Once Upon A Time has already aired in the US – this is a review of episode one of series one, UK pace that aired Sunday 1st April.
Once Upon A Time has one big plus in its favour from the get-go! There are very few people in the world who haven’t heard of the fairytale characters! Half the work is already done as little introduction is needed to explain what each characters role is. We know the Queen is evil. We know Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) are good and in love. What this show attempts to do is instead of changing the characters; put them in a different situation and have them lose their memory of their true identity.
With the fairytale characters cursed by the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) to remain in the modern-day town of Storybrooke. (Although she appears to have cursed herself there too. Good going there Queenie, not so bright then!), Their only hope is Emma (Jennifer Morrison), the child of Snow White and Prince Charming. Rumplestiltskin/Mr Gold played wonderfully by Robert Carlyle tells Snow White that her daughter will return on her 28th Birthday to save them from the curse. Emma does return brought by her 10-year-old son Henry (Jared Gilmore), who she had adopted at birth; and now the child of The Evil Queen/ Mayor; unloved, highly intelligent and effectively the narrator of the story who fills us in on what we need to know and is the keeper of the book of fairy tales.
An interesting premise to an old and very familiar tale of fantasy, makes Once Upon A Time a fun ride. I’m hoping we see more battles as Prince Charming was pretty nifty with that’s sword and the Mayor is every bit the fairytale baddie. They may be stuck in the humdrum reality of life, but how thankful will they be if, and when Emma breaks the curse? Are we going to rewind in time? Will Emma return to the point of just after her birth? Or is fate going to be cruel and age them all 28 years? Mwah (couldn’t resist)
For anyone who ever saw Sky’s The 10th Kingdom in the 90’s; this is a very similar beast but with better quality acting and a higher budget. And at the end of the episode the Evil Queen/Mayor clutches the book and looks into the mirror…and we all know where that leads!
Emma takes Henry’s advice and books to stay for a week, and Mr Gold is subconsciously rubbing his hands together at the return of the fairytale child (at this point we don’t know if Mr Gold is aware of his true identity, his reaction leads us to think he does, he now owns the town – a pact with the Mayor? Plus he supposedly sees the future – or is he in fact manipulating it?