Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, S1 Ep1 – Down the Rabbit Hole

I have to admit that I was preparing myself for disappointment.  OUATIW is a spin-off series.  Some are successful.  Others crash and burn.  I feared seeing too many similarities between the original show and the new project.  We want the same mystical feel we get when we watch OUAT, but the characters really need to take us to another world entirely.  After viewing this pilot, I must confess… “Down the Rabbit Hole” has me completely and utterly hooked on this show.  I will be sitting in front of my television next Thursday night pleading for more and shushing anyone who tries to distract me from my hour of magic.  A fearless heroine, a plucky companion, and an imprisoned dreamboat: what’s not to like?

AliceThe cast is very strong, in my humble opinion.  The Knave is a bit of a rascal, but he has a good heart (thanks to Alice).  Cyrus is a dashing, romantic hero and I want to discover more about the role he plays in this thickening plot.  I’d never heard Sophie Lowe’s name before, but I’ll never forget it now.  She gives an impressive performance and makes for a wonderfully believable Alice.  For lack of a better word, the character interpretation the writers have come up with is awesome!  She’s driven and smart.  Alice is an adventurer at heart, and her combative skills are excellent!  She battles the guards in her asylum cell once the Knave of Hearts gives her some motivation.  Of course, she wins handily.  Man, am I glad for that!  Did you see the tools Dr. Lydgate had?!  DEATH TOOLS, THAT’S WHAT THEY WERE!  No, thank you.  Alice does not have time for such nonsense.  Move along, mad scientist.  Find someone else to experiment on… actually, don’t.  Just retire.  Seek therapy ‘cause you’re a little twisted, my friend.

“You made her lose Cyrus twice.  Why would you do that?” ~ Knave of Hearts

John Lithgow as the White Rabbit?  A very wise voice casting choice, indeed!  I did not expect a plot twist so early on in the series.  I’m not complaining, though.  Having him be an agent of the Red Queen to begin with is a nice touch.  This storyline is sure to keep us on our toes.  Speaking of the Red Queen, this woman’s presence just SCREAMS murder and I absolutely love it!  She has a unique look to her and practically spits venom when she speaks.  A constant volley of mind daggers shoots from her deadly gaze.  I look at her and think, Now this is a villain.  Don’t know how I feel about Jafar just yet.  He’s obviously threatening, but mysterious at the same time.  Definitely looking forward to learning more about him, and I’m sure we’ll meet Aladdin soon enough!

Knave and AliceThe show itself is beautiful.  Wonderland is an engaging landscape, but it doesn’t stop there.  Cyrus and Alice have been to many worlds together, so we know there are other exotic places waiting to be explored.  Plus, we have Jafar’s hometown of Agrabah.  A visit is definitely in order!  I really can’t wait to see where they go from here.  I was a bit nervous when they reached Mallow Marsh because it seemed awfully silly to me initially.  They escape the marsh by using a dragonfly (fire breath and all) to toast the marshmallow fluff around them, giving them a solid path to use as an escape from their sweet, sticky tomb.  It’s farfetched and crazy.  Then I thought, This is Wonderland!  Anything can happen!  The possibilities are endless.  There’s an incredibly long list of characters to introduce.  I find myself feeling the way I did when OUAT first started.  I’m excited, and I think we’re in for quite the adventure!