'Once Upon A Time In Wonderland', Critics Say, Is Not So Wonderful

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Once Upon A Time In Wonderland aired on ABC last night (Thursday 10th October). The sequel to the popular series is a mash-up of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Aladdin and the Arabian Nights. The premiere episode entitled (originally) Down the Rabbit Hole.

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland Cast
Some of the Once Upon A Time In Wonderland cast (L-R): Naveen Andrews, Sophie Lowe, Emma Rigby, Michael Socha and Peter Gadiot.

Alice has been to Wonderland twice: once when she followed the White Rabbit and the second time when she intended to prove it wasn't all a figment of her child's imagination. On the last occasion she fell in love with a genie but lost him after the Red Queen (Emma Rigby) and a magic-carpet rider Jafar (Naveen Andrews) plotted against him. 

Alice is now in a real world mental institution as no one will believe the tales of her adventures. Half the episode is set here while a doctor questions her and attempts to pinpoint the reason for her fantastical stories. The action begins when the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (John Lithgow) take Alice back to Wonderland. Their hunt for the genie of Alice's dreams takes them to the usual Wonderland places including the Mad Hatter's house, the Red Queen's chessboard and an encounter with the Cheshire Cat.

Sophie Lowe
Sophie Lowe stars as Alice.

Unfortunately the premiere episode has been poorly reviewed with critics complaining the four creators are vying for their own ideas to be in the show, without any concern for maintaining a coherent plot. It may be time to lay Alice in Wonderland to rest, for a while at least, as some critics have complained of the treatment of Lewis Carroll's classic. One review with sums up a number of critical responses is Robert Bianco's in USA Today, he wrote: "children will enjoy some of the stunts, and adults may appreciate some of the love-conquers-all messages. But all ages may fear that, as with the original, there's less here than meets the eye."

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland airs Thursdays on ABC at 7pm Central Time and 8pm Pacific Time.

Naveen Andrews
Naveen Andrews stars as the genie in Once Upon A Time In Wonderland.


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