Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) Panel [Comic Con 2013]

Not satisfied with just one fairy tale based show, ABC reaches back into the well to bring us the story of Alice in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. In an effort to drum up interest for the show, they decided to book the new show in front of the mothership, Once Upon a Time. A panel discussion was proceeded by the first twenty minutes of the pilot.

The sneak peek checks off all the marks people would expect from a spin-off of OUaT. It has fantastical happenings, romance, and solid action sequences. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t seem to understand that it’s the actors that make OUaT truly special. None of the actors are immediately captivating, though Sophie Lowe (who plays Alice) does some pretty impressive fighting. We get only a brief glimpse of one of the villains, the Red Queen, who is played with a very standard level of mustache-twirling villainy by Emma Rigby. It’s wholly underwhelming, and without being paired with OUaT (for whatever dumb reason), the show may not be able to stand on its own.

Once the panel discussion began, casting became a central question. The sneak peek didn’t reveal another one of the major villains of the show. After some playful prodding by the moderator, Naveen Andrews was introduced as Jafar. The introduction of Andrews got a really good pop from the crowd. The Lost fans are having a big week here at Comic Con.

When discussing the format of the series, creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz told the crowd they will be making an uncertain number of episodes this season, but the show will tell one complete story with more stories to be told should subsequent seasons happen. They did promise there would be numerous flashbacks to explain the backstories of the characters. They will move between worlds as they do in OUaT, but they plan to set the modern world in a post-curse Wonderland. The show plans to try hard to recapture the magic they found in OUaT. How well they can execute the same formula with a new cast, new world, and new story remains to be seen.