Wonderland Bosses Talk Pilot's 'Missing' Scenes, Solve Scheduling Mystery, Share Mad Hatter Plan

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland PreviewIf you were among those who at last month’s Comic-Con saw the 20-minute “drama presentation” that sold ABC on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, you basically laid witness to the first half of the new series’ premiere.

After Alice breaks out of the asylum into which her father had her committed, “We’re going to actually go [back] into Wonderland” in that first episode, cocreator Eddy Kitsis explained Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Beverly Hills. There, “You are going to meet Jafar (played by Lost‘s Naveen Andrews), get more of the Red Queen (Emma Rigby) and get more a sense of that world.”

Co-showrunner Adam Horowitz meanwhile clarified the scheduling plan for what he and Kitsis dubbed a “psychedelic romance,” seeing as an ABC press release suggested Wonderland would finale by the time the reality series The Quest claims Thursday’s lead-off spot on Jan. 2.

Working off an order of currently 13 episodes, he said, “The plan would be to tell a whole string of episodes in the fall, and then we come back after The Quest to finish up the story for this season.”EMMA RIGBY

Other hot topics from Wonderland‘s TCA panel:

* The plan stands to have Barbara Hershey at some point reprise her Once role as the Queen of Hearts, in flashbacks. As for Rigby’s frosty Red Queen, she will share “an uneasy alliance” with Jafar, seeing as they each have specific reasons for keeping Alice from reuniting with the genie Cyrus.

* In addition to the hookah-smoking caterpillar (again voiced by Roger Daltrey) and the White Rabbit (a series regular character voiced by John Lithgow), “You will see the Cheshire cat in the pilot,” Kitsis shared. Explaining the casting of Lithgow (who replaced Paul Reubens) as the time-conscientious bunny, Kitsis said, “John brings an incredible depth. There are layers to the character and his backstory that we want to reveal.”

* Although Sebastian Stan is in high demand and currently unavailable for an encore on either Once series, Kitsis said, “We’re never going to have a Mad Hatter not played by Sebastian.”

* The EPs explained that the events of Wonderland take place concurrently with original Once — which raises the question of how then Alice can live in Victorian England. “It’s not historical Victorian England; it’s fictional Victorian England,” Horowitz said. As with other realms visited on Once, Wendy Darling’s England, Dr. Frankenstein’s world and such “are lands of story” removed from time.

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22 Comments
  1. “As with other realms visited on Once, Victorian England, Dr. Frankenstein’s world and such “are lands of story” removed from time.”

    Why can’t it be the real world Wendy Darling lives in?

    • Ryan says:

      The Darling’s England is the Land Without Magic (i.e. the real world) that The Shadow from the Neverland realm crossed over to.

      Alice’s England will be an alternate England, from what I gather.

    • Dana says:

      Alice and Dr. Frankenstein and the Darling family are not real people, but characters in storybooks. As such, they come from the fictionalized version of England, and not actual Victorian England. That is how their existence is in their own timeline, not the modern timeline. Storybrooke is supposed to take place in our world, where the characters can real books and fairytales about different characters like Peter Pan and Alice, so when they read about Victorian England, they are reading fiction, not actual historical accounts.

      • The Darlings HAVE to be real people, or else it throws the entire show in disarray.

        Rumple set ALL of this into motion (i.e. the curse, etc) for ONE thing and ONE thing only, which was to find his son, Bae, who vanished from Fairy-tale Land and traveled to a world without magic, ours. The portal didn’t take Bae from one fairy tale land to another (i.e. the one where the Darlings live) like Hatter’s hat or the magic mirror Regina pushed Cora through would, as you suggest. It brought him to the real world, like the wardrobe did Emma and Pinocchio.

        Afterwards, the shadow took him to Neverland.

      • http://onceuponatime.wikia.com/wiki/Land_Without_Magic

        See, the Darlings are listed as inhabitants of the land without magic.

  2. Andy says:

    Very happy to hear that they aren’t planning to replace Sebastian.

  3. Cherry says:

    I was already upset to hear Robin Hood was being replaced by a different actor so I’m happy they’re not replacing Hatter!

    • ben says:

      Me too, although to be fair replacing someone who only turned up in one episode is easier for me to take than replacing someone who has been in many episodes.

  4. JCK says:

    Alas, I REALLLYYY don’t like Sophie Lowe, so the rest of it will need to compensate for that.

  5. DarkDefender says:

    The first 19 mimues of the pilot they showed at SDCC was quite amazing and it seems well cast. If they keep it up throughout the series, season one will be epic. I am really liking this show so far.

  6. Hera says:

    Wonder whether the Queen of Hearts would cross path with Jafar? Not sure how ex- Barbara Hershey and Naveen Andrews are getting on.

    • Louise says:

      If the Queen of Hearts only appears in flashbacks but Jafar is part of the present day story, I doubt they’d cross paths.

      I’m just waiting for real confirmation that they’re gonna get Barbara Hershey. My excitement for the show as a whole has cooled off a bit since it’s no longer a mini-series set to bridge the OUAT hiatus and the promotion is forcing the love story aspect a little too much for my taste.

  7. Davey Elmer says:

    “Surely there are ways for Alice to originate in the 19th Century and have Wonderland still take place in the modern age. Timey-Wimey stuff.”

    Time travel doesn’t exist in the Once-Verse and never will.

  8. Mikael says:

    Barbara Hershey NEEDS to appear in this show.

  9. Roy J Lores says:

    If the Darlins never lived in our world then how did Bael ended here and not on their permanent Victorian era world instead? Wash;t he supposed to go to a world without magic? did the magic bean failed?

    • B says:

      The Darlings do come from our world; according to Kitsis and Horowitz, they’re from the historical Victorian England, Alice is from a fictional one. The reporter got that bit wrong.

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