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Zoë Tapper on Netflix’s addictive new cat-and-mouse thriller 'The One'

Zoë Tapper as resolute detective Kate Saunders in Netflix drama series The One.
Zoë Tapper as resolute detective Kate Saunders in Netflix drama series The One. (Image credit: Netflix)

In Netflix’s new eight-part psychological thriller The One, starring Zoë Tapper, the search for a soulmate is simple. 

DNA testing matches those looking for love with the one person they’re genetically coded to fall in love with, so everyone can find their perfect partner. But there’s a dark side, as a host of intriguing characters discover for themselves.

As more and more people already in relationships turn to the new dating technology divorces are on the rise and families are decimated. 

For single people like Metropolitan Police detective Kate Saunders (Liar’s Zoë Tapper) The One is irresistible. 

But, elsewhere, the happy home life of married couple Hannah (Lois Chimimba) and Mark Bailey (Eric Kofi-Abrefa) is threatened when one of them becomes curious about their DNA matches.

"Weirdly, because of these extraordinary times and people being isolated and not being able to date, using DNA to find your soulmate would solve a few problems… but perhaps it would cause some problems as well!" says Zoë Tapper, who plays Kate.

“The good side of it is you find your true love. The bad side is marriages and families breaking up, and lots of other complications. It’s quite a scary prospect.”

When is The One released on Netflix?

The One, based on the novel by John Marrs, is available on Netflix from Friday March 12..

Setting the scene in episode one.

Fed up of bad dates and lonely evenings Kate decides to give science a go. She sends off a hair sample to dating company The One and is paired with enigmatic Sophia, who lives in Spain but arranges to visit Kate in London.

“Kate is very much a woman who has always focused on her career and worked her way up in the ranks of the Metropolitan Police. Relationships have taken a sideline and this seems like a quick fix without the rigmarole of dating inappropriate people," explains Zoë. “But it leads to more complications because Sophia has a whole network of relationships that suddenly get revealed. It gets very tricky.”

Love, lies and a murder-mystery

Hannah Ware stars as ruthless Rebecca Webb in Netflix drama. The One

Hannah Ware stars as ruthless Rebecca Webb in Netflix drama The One. (Image credit: Netflix)

Kate’s personal and professional lives collide when Kate and Detective Sergeant Nick Gedny (Gregg Chillin) investigate the discovery of a body in the Thames. 

It turns out the deceased is Ben Naser (Industry’s Amir El-Masry), who was reported missing a year earlier by powerful businesswoman Rebecca Webb — CEO and founder of The One.

When forensics reveals Ben was murdered before being dumped in the river, Kate begins digging into Rebecca’s past. Meanwhile Rebecca (The First’s Hannah Ware) goes to extreme lengths to protect sinister secrets.

“As Kate investigates Ben’s murder slowly, but surely, Rebecca’s story doesn’t add up. Rebecca is the founder of The One and she paints a picture of being this perfect woman with a perfect life and relationship,” reveals Zoë. “When Rebecca uses underhand tactics, like delving into the personal lives of people that she has data on, Kate realises there’s some real darkness at play.”

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It gets personal — and nasty

With untold wealth and a vast DNA database at her fingertips, Kate becomes Rebecca’s number one target.

“The professional investigation merges into a personal vendetta,” says Zoë. “Kate and Rebecca are pitted against each other. Kate’s constantly on Rebecca’s back. While Rebecca will go to any lengths to protect herself.”

If the test was available today, would Zoë be tempted to take it?

“There would be a part of me that would be incredibly intrigued,” admits Zoë. 

“This concept of how important our DNA is to unlocking everything about us is fascinating. But you see on The One the effect it has on society. You see this in Mark and Hannah’s storyline. They’re married and such a good match already, but the curiosity of human nature can’t help itself and cracks start to form.

“So I think for the sake of my marriage I’m going to say ‘no’ to that!”

Who’s who in The One

Lois Chimimba and Eric Kofi-Abrefa as loved up couple Hannah and Mark Bailey in Netflix drama The One.

Lois Chimimba and Eric Kofi-Abrefa as loved up couple Hannah and Mark Bailey in Netflix drama The One. (Image credit: Netflix)

Kate Saunders (Zoë Tapper)

The London detective’s personal and professional lives cross over when she uses a DNA dating service — and begins to investigate the firm’s chief executive. Soon her life is upended by the dual forces of love and murder. Soulmate Sophia’s past leaves Kate questioning her future, while powerful Rebecca Webb hides deadly secrets…

Rebecca Webb (Hannah Ware)

The scientist-turned-businesswoman is ruthless in protecting herself and her DNA love-match company from Kate’s dogged investigation. Hiding more secrets than Lady MacBeth, can she simultaneously keep control of her multi-billion pound company and outwit Kate? 

James Whiting (Dimitri Leonidas) 

Original co-founder of The One with Rebecca, James suddenly left the company at the height of its success. His isolated-lifestyle is upended when Ben’s body is found and both Kate and Rebecca come knocking.

Ben Naser (Amir El-Masry) 

James and Rebecca’s kind-hearted university friend was unrequitedly, head over heels with Rebecca before the invention of The One. Is his grisly death connected to his pals’ early, ambitious plans for The One?

Mark Bailey (Eric Kofi-Abrefa)

The journalist’s happy marriage is shaken to its core when wife Hannah becomes curious about The One. In his working life Mark is critical of Rebecca — until she makes him an offer he can’t refuse… Is he playing with fire?

Hannah Bailey (Lois Chimimba) 

Although madly in love and happily married to Mark, Hannah finds herself wondering about their DNA matches, even though she’s seen her close friend’s marriage breakdown as a result of dabbling with The One.

Sophia Rodrigez (Jana Perez)

Kate is enchanted when she meets Sophia online after they’re matched. But reality bites when Spanish-based Sophia visits Kate in London, resulting in shocking revelations, elevated emotions, and unforeseen ethical dilemmas.

Zoë Tapper Career Profile

London stage and screen actor Zoë Tapper, 39, is best known for her work in Liar, Safe House, Mr Selfridge and Survivors

Her TV debut was playing Jane in Steve Coogan’s The Private Life of Samuel Pepys in 2003, and her breakout TV role came in 2009 as Mina Harker in Demons

Her next project is Ire, a film about an incarcerated murderer set on a redemptive path, with Craig Fairbrass, Stephen Odubola and Jason Flemyng. 

Zoë is married to actor Oliver Dimsdale, who has starred in Mr Selfridge, White House Farm and Grantchester