From the creators of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” comes a fantastically new take on Lewis Carroll’s classic story of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland. “Once Upon a Time: In Wonderland” opens in Victorian England with Alice returning to her father after her trip down the rabbit hole. Her tales of incredible, unfathomable creatures and events prove unbelievable to her father and physician. Young Alice, now determined to prove that she is not a liar, makes it her mission to bring back proof for her father.
The story continues to unfold with flashbacks to an older Alice and her second trip to Wonderland, this time on a journey to prove to her father she wasn’t lying about the talking rabbit or the evil Red Queen. She becomes distracted from that cause, however, when she meets a handsome genie and falls in love, only to have him torn away from her by the Red Queen. Later episodes promise to unfold more of Alice’s love story with her genie, Cyrus, as well as how he came to be in Wonderland.
Back in Victorian England, Alice is heartbroken and has given up hope, having been sent to an insane asylum after her return from Wonderland. She agrees to a painful and uncertain surgery to remove her memories of her adventures and her lost love. Before she can go through with the surgery, however, she is rescued by the Knave of Hearts and the White Rabbit. With rumors of Cyrus surviving the Red Queen’s attempt at murder Alice once again follows her old friends down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.
For fans of ABC’s original “Once Upon a Time” series, the shows have many similarities in their composition. The action in both shows alternate between the human world, whether Victorian England or modern-day, and the fantasy world, full of its unusual characters. Both shows also utilize flashbacks to explain parts of the story. Although the Knave first appears in Granny’s diner, from the original “Once Upon a Time” series, there are no current plans to cross characters between the two shows. The White Rabbit does mention the Mad Hatter’s abandoned house and his disappearance from Wonderland to which the Knave responds that “he ain’t never coming back.”
If you haven’t watched the original “Once Upon a Time” there are no major plots that carry over from the original to the spin off, which guarantees no confusion for a new audience member. This unique representation of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland promises twists and new takes on some of the most iconic characters, including the villain Jafar who comes from the world of Agrabah and teams up with the Red Queen to find Cyrus. The audience can look forward to appearances of many original Wonderland characters. The show has already included mentions of the Cheshire Cat and the Door Mouse. The show airs Thursday nights at 8 on ABC.