. You opened my scroll.

[chuckling] “Opened my scroll.”


what shall we do with the day?

The first day of our properly adult lives.

Ooh. We should go out for lunch.

No. No. It’s a gorgeous day. We should be outside.

Portobello beach? Oh, let’s go swimming.


Emma hates wearing a swimming costume, but she has a lovely figure.

She does.

Let’s climb Arthur’s Seat.

Well, never done it.

You’ve never climbed Arthur’s Seat?

You’ve been here four years, and you’ve never climbed Arthur’s Seat?

I’ve been busy.

[scoffs] Doing what?

[quietly] Studying anthropology.


Right. Let’s go.

Oh, we could take a picnic.


♪ But I’d choke rather Than swallow my pride ♪


♪ Rip it up and start again… ♪

You two should go without me.

I need to…

feed the guinea pig.

[chuckles, sighs]

[upbeat tune ends]

[wind gusting]

[Emma] Are you all right back there?

Yeah, good.

Should I alert search and rescue?


It’s the shoes.

I just wish they had more grip.

[Emma] Is it the shoes?

[Dexter] Are we really going all the way to the top?

It’s not K2.

[Dexter sighs]

You’re very nimble.

Like a mountain goat, me.

What are we gonna do when we get to the top?

Admire the view!

[“Temptation” by New Order playing]

[grunts, groans]

[Emma] Here we go.

Come on.

Oh my God. Dexy!

[woman] Who’s that?

Shall we walk?

[upbeat dance-pop continues]

♪ Up, down, turn around ♪

♪ Please don’t let me hit the ground ♪

♪ Tonight I think I’ll walk alone ♪

♪ I’ll find my soul as I go home ♪

[“Temptation” fades]

Would you like some bread?

Uh, no. Not for me, thanks.


But you… you have some.

Oh no, I’m fine for now. Thanks.

To one-night stands.

Are we drinking to one-night stands in the future?

Because we didn’t actually have one.

Yeah. No. Uh, no.

[gulls calling]

Is that a religious thing, not sleeping together?

Hmm. Okay. [clicks tongue] Right.

So unimaginable, is it, that someone might decline to have sex with you

that it could only be explained as an order from God himself?

Shut up. No, it’s just a question. I mean…

Maybe a stupid question, but…

My mom’s Hindu, and my dad’s a lapsed Catholic.

So, no.

God wasn’t involved.

I hope it doesn’t feel like a night wasted.

It wasn’t a night wasted. It was memorable.

Not having sex with you was highly memorable.

[Dexter] What are you doing?


What does it look like? I… am taking a picture.

Something to remember you by.

Oh, I look terrible. Hold on.

[lighter clicks]

[Dexter] Okay. Cheese.

Oh no, not cheese.

Well, then, what? Thieves that pass in the night?

Thieves don’t pass in the night.

That’s ships.

What do thieves do?

Thieves are thick.

So rude!

[Emma] laughs.

[Dexter] Oh.

[“These Days” by Nico playing]

[Dexter] You know it’s St. Swithin’s Day?

What’s that?

[Dexter] 15th of July.

If it rains today, it’s gonna rain all summer.

Something like that.

[Emma] It’s not gonna rain today.

[Dexter chuckles]

♪ I’ve been out walking ♪

♪ I don’t do too much talking these days ♪

♪ These days ♪

♪ These days, I seem to think a lot ♪

♪ About the things that I forgot to do ♪

♪ And all the times I had ♪

♪ A chance to ♪

♪ I’ve stopped my rambling ♪

♪ I don’t do too much gambling These days ♪

[song fades]

Grip was all right on the way down.


[clears throat]

Well, um, bye. [chuckles]

Will you come for a drink?

What, now?


We’ve got time.

I mean, I do. Do you?

[bright string music rises]


Which pub shall we go to?

One near my flat.

[Emma] Oh.

[“Falling Colour” by Vanbur playing]

♪ Falling ♪

♪ Colour… ♪

It’s not far now.

What number are you?



Forty-four, 46, 48.

I’ve got a stitch.

[horn honks]

[woman] Dexter! Dexter!

[dreamy pop fades]

Where have you been all day?

Dexter. Hello.


Hi. [grunts]

[mother] Well?

I left a message on your machine.

[father] What machine?

Yes. What machine, Dexter? We’re in a hotel.

[Dexter] In the room. I phoned through to the room.

[mother] Mm.

[father] Not a single one of these seems to work.

Uh, this is my friend, Emma.

Pleased to meet you, Emma. I’m Alison.


None of them. Not a single bloody one of them.

And this is Stephen.

[Stephen chuckles]

Pleased to meet you.

Yeah. You too.

Well, where have you two been all day?

I need to move the bloody car.

[Alison] Oh…

[Dexter splutters]

Do you want to come in for a drink, or…

[Alison] Or dinner. Why don’t you join us for dinner?

[car starts]

[Emma] Uh…

Thank you. Uh, thank you, but, um, I’ve got to get back. Um…

Are… Are you sure?

Yeah. Yeah.

Um, yeah, I’ll see you around, maybe. It was really nice to meet you.

You too, Emily.

[Dexter and Emma] Emma.

Emma. I’m so sorry.

Goodbye, Emma. [sighs]

Well, have a nice life.

Yeah. Yeah, you too.


Have a nice life.

[Stephen] Oh…

Has she gone?

Sorry, Dexter. Did we interrupt something?

[Dexter] No, no, no… She’s, uh… She’s…

She’s just a friend.

[somber piano music playing]

[indistinct chatter]

[hurried footsteps approaching]

[Dexter] Emily!


I thought I’d lost you.

Sorry. They, uh…

They weren’t meant to come down until later.

And then I realized I don’t have any… any way of getting in touch with you.

Oh, um…

I don’t have a pen.

Yeah. Hang on.

[Emma sighs]

You must have a pen.

A pen!

[Emma] Um…

Okay. So, uh… call me.

Or I’ll call you.

Either way, one of us will call. Uh…

It doesn’t… It doesn’t matter who. It’s… It’s not a…

It’s not a competition, is what I’m saying.

You don’t lose by calling.

Yeah, I understand. [chuckles]

Okay. Here you go.

Um, I’m going to France until August, and then I’m back, and I thought… thought maybe you’d wanna come down and stay.

With you?

Yeah. Well, at my parents’.

I mean, not forever.


Just for a weekend.

[hesitates] You don’t have to.

Yes! Yes. Uh…

Uh, yeah, I’d like to. I will. Yeah.

All right.


[“This Is the Day” by The The playing]

[Dexter] So…


[clicks tongue] See you around.

Yeah, I hope so.

I hope so too.

Bye, Em.

Bye, Dex.


Yeah, bye.

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ Your life will surely change ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ When things fall into place ♪

[upbeat ’80s alternative folk rock continues]

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ Your life will surely change ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ Your life will surely change ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ This is the day ♪

♪ Your life will surely change ♪

[“This Is the Day” fades]


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