Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – Down the Rabbit Hole

by Alan Rapp on October 12, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – Down the Rabbit Hole
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Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - Down the Rabbit Hole

After an opening featuring a young Alice returning home from Wonderland to a disbelieving father, the Once Upon a Time spin-off begins in earnest years later with a teenage Alice (Sophie Lowe) locked away in an insane asylum and a storm which brings a pair of old friends, the White Rabbit (John Lithgow) and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha), to her rescue. But before her friends can reach her, the imprisoned Alice is called before the disbelieving Dr. Lydgate (Jonny Coyne) and his committee to admit that all her tales, including her tragic love for the genie Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) as shown in flashbacks, were nothing more than the fabricated delusions of a troubled young girl.

After performing a prison break moments before the girl’s scheduled lobotomy, the pair return Alice down the rabbit hole to Wonderland and together they set out to find the young woman’s lover who they now believe may still be alive. Although Cyrus lives, we learn the timing of Alice’s return to Wonderland wasn’t accidental as the combined forces of the Red Queen (Emma Rigby) and Jafar (Naveen Andrews) have plans for the young woman and her three wishes.

The Pilot does a good job of introducing darker versions of both Alice and Wonderland, even the Cheshire Cat (Keith David) comments on it, while setting up the basic premise of Alice’s quest to find her one true love. At times the creators vision of Wonderland outreach the show’s budget. Although several scenes are well-designed, others look rushed and only poorly photoshopped cheap green-screens  of what the original vision must have been. Despite these issues, there’s enough here for me to return, like Alice, to Wonderland.

mary October 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Thank you for the good writeup. I think the actress playing Alice is very good.

Richard October 26, 2013 at 9:12 am

I haven’t had time to watch more than the first episode but I was thrilled with it. It was the show I was searching for.

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