'Once Upon a Time' stars give scoop on season ahead


Image Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Now that you’ve checked out the season premiere of ABC’s time-jumping fantasy effort, Once Upon A Time (from two of the masterminds behind Lost, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz), you’ve gotten a taste of what you’re in for. But you’ve far from learned all the secrets the show plans to unleash.

When EW went to the Vancouver set earlier this month, we got to chat with the cast and executive producer Steve Pearlman about what viewers can expect from the coming pages of this tale. Here’s what we learned:

* There will be equal time spent in both worlds. The cast and crew were hard at work on episode 8 during EW’s visit, but Pearlman had read up to episode 10, and said from what he’d seen, the balance between Fairy Tale World and the real world would remain similar to the pilot in the next batch of episode. “Typically, we go into the Fairy Tale World in the first act. Sometimes it’s for a small chunk. We don’t have a rule that says we have to go into the Fairy Tale World once per act, but it kind of lays out that way for the most part,” he said.

* The first few episodes will center on Snow and Charming Show, but it won’t always be that way. One of the concerns about making the series purely centered on the romantic tale between Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming (Josh Dallas), said Pearlman, was that they wouldn’t be able to tell stories about other classic characters. “We’re really trying to go to a lot of different places and tie the stories back to our main characters,” he said. “If you look at the pilot, it suggests the story is about Snow and Charming and their life and Emma’s life on the Storybrook side, and we’re absolutely following and tracking those stories throughout the series. But I think [we wanted] to be able to branch out.” Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel are among the characters viewers will be seeing in the first batch of episodes. “We didn’t want to fall into the trap of some shows that have gone before us, that shall remain nameless — [coughs] FlashForward. They were so heavily into mythology that you can’t get out of it,” he said.

* Episode three will be a prequel to the pilot. “I can tell you it’s my favorite episode thus far,” Goodwin said of the episode that explains Snow and Charming’s backstory. “We go on quite an adventure and I came away with an actual, physical scar from it.”

* You won’t see comatose Charming in that state for too long. While Dallas was mum on when we’d see Charming’s real-world counterpart, John Doe, come out of his deep sleep, he assured that he wouldn’t be that way forever. “No one’s come to claim him, [but] maybe when he wakes up, someone comes and claims him,” he teased. “Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s not true.”

* The war between Henry’s biological and adopted mom will get fierce. Emma Swan’s (Jennifer Morrison) arrival to Storybrook will continue to ruffle Regina’s (Lana Parrilla) feathers. And, as Morrison teases, it will get “pretty intense.” “It’s  just such a complicated conflict,” she said. “It’s two women who really, I do believe, both want the best for [Henry (Jared Gilmore)], but they have two versions of the what the best for him looks like and that’s going to be a big dispute for them.”

* Even though Emma doesn’t have a fairy tale counterpart, we will learn more about her character through the others. While Morrison admitted she’s bummed that she doesn’t get a chance to have an ornate fairy-tale costume, she said she’s been pleased with the character development that has taken place. “Her backstory is revealed through her relationships with other people,” she said. “So as other people in this town need help or have problems or come to her for things, she ends up revealing parts of herself through their stories. She kind of has a slower, steadier revelation of who she is, whereas some of the other characters will have a whole episode that’s their flashback.”

* You will learn very quickly why the Evil Queen hates Snow. As teased in the preview after tonight’s episode, episode two will delve into the rivalry between the two characters. “It all definitely derives from something that happened between those two, but you’ll learn a lot about the Evil Queen and her history and why she’s so evil – why she has so much anger and hatred,” said Parrilla. “The Evil Queen is a very iconic character, and we want to know who she is.”

So, readers, what other burning questions do you have about Once Upon a Time? And what did you think of episode 1?

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

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‘Once Upon a Time’ series premiere recap: The Witch and the Wardrobe
‘Once Upon A Time’ premiere review: Did this fairy-tale show makes your dreams come true?

Comments (102 total) Add your comment
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  • MWeyer

    Unlike Ken Tucker, I enjoyed the pilot and look forward to seeing more of the backstory. I’m really interested in the takes of the real world characters and how they change (Red Riding Hood as a rebelious Goth is just brilliant) and how things work in this spelled town. Hopefully ABC has enough faith to stick with this for a while.

    • kate

      I agree. I enjoyed the pilot too. Josh Dallas is totally cute as Prince Charming. I’m curious to see how the story goes with all the characters from different fairytales….

      • likda

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        They met-via { millionaireluv.сσм }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

    • Dessy

      Agreed Completely.
      I cannot wait for more.

    • miss k

      Yeah, who rubbed Ken Tucker the wrong way? I’m so excited for this show. The pilot was great and it’s such an original concept for a tv show. Better than a lot of crap on tv right now. And I agree with @kate. Charming is so cute.

    • Eric

      I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be, and I can totally accept the negative criticism, but yeah, it seems like Ken took some extra douche pills today.

    • g9

      Yeah, totally agree. I’m fine with criticism, but Ken took it a bit far… he just seemed irreversibly grumpy about the show from the onset.

    • steph

      i too enjoyed it, and also had a genuine laugh at the goth-rebel red riding hood.

      • Alyssa

        I laughed when her ” Granny” scolded her and said- ” if it werent for me you would be sleeping with the whole eastern seaboard”….something like that.

      • Alice

        I think I’m going to like Goth Red Riding Hood

      • cookie

        VERY intriguing. Looking forward to next week’s episode. My husband watched as well and waiting for next Sunday. We liked the subtle humor

      • Erin

        I love Red Riding Hood. Can’t wait to see more of her. Doesn’t hurt either that she’s played by the actress who appeared in my most favorite episode of Dark Angel – Beresford Agenda as Alec’s (Jensen Ackle’s) love interest.

    • Beauty

      He’ll be changing his mind soon, again.

    • Michael

      I think that Ken was against this show before he even saw the premiere. I’ve seen show negative reviews on shows before, but Ken took it to a new level.

      This show had it’s rough edges, but overall it was fantastic. I give shows with an original concept much more leeway than a bland copycat of a conpycat of a copycat.

      No, this show has some real potential. Sorry Ken but you took a mix of douche and grumpy pills about an hour before you watched this show. Well, the pills worked.

    • Lauren


    • Sourabh

      I’ve never trusted Ken Tucker’s reviews since the one he did on Psych.

  • jan

    Great pilot!
    I can’t wait to see all the characters come to life. Great performances from the cast, too!
    I hope this show sticks around a while. I really am excited about it.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    I just think Ken Tucker watched a different show. The previews made it look like a dark fantasy…and that’s what it was!

    Besides, why on earth would you compare Once Upon A Time to Desperate Housewives? Other than being on the same network they have NOTHING in common.

    • Ancient Lyre

      Maybe all it took was a visual of an apple to make that leap.

  • danyele

    I really enjoyed tonight’s episode and I think that the evil queen knows she is the queen. Also, I think Rumpistilkin knew who Emma was when he heard her name.

    • Rachel

      And how! Notice in the preview how he was talking to the evil queen? My guess is that she let the villains remember who they are, to help her get HER happy ending. It is her curse that she cast on the town, after all. Oh how I hope that this show gets a chance! Loved the pilot and REALLY love Prince Charming…wonder if he remembers, the way Snow White seems to? And if they’ll dig into how he became John Doe…interested in the real world stories too, did I mention I love this show?

      • Lisa Marie

        Actually I think the Queen is caught in her own curse. She has no idea why she hates Emma Swan as much as she does. At first she tried to just be rude to Emma, but then she couldn’t stop. She blasted her. If the Queen knew who Emma was she would have had her killed or had her forcefully removed from Storybrook. I think Mr Gold (Rumplstilskin) has an inkling. But he doesn’t know KNOW. I should go re-read his fairy tail to find out why he needs names. I, for the life of me, can’t remember.

      • Lisa Marie

        Holy smokes. I am a loon FAIRYTALE! Not Fairy tail. Hahahaha. Sorry.

  • Susie

    loved tonite’s episode, looking forward to seeing the next one.

  • Jennifer

    Loved it. I can’t wait for more. Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison look so similar it’s spooky. Great casting. I hope this sticks around for a while.

    • Lisa Marie

      I could barely see Ginnifer’s Snow White in Mary Margaret. What was up with the CRAZY eyebrows that teacher was sporting. I couldn’t stop looking at them.

  • Emily

    I enjoyed this show too and look forward to the coming episodes.

  • Shelley

    What did I think of the show?


    • Eric

      I kind of agree, but at least I can see hope for it. I can’t see Terra Nova or many of the other high-concept shows this season getting better, because there seems to be an inability to develop their ideas. But I can already see some interesting stuff getting set up here – I just hope that now that Emma’s come to town and the clock’s ticked – that outsiders can start coming into the town and the characters can really be tested. Contrary to Ken Tucker’s weak critical analysis, I doubt the writers are implying that the real world is stinky and that everyone needs to get back to the fairy tale world for their happy endings. I can see Red Riding Goth falling in love with a real-world boy and not wanting to go back, etc.

  • Jen

    Great pilot, looking forward to more! I hope ABC gives this show a fair chance. Great variety of characters.

  • E

    I really thought the pilot was cute and I’m interested to see where it all goes from here.

  • Lyndsey

    Rarely does a pilot leave me in a fit for more but this one definitely did! It was fun, entertaining, intriguing, & just beautifully done!! I hope ABC will stick with it & really give it a chance!!!!!

    • Bobbie

      I agree with Lyndsey. I was actually screaming at the t.v. to give me more. I usually laugh at people who get into movies like that, but I turned into one tonight. This show is by far the best new show on television. I hope they are able to keep this one going. I’m really afraid they wont be able to go to far with a fairy-tale based story.

  • Lucia jones

    LOvE! Hope it stays. We need a fairy tail.

  • Chase

    I totally agree with Danyele. Loved the first episode and will be watching more. ABC don’t disappoint me.

  • darklady65

    we loved every minute of it!! i hope ABC can be patient and have faith in this show cause given the chance this show will be a Hit once it gets more into the story. and ken well nothing to say about him and his reviews -_-

  • Kevin

    My second time watching the pilot. Loved it. Can’t wait for more.

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