Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
|Once Upon a Time in Wonderland|
|Voices of||John Lithgow as Percy the White Rabbit|
|Theme music composer||Mark Isham|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||ABC Studios
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||October 10, 2013– April 3, 2014|
|Related shows||Once Upon a Time|
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is an American fantasy-drama series that aired on ABC from October 10, 2013 to April 3, 2014. It was created by Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Zack Estrin, and Jane Espenson for ABC Studios. The program is a spin-off of the prior ABC series Once Upon a Time and aired on ABC at 8:00 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central on Thursday nights in the 2013–14 television season beginning October 10, 2013.
The series is based around the Lewis Carroll novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass but with a different twist from the other adaptations and takes place in the same universe as Once Upon a Time in present-day Wonderland, with flashbacks to pre-Dark Curse Wonderland. As such, it follows the same setting as the parent series, including the use of Disney- and Lost-related allusions. In addition, the series features occasional crossover events with Once Upon a Time that involves connections with the characters that are trapped in Storybrooke, Maine.
The series received mixed to positive reviews from critics who praised its cast, visuals, and narration, but criticized the muddled plot. On March 27, 2014, it was revealed that the series would be ending after one season, with the series finale airing on April 3, 2014. On April 1, 2014, it was reported that Michael Socha was in talks to reprise his role as Will Scarlet/Knave of Hearts as a series regular in the fourth season of Once Upon a Time. On April 20, 2014, it was confirmed that Michael Socha would become a regular for the fourth season of the parent series.
In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole. An invisible cat, a hookah-smoking caterpillar, and playing cards that talk are just some of the fantastic things she's seen during this impossible adventure. Believing Alice to be insane, her doctors aim to cure her with a treatment that will make her forget everything. Alice seems ready to put it all behind her...especially the painful memory of the genie Cyrus, with whom she fell in love before losing him forever. But deep down, she knows this world is real. Just in the nick of time, the sardonic Knave of Hearts and the irrepressible White Rabbit save her from a doomed fate.
Now Alice is determined to find Cyrus while evading the plots of Jafar and the Red Queen, all while dealing with the whimsical dangers of Wonderland, including the infamous Jabberwocky and in a crazy and dangerous way finds her true love.
Cast and characters
- Sophie Lowe as Alice
- Michael Socha as Will Scarlet / Knave of Hearts / White King
- Peter Gadiot as Cyrus
- Emma Rigby as Anastasia / Red Queen / White Queen
- Naveen Andrews as Jafar
- John Lithgow as Percy the White Rabbit (voice)
- Jonny Coyne as Dr. Lydgate
- Ben Cotton as Tweedledum
- Heather Doerksen as Sarah
- Keith David as the Cheshire Cat (voice)
- Matty Finochio as Tweedledee
- Brian George as the Sultan / Old Prisoner
- Whoopi Goldberg as Mrs. Rabbit (voice)
- Barbara Hershey as Cora / Queen of Hearts
- Lauren McKnight as Elizabeth "Lizard"
- Iggy Pop as the Caterpillar (voice)
- Zuleikha Robinson as Amara
- Peta Sergeant as the Jabberwocky
- Garwin Sanford as Red King
- Shaun Smyth as Edwin
Production and casting
In February 2013, Kitsis and Horowitz, along with producers Zack Estrin and Jane Espenson, developed a spin-off focusing on Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. It was initially reported that the show would recast Sebastian Stan's Mad Hatter due to his commitment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe , but Edward Kitsis later revealed the next month that due to fan backlash and respect for Stan's performance, the character would not be recast and the series would proceed without the character.
The show will include new characters, such as "Amahl, described as exotic, soulful and optimistic; and The Knave, a sardonic adventurer, a man of action, a loner and a heart-breaker." On March 28, 2013, it was announced that Sophie Lowe would portray the lead role of Alice. It was also announced that Peter Gadiot would play her love interest, Cyrus, who has "a background". Michael Socha will portray the Knave of Hearts. Barbara Hershey, who has appeared as Cora, the Queen of Hearts, in the main series, may also appear in this spin-off reprising the same role in back stories . Also, during the month of April, Paul Reubens was cast as the voice of the White Rabbit and Emma Rigby was cast as the Red Queen.
On May 10, 2013, ABC announced that it had greenlit the spin-off, as well as also announcing that John Lithgow would replace Reubens as the voice of the White Rabbit. On May 14, 2013, ABC announced that the spin-off will air in the Thursday night timeslot instead of making it a fill-in for the parent series. "We really want to tell the story without having to worry about how to stretch it for five years," said Edward Kitsis. "This is not meant to be a 22-episode season. Whatever it ends up being, we'll have told a complete story ..." It was revealed in August at the TCA Summer Press Tour that, contrary to previous reports that more than 13 episodes were ordered straight out the gate, only the usual amount of 13 episodes had been ordered. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz commented "However many we wind up doing this season, what we're planning to do is tell a kind of complete tale with a beginning, middle and end" and added "If it does well [and] people like it, hopefully we'll come back and tell another adventure with this cast."
At Comic-Con 2013, it was announced that former Lost star, Naveen Andrews, would be joining the cast as the villain Jafar. It was announced in September that Keith David and Iggy Pop would also be included on the cast, as the Cheshire Cat and Caterpillar respectively. Iggy Pop will be a replacement for Roger Daltrey, who voiced the character originally as a guest star on Once Upon a Time. Barbara Hershey reprised her role as the Queen of Hearts in one episode.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||"Down the Rabbit Hole"||Ralph Hemecker||Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz & Zack Estrin & Jane Espenson||October 10, 2013||5.82|
|Alice's tales of her adventures in Wonderland result in her father committing her to a mental asylum where she was about to be lobotomised to cure her supposed insanity, but the Knave of Hearts and the White Rabbit rescue her and bring her back to Wonderland when they reveal that her true love Cyrus is still alive. As Alice begins a quest to find him, the Red Queen and Jafar plot against her.|
|2||"Trust Me"||Romeo Tirone||Rina Mimoun||October 17, 2013||4.53|
|Alice formulates a plan to rescue Cyrus by retrieving his bottle. Meanwhile, the Red Queen begins to question her role in Jafar's plan while they try to find the bottle as well. Also, the story behind how Cyrus got to Wonderland and how he fell in love with Alice is revealed.|
|3||"Forget Me Not"||David Solomon||Richard Hatem||October 24, 2013||4.38|
|With the Genie's bottle in her clutches, the Red Queen sends the Bandersnatch after Alice since Jafar needs her in order to use Cyrus (who is discovered to have contacted her). Alice and the Knave of Hearts head to the house of the Grendel in the Whispering Woods to obtain the Forget-Me-Knot so that they can find out who stole Cyrus's bottle before Jafar could steal it. In the Knave of Hearts's flashback, it is shown that he joined up with Robin Hood's Merry Men back when he was Will Scarlet. It is also revealed that Wonderland's Red Queen was once his love Anastasia.|
|4||"The Serpent"||Ralph Hemecker||Jan Nash||November 7, 2013||3.55|
|The Knave of Hearts is kidnapped by the Red Queen (on behalf of Jafar) after saving him from Caterpillar's Collectors. Jafar wants him publicly beheaded to serve as an example of what happens to anyone who helps Alice. Alice befriends a collector named "Lizard" who helps Alice in her mission to rescue the Knave of Hearts. Meanwhile, the Red Queen is hesitant to kill the Knave since she's still in love with him and flashbacks reveal Jafar's real reasons for wanting Cyrus's power.|
|5||"Heart of Stone"||Paul Edwards||Katie Wech||November 14, 2013||3.73|
|In the past, Scarlet and Anastasia go through the Looking Glass into Wonderland only to find it is not completely what they expected. Anastasia gains a royal status throughout Wonderland after accepting a deal with the Red King. In the present time, the Red Queen makes a deal with Alice to gain special magic dust that only someone pure of heart can claim, while the White Rabbit is forced to work for Jafar.|
|6||"Who's Alice"||Ron Underwood||Jerome Schwartz||November 21, 2013||3.53|
|While traveling through the Black Forest to get to the recently-escaped Cyrus, Alice ends up in Boro Grove where she starts to lose her memory as the Knave of Hearts tries to get her to leave Boro Grove. While Cyrus evades the Red Queen, Jafar heads to Victorian England with the White Rabbit in order to find the ones that Alice cares about. Flashbacks reveal what happened after Alice had presumed Cyrus died where it was shown that her father Edwin had remarried a woman named Sarah resulting in Alice having a half-sister named Millie.|
|7||"Bad Blood"||Ciaran Donnelly||Jane Espenson||December 5, 2013||3.24|
|As Alice and the Knave of Hearts make a rescue plan to get Cyrus off of Jafar's floating island, Jafar brings Edwin (Alice's father) to Wonderland and assumes his form to get Alice to use her second wish. In a flashback, Jafar meets his father, the Sultan, which leads to the events that made Jafar into the villain he is today.|
|8||"Home"||Romeo Tirone||Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz & Zack Estrin||December 12, 2013||3.30|
|As Alice plans to reunite with Cyrus at the Outlands, she also plans to get answers from the White Rabbit about his connection to the Red Queen, which involves the White Rabbit's family. Meanwhile, the discord between Jafar and the Red Queen reaches its breaking point. Will, with the wish Alice gave him, wishes to stop Alice's suffering. As a result, Cyrus is no longer a genie. Instead, Will is, and he finds himself trapped in the genie's bottle, even as the river carries it over a waterfall.|
|9||"Nothing to Fear"||Michael Slovis||Richard Hatem & Jenny Kao||March 6, 2014||3.27|
|Cyrus and Alice reluctantly work with the Red Queen to find Will but must also be prepared to defend themselves from Jafar (when he looks for the Jabberwocky upon being told about it by the Caterpillar) and local inhabitants wanting revenge on the Red Queen for not protecting them from the beasts that hunt in their lands. Will has troubles of his own when Lizard finds the genie bottle that he is in and is granted three wishes.|
|10||"Dirty Little Secrets"||Alex Zakrzewski||Adam Nussdorf & Rina Mimoun||March 13, 2014||3.22|
|Cyrus recalls the events that led to the binding price he and his brothers had to pay. Meanwhile, the Red Queen and the Knave are forced to confront the Jabberwocky.|
|11||"Heart of the Matter"||David Boyd||Jenny Kao & Katie Wech||March 20, 2014||3.51|
|Alice and Cyrus discover alarming information involving prisoners Jafar has under his control that changes their priorities. Meanwhile, the Red Queen is in critical danger and no one can help her, except for the Knave, by surrendering information to Jafar that he's been desperately seeking. In flashback, Anastasia is about to marry the Red King and strikes up a friendship with Cora (Queen of Hearts) that directly impacts Will. Cora also confronts Will, resulting in him asking her for a shocking demand.|
|12||"To Catch a Thief"||Billy Gierhart||Adam Nussdorf & Jerome Schwartz||March 27, 2014||3.35|
|Revealed in flashback, the Knave hunts Alice per Cora's directive and finds himself striking a deal to get his heart back; Alice and the Knave's friendship is tested as he does Jafar's bidding. Meanwhile, the Jabberwocky attempts to free herself from Jafar's control and Jafar is confronted by his former partner.|
|13||"And They Lived..."||Kari Skogland||Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz & Zack Estrin||April 3, 2014||3.38|
|As Jafar gains the ability to change the laws of magic, Alice works to help Amara escape with Cyrus. Jafar uses his newfound powers to gain his father's love before drowning him, and then raises an army of dead Wonderland soldiers to fight against Amara and her allies, even while Amara uses her magic to revive Cyrus. Then, Amara and Cyrus work to return the water of the Well of Wonders to the Nyx, while Alice raises an army of her own to battle against Jafar. Alice is captured in an ensuring battle, and the Knave is forced to look on as Jafar revives Anastasia and tricks her into loving Jafar.|
Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a rating of 59% based on 27 reviews. The consensus reads "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is attractive to the eye and pleasantly narrated, but it loses some luster due to a jumbled story and Wonderland's unlikable inhabitants."
The program has a 61/100 score on Metacritic based on 21 reviews. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times gave the show a positive review and wrote, "There is plenty of that—the good, the beautiful and the etc. Some of it is conjured by CG magic (the Red Queen's palace is splendid, and the White Rabbit's ears a masterwork), and some by just good storytelling and performer chemistry, which Lowe and Socha have in abundance. Add to that a smattering of witty dialogue, clever character twists and, of course, the Victo-goth steampunk look, and ABC has another shot at redefining the family hour." David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle said that while the plot was "a little overstuffed", he wrote that "the special effects, crisp direction and high-octane performances keep us interested enough to follow Alice down the rabbit hole." Brian Lowry of Variety gave the show a mixed review by writing, "Wonderland is equally handsome [as Once Upon a Time], but behind those virtual sets lurk many potential flaws. An appealing Alice certainly helps matters, but past performance reduces the likelihood of a fairy-tale ending."
|1||"Down the Rabbit Hole"||October 10, 2013||1.7/5||5.82||N/A||N/A|
|2||"Trust Me"||October 17, 2013||1.2/4||4.53||N/A||N/A|
|3||"Forget Me Not"||October 24, 2013||1.1/4||4.38||N/A||N/A|
|4||"The Serpent"||November 7, 2013||0.9/3||3.55||0.6||1.5|
|5||"Heart of Stone"||November 14, 2013||0.9/3||3.73||N/A||N/A|
|6||"Who's Alice?"||November 21, 2013||0.9/3||3.53||0.5||1.4|
|7||"Bad Blood"||December 5, 2013||0.9/3||3.24||N/A||N/A|
|8||"Home"||December 12, 2013||0.8/3||3.30||N/A||N/A|
|9||"Nothing to Fear"||March 6, 2014||0.9/3||3.27||N/A||N/A|
|10||"Dirty Little Secrets"||March 13, 2014||0.8/3||3.22||N/A||N/A|
|11||"Heart of the Matter"||March 20, 2014||0.8/3||3.51||N/A||N/A|
|12||"To Catch a Thief"||March 27, 2014||1.0/3||3.35||N/A||N/A|
|13||"And They Lived..."||April 3, 2014||0.9/3||3.38||N/A||N/A|
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