Originally, this Once Upon A Time spin-off was set to be a limited series with 13 episodes has now been expanded. Wonderland is taking on a life of its own.
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland tells the story of a troubled girl named Alice. Set in Victorian London, young Alice is a patient at a mental hospital, where her doctors worry that she has had a break with reality. After all, she’s been telling stories of falling down a rabbit hole into an odd world called Wonderland. There she met strange creatures such as a talking rabbit, playing cards that talk, mermaids, and even a genie. Upon returning from Wonderland, Alice is institutionalized by her father.
Trouble is, Alice lost her heart in Wonderland. Among her many adventures she fell deeply in love with the genie named Cyrus. After the love of her life is murdered before her eyes, she finds herself back in London being examined by doctors who tell her again and again that Wonderland isn’t real.
But she does not believe them.
Sensing that Alice needs help, two friends from Wonderland, the White Rabbit and the Knave of Hearts arrive to save her and take her back to Wonderland to look for the long-lost Cyrus.
According to Disney, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland stars Sophie Lowe as Alice, Michael Socha as Knave of Hearts, Peter Gadiot as Cyrus, Emma Rigby as Queen of Hearts and John Lithgow as the voice of the White Rabbit. Wonderland was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who serve as executive producers. Steve Perlman and Zack Estrin also serve as executive producers, and the pilot was directed by Ralph Hemecker.
The series was originally going to be 13 episodes. Entertainment Weekly reports that ABC has expanded the new drama to air 22 episodes. The plan is to set the series up so that each season (if there are more) is self contained, a bit like an anthology. The series also focuses on the romance between Alice and Cyrus, in the hopes that new viewers will be able to jump right in. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have a different vision for this show: a self-contained epic romance that’s planned in advance from start to finish — no filler! That means there will be no additional episodes ordered for the season beyond the first order, so the showrunners can break down the entire story before the first episode ever airs. That’s why there are more episodes being ordered now-ish, because the writers have figured out how many hours they need.”
“We really want to tell the story without having to worry about how to stretch it for five years,” Kitsis tells EW. “The upfront order will be it for the season.” Horowitz adds, “This is not meant to be a 22-episode season. Whatever it ends up being, we’ll have told a complete story, with a beginning, middle and end.”
If Wonderland gets another season it will have a different focus and a completely different plot. However, they will have most of the same characters, but the storyline may even follow a different character or two.
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland is coming to ABC in May.
See the trailer below: