Found in Wonderland: A Non-Love Triangle, a Red Queen/Jafar Alliance and Surprise Appearances

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Spoilers Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, there was Alice, an ordinary girl who… kicks butt and tangles with genies?

Yes, ABC’s newest fantasy drama (premiering Thursday at 8/7c) is most definitely not your childhood Wonderland story, given its feisty heroine and the dash of Aladdin thrown in (hello, Jafar!).

From an evil union to a couple that does not hook-up to the familiar faces popping up, here are six things we learned about this latest trip down the rabbit hole, during TVLine’s visit to Wonderland by way of Vancouver, Canada.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Bosses on Mad Hatter Plan

ALICE’S HEART IS WITH CYRUS | The series’ quest revolves around Alice’s (played by Sophie Lowe) search for her lost love, the genie Cyrus (Peter Gadiot). Helping her along the way is the roguish Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha of the UK’s Being Human), who may turn out to be something more? Nah! “They’re just friends,” maintains Lowe. “I feel like it’s very rare in TV these days to have friends that are boys and girls, and it’s really cool to have that.” Adds Socha about the strictly platonic pair: “I owe Alice a favor. She got me back my heart — whether I want it back or not is a different thing. But I’ve got a massive loyalty [to] Alice.”

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 SpoilersTHE BADDIES ARE RELUCTANT ALLIES | The Red Queen finds Alice to just be “a little girl that’s now causing her some annoyance,” reveals her portrayer Emma Rigby (Hollyoaks). In fact, her goal is much larger than just wanting to get the Wonderland interloper out of the picture. “She has a motive. It’s not necessarily that she hates Alice or she wants to kill her. It’s something else much grander, something that’s never been done before, that she wants to achieve.” To that end, she allies herself with Jafar (Lost‘s Naveen Andrews), who may turn out to be more foe than friend. “They need each other. But they also don’t trust each other,” explains Rigby. “You’ve got to always watch your back. They know that without the power that they both have, they’ll never ever move forward to get what they both want — and what they both want is conflicting.”

THE KNAVE OF HEARTS IS TROUBLE | Turns out Alice’s pal has something of a dark history and, thus, is reluctant to stay with her. “The Knave’s wanted in Wonderland, by everybody, dead or alive,” reveals Socha, explaining that he “ruined” all his relationships in the magical land. “He spent a long time there with his love. He just [forgot] everybody, and he decided to live on his own. He doesn’t trust anybody, he doesn’t need anybody, he doesn’t want anybody. Alice comes back into his life, and that’s his only care.”

VIDEO | Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Cast, Producers on ‘Surprising’ Jafar

THE GENIE QUESTION REMAINS | Let’s be frank: Genies and Wonderland aren’t your typical mix. The story of where the wish-granters came from and how they got to this wondrous land will remain something of a mystery – for now. “The creators very much said they were going to explore the genie mythology more,” says Gadiot. “And we have in terms of one aspect, but in terms of where they originally come from, we haven’t got there yet. We haven’t found out how Cyrus gets in the bottle. We are going to find out, for sure, but that’s been held back for the second half of the season.”

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 SpoilersTHE COSTUMES ARE HEAVY AND MAKE YOU EEEEVIL | Forget lifting weights. Just try sporting one of the Red Queen’s elaborate outfits all day. “The first one that I had actually weighed five pounds!” Rigby exclaims. “It was so heavy. It does affect how you are, and that’s important. [Costume designer] Eduardo [Castro] is an unbelievable talent.” The get-ups also lend themselves to the the villainous character’s “fabulous” personality. “It’s not so serious,” continues Rigby. “She’s enjoying it. It’s like she’s playing a game. Everybody likes to pretend they’re a little bit bad sometimes.”

THE WORLD WILL GROW | The Cheshire Cat (voiced by The Cape‘s Keith David) and the hooka-smoking caterpillar (voiced by Iggy Pop) aren’t the only Wonderland characters we’ll see this season. “There is actually Tweedles,” reveals Socha. Adds Rigby: “The great thing about the Red Queen is because she’s the ruler of Wonderland, she has access to all the people that are in Wonderland. There are lots of characters that are my favorite that are going to be a surprise.”

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18 Comments
  1. mary says:

    I’m really excited for this series! Will definitely be checking it out tonight!

  2. Michael says:

    I believe the Genie’s come from a land called Agrabah.

  3. greysfan says:

    I’m seriously looking forward to this series. I am a huge fan of the original and this series looks great. A new twist on the Once plot. Sophie Lowe is a fantastic actress and i am sure she can carry this series. It won’t win the timeslot from Big Bang but it should easily take 2nd place. The timeslot is open for something new. Maybe this can be the series to break ABC’s 8pm Thursday hoodoo.

  4. Marcinho11 says:

    wonderland and genies? iffy combination.

  5. Boiler says:

    I look forward to watching this but if it suffers from the fierce Thursday competition hopefully ABC will keep it as a show to use during OUAT hiatus.

  6. Guest says:

    I don’t think this is going to work any better than OUAT’s second season did. The charcters mix is already convoluted before relying on the shipper factor franshise is known for.

    And since the actors are already defending themselves saying this is not a love triangle with genies, all I could picture is a love triangle with genies at this point.

    • Alice says:

      The “shipping” factor is entirely fan created and driven. Characters on Once don’t get together and break up bouncing from person to person the way they do on Glee. They will separate the same couple over and over again and see them find their way back to each other(See pretty much entire Charming family) – which is also clearly the way they’ve gone with Wonderland, as we already know the couple gets separated.

      Certain fans may want to see relationships scrambled a bit, and speculate on what alternative relatinships would be like- but it’s definitely not driving the narrative of the show to the extent that by saying “we aren’t having a Cyrus-Alice-Knave triangle” people aren’t going to watch.. And a solid platonic friendship can work- the dynamic between Nolan and Emily on Revenge is a strong part of the show, and they’ve managed to be very close but not romantic. I think its a refreshing approach.

  7. courts says:

    It’s too bad about Cyrus being such a wet blanket. Will (Knave) and Alice have much better chemistry but I do really like them being friends.

  8. Guest says:

    I don’t think this is going to work any better than OUAT’s second season did. The charcters mix is already convoluted before relying on the shipper factor this franshise is known for.

    And since the actors are already defending themselves saying this is not a love triangle with genies, all I could picture is a love triangle with genies at this point.

  9. Emily says:

    I’m still hoping one surprise is they somehow get Sebastian Stan. Wonderland and Alice are not the same without The Hatter.

  10. gdv says:

    I watched the first 20 mins of the pilot On Demand, and it was WAY better than I had expected it to be. I will definitely be checking out the full pilot when it airs tonight. But I’m surprised that the Knave won’t be a love interest. There was a LOT of chemistry between him and Alice in the scenes I saw. I was kinda hoping there might be a little something between them down the line. (I’m not saying they should Twilight it to death, but I wouldn’t complain if there was a bit of a love triangle in the show.)

  11. Binatone says:

    This looks really good! I do love the romance, good versus evil and the Eastern feel. The knave for me, is too arrogant and sarcastic. He is O.K. for a night out but not for a long term relationship, so, Alice (Sophie Lowe) you have done well girl, in choosing the more reliable, sweet and HOT (!) Cyrus, (Peter Gadiot ) who comes with the added bonus of having magic powers and is able to make your wishes come true! (well at least 3 which is more than a lot of guys can do for real!! haha)

  12. Mikael says:

    Looks like they want the Red Queen’s wardrobe to rival Regina’s lol. And I thought Cora ruled Wonderland as the QOH. Did the RQ rule before Cora came through the mirror, or after Cora left?

  13. Justin11 says:

    What is Jaffar from Alaadin doing in a self-contained Alice in Wonderland series?

  14. wonderK says:

    Too bad Knave & Alice actually are the ones with chemistry

    Cyrus sucks

  15. amanda says:

    I can’t believe ppl are still hung up on the whole Cora thing. She was not the Red Queen, she was the Queen of Hearts. There is a difference. On the whole “love triangle” thing, I doubt they’ll mess with Alice and Cyrus, but I do wonder if they will have Jafar be in love with Jasmine and try to tear her away from Aladdin. Didn’t he say he wants to break the laws of magic? Maybe he wants to make Jasmine (or someone else) fall in love with him. Jafar is a bad guy, but what fun is a black and white 100% bad guy? He has to have a softness somewhere, and it def isn’t for the Red Queen obviously. Plus he’s kind of attractive lol chances are he’ll have a love somewhere, and some reason for being evil. Off note, they really should have picked a better Queen. Her voice…it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

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