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?
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