Once Upon A Time Season One REVIEW

Once Upon A Time Season 1 DVD review: They all lived blandly ever after

Once Upon A Time.

Do you get the feeling some of these people weren't actually photographed in a wood?

Release Date: 12 November 2012
2011-12 | 12 | 946 minutes | £30.99
Distributor: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Creators: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlyle, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parrilla

The biggest new telefantasy hit on US TV last season, Once Upon A Time is a curiously bland affair. Based on the idea that fairy tale characters have been banished from their world to live in ours (with amnesia) it features Lost-style flashbacks to their previous lives which belie its creators’ roots (they both worked on that show).

Basically a big fairytale soap, it’s slickly produced and well acted (if you can get past Robert Carlyle’s bizarre helium-voiced Rumpelstiltskin) but lacks a certain magic, and defaults to mawkish sentimentality too often. The fact that all the fairy tale characters are based on the Disney versions (look who produces it!) means it can come across like an extended exercise in product placement.

Occasionally it moves up a gear, especially during a delightfully barmy trip to Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. More adventures like that would be welcome.


An impressive selection, including commentaries on five key episodes, two minutes of bloopers, deleted scenes (12 minutes), a suite of music (four minutes) and a half-hour convention panel featuring the main cast and creators.

There are also five featurettes: there’s a 20-minute Making Of; “Building Character” (seven minutes) follows Belle from conception, through casting, to costume; “Welcome To Storybrook” (six minutes) looks at the town where the show’s shot; in “The Story I Remember…” (four minutes) the cast retell Snow White from memory; and the well-produced, but rather pointless “Origins” (12 minutes) retells the original fairy tales.

Dave Golder twitter.com/DaveGolder

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