Thursday night has officially become my favourite night of the week. Why? Because the third season of Once Upon A Time has started and, as with the other 2 seasons, I’m hooked.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, imagine all your favourite fairy tale characters are alive and well. Not just that, but they all happen to be living not in the Enchanted Forest, but in our world, in the American state of Maine, in a town, quite appropriately called, Storybrooke. They also have no idea of who they really are and are happily living under aliases, and they’ve been doing so for the last 28 years. (Storybrooke for some strange reason is stuck in a timewarp as the characters never actually age).
How did they get there? Well, you know the evil queen from Snow White? The one who gave her the poisoned apple? She cast a curse that would obliterate the Enchanted Forest and transport all the characters to Storybrooke, minus their memories. Except, there’s a catch. As with many curses, the curse can be broken, but only The Saviour can do it. The Saviour, Emma, is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, and she has no idea that she’s The Saviour or destined for anything, much less believes it. So when the child that she gave up for adoption turns up on her doorstep carrying a book for fairy tales and babbling about Storybrooke and her destiny, she takes him back to Storybrooke and his adoptive mother (The Evil Queen/ The Mayor Regina). If all this seems a bit much for you to take in and you need a little proof to start believing that she is the The Saviour, here it is. At the end of the first episode, when Emma decides to stay in Storybrooke, the town clock, which has been frozen at the same time for the last 28 years, moves its hands forward one minute.
What’s great about this show isn’t the suspense of “will Emma break the curse?” or trying to guess “which fairytale character is this person?” (or in my case “does Rumplestitskin remember who he is, how can he not, he created the curse?”). It’s also the back stories of each of the fairy tale characters. Each episode features a storyline about a different character’s life in the Enchanted Forest and while it does feature some elements of the fairytales that we grew up with, it’s great to see these stories embellished, fleshed out and extended to show what the characters lives were like before the curse. It brings more life to the classic fairy tales.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of this series, but not yet convinced enough to start watching it, then I ask you to think about Rumplestitskin. Remember him? Makes deals such as turning straw into gold for a price which can only become void if his name is guessed? A true imp. It takes a certain kind of actor to be able to truly bring him to life. In Once Upon A Time, this actor is Robert Carlyle (remember him from The Full Monty?). Robert Carlyle is, in a word, brilliant in this role. The mannerisms and voice that he uses to portray Rumplestitskin, including his trilling little laugh are so believeable and such a contrast to his alter ego, Mr Gold who is a slower, more straightforward character (although both are equally cunning). This portray has made Robert Carlyle one of my favourite actors and Rumplestitskin one of my favourite characters. Rumple, as he’s called by his girlfriend (yes, it’s true) is such a diverse character that he’s used in a range of Enchanted Forest stories and I look forward to seeing where he’ll pop up each episode and what mischief he’ll get up to.
In a nutshell, this series is like fairytales for grown ups brought to life. If you grew up loving the classic stories of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast and more, or if you enjoy a good fantasy series, turn your TV to channel 7 at 8:30 on Thursday nights and allow yourself to fall into the world of Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest.