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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 May 2012
The story is set in "real" world Storybrooke and fairytale land every episode contains flashbacks between both worlds the story's of the past and present.

The central story of Once upon a time focus's primarily on the main characters Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) Henry (Jared Gilmore) Prince "Charming" James (Josh Dallas) And Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) However expect almost every one of your favourite characters to appear at some point;
Geppetto, Pinocchio, Maleficent, Jiminy Cricket, Genie of the Lamp, Pongo, Red Riding hood, Hansel and Gretal and many, many more.

The story begins with Prince Charming finding Snow White in her glass coffin, He kisses her, she wakes up, now in the books, and movies this is as far as we get, but what happens next?, we are about to find out.... The Evil queen interrupts their wedding and says she will enact her revenge by casting a curse on everyone, she will take away everything and everyone they love, So that she is the only one who gets her happy ending. I will not go into further detail as I do not want to spoil it for anyone. The running theme is focused around this, however every episode is made fresh as we meet a new character in detail and see how their story is linked. I was personally waiting for the Red Riding Hood story and it was fabulous!.

The story is solid, the series well cast, but it's what you expect from the writers and creators who are none other than Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz the makers of the series Lost, For those of you who are Lost fan's there are some lovely little reference's to the show within Once upon a time, such as The Evil Queen's/Regina's Door number, Oceanic Airlines, MacCutcheon Whisky, and Apollo candy bars.

All in all a great show. it's 22 episodes long so good value for money and it's been renewed for season two where there have been hints of new realms....
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on 5 August 2012
I love this show! my favourite by far, created & written by 'Lost' alum Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz this show is awesome! it definitely has 'Lost' esque nuances, one being a timeline that twists & turns through two timelines whilst never losing the thread & becoming confusing.

Extremely well written, you need to watch it to understand but the actors in the show have two sides let's say. Personally I think the characters in the show are the strongest aspect, the writing in general is brilliant, a show is nothing without a script after all however the casting is also so strong, none more so then the character of Rumpelstiltskin sublimely played by Robert Carlyle, both of his characters are compelling & so very watchable. The whole cast is strong & you will find at least one that you love in no time.

Filmed in beautiful Vancouver in stunning locations, being a keen rider myself you've no idea what I'd give to canter through that enchanted forest, the set design & costumes are magnificent, the whole show has such high production values as you would expect with a Disney production, with I imagine a fairly generous budget. It has wonderful & creative storytelling, romance, drama, action, intrigue, it's truly a very special show.

I saw an earlier comment that said it's not up to the standard of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones', I personally prefer this as the sex & violence of GOT doesn't appeal to me, that does not make this show second rate!
If you enjoy creative, wonderful storytelling, a struggle between good & evil, compelling characters & above all a love story then give this a try & become spellbound like the rest of us 'Oncers', cannot wait for the second season, bring it on!
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on 28 May 2012
OK, so I could go on and on about how much I love this series. But I won't bore you! Suffice to say, this is a little bit different from other things currently on TV and I'm hooked. The story and the wide variety of personalities and characters are interesting. No maidens in distress awaiting the gallant knight to save them from the glass mountain here, OH NO!! Here the maidens in distress pick up their own sword and the knight is not unmanned by being the one rescued. It's got humour, adventure, romance and scary bits. And some my favourite characters on TV EVER!!!
All actors do a brilliant job. The writing is amazing and I enjoy the "LOST-uesq" storytelling with flashbacks.

For anyone who likes fairy tales and don't mind a bit of artistic freedom from writers - this is the series to watch!

Oh, and, if you don't like fairy tales, I'll give you the perfect reason to watch it anyway; ROBERT CARLYLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nuff said!

Here ends my not so very structured/ unbaised review.
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on 12 November 2012
Having suffered dreadful viewing conditions watching the first few episodes of this brilliant TV series on Channel 5 Freeview, I decided to wait until it was available to buy in the UK.
This was frustrating but worse was yet to come. The series has only been released in the UK on DVD - while in the USA it is available on Blu Ray. Dilemmas, dilemmas....which to buy??
Thankfully I can report that if you take the risk of a Blu Ray import then, on this occasion, the disks WILL play on a UK machine - which in my case is a PS3.
Was the series worth the wait?
Was the Blu ray worth the additional price??
Hell yes on both counts!!
Picture and DTS-HD master audio is absolutely fabulous and the series truly deserves the best possible showcase. So if you are hesitating about splashing out - do go for the Blu ray release if you can afford it. You won't regret the extra price.
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A tale that is told between the land of 'Fairy-Tale' and what is
believed to be reality.
The cast from the story-book, have, because of the 'Witch's' spell
have been placed into todays world living in a town called 'Storybrook'
without any knowledge of who they really are.
Only a 10-year old boy 'Henry' who carries a story-book with the tale
of 'Snow White' told within, with him, is, beginning to work out who
the people of the town really are.
'Henry' enlists the help of 'Emma Swan' who had 10-years ago given up
her new-born son for adoption......her mother from that time is..... probably know the answer without being told...???
Something like this shouldn't really work, however. does.....this is
an enjoyable story that combines the story from the story book with
todays world.
A series that ''Kids'' of all ages will surely enjoy......the second
series will be available to buy very soon.
Good sound and 'HD' picture quality contained within the 4-disc 'U.S'
22 episode TV-series.....coupled with a bucket-load of additional features
which includes ....'Fairy Tales in the modern world' --'Building Characters'
--'Welcome to Storybrooks' --'The Story I Remember....Snow White' --'Fairest
Bloopers of them all' --'Once Upon a time origins' --'Audio commentaries' and
of course 'Deleted Scenes' .....enough to fill any spare time you may have.
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on 12 June 2012
I loved this show seriously.

I was abit dubious when I first read about it, I guess a show all about fairy tale characters sounded abit juvenile. But it's really so much more than that. There's romance and drama and suspense... a good ole good vs evil story with so much more and brilliant plot lines.

I can't wait til this comes out on dvd. And I hope it comes with the same cover as in the picture cos it looks awesome :)
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The series itself gets 4 stars from me. It takes a few episodes before it gets going but as each character's backstory becomes revealed so things make more sense and the idea of well known fantasy people trapped in the present is well played out.
It's been well reviewed elsewhere so I just wanted to make a few comments on the blu ray package.

The extras remain the same but there's more than you'd usually get for a TV series so it's not bad.
The real interest lies in picture and sound quality though. The picture is varied. In most of the scenes set in present day Storybrook the image is sharp and well defined. Colours are more realistic than vibrant and outside scenes in particular are an improvement over the DVD release as they are much clearer and motion smoother.
The same cannot be said of the fantasy scenes which are at times a bit disappointing. CGI is just a little too ruthlessly dealt with. Small scale effects are fine but larger, screen filling moments such as castles and dragons can be jittery and suffer from excessive motion blur. The colour palette for the fantasy world can become very soft when outside scenes are shot with greens dominating and scenery not always as well detailed as it should be.
Make up can become quite noticeable too with skin at times nearly orange and the latex face masks taking on a 70's Dr.Who style at times. Robert Carlyles Rumplestiltskin no longer looks like a disturbing denizen of the shadows but more like a survivor of the glam rock scene, all glitter and heavy face paint.

The sound is perhaps the real disappointment here. DTS HD 5.1 it may be but at most times it bears little difference to the original DVD soundtrack. This really ought to have been an immersive soundtrack with forests creaking and twittering away behind the listener and creatures and explosions kicking the sub into life and racing around the room.
It happens occasionally but nowhere nearly as often as it should and never with any great conviction.

So is it worth getting the blu ray? Well if you've held off on getting the 1st series then the answer is a definite yes due to the fact that there is not a huge difference in price between the BD and the DVD versions + there is some improvement even if not a great deal.
If however you have already purchased the DVD then I really cannot see any reason for you to bother shelling out for this on blu ray as it offers so little improvement for your money.

All in all this is a very disappointing effort from abc/ Disney. It has limped along very late after the DVD and has one of the worst DTS HD soundtracks I've come across. I spy a late and lazy cash in that is saved only by it's relatively low price. The series itself is great fun and very immersive but the blu ray is a pretty lacklustre affair.
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on 18 June 2012
Firstly, I'd advise anyone who loves fairy-tales and imagination to be proud they found this TV programme, seeing as though there isn't as much fascinating, interesting TV shows out there with magical and fantasy ties intertwined. I love this show soo much I can't wait for the second season, which is promised to be even more intriguing. Id definatley give it a ten out of ten, especially going for the storyline that has a great twist to it.
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ONCE UPON A TIME is ultimately about reality and fairytale meeting together. The basic synopsis of the series is that Storybrooke, where ONCE UPON A TIME is set, is in modern day America. The population of Storybrooke are all characters from fairytales that we all know and love - you have the evil Queen, Snow White, Prince Charming and so on. But, because of a curse by the evil Queen, none of the characters know that they either Snow White or Prince Charming. Apart from one little boy, who knows that the people in his favourite book are actually the population of his own town. And he is determined to make them all remember.

In order to translate this synopsis onto the screen, ONCE UPON A TIME shifts from the fairytale land where the characters are in their true form to modern day Storybrooke, where we are able to see the characters in modern America. These parallel worlds have some similarities between them - Snow White and Prince Charming are drawn to each other, whilst Rad Riding Hood lives with her Grandmother. But, when the focus turns to the fairytales, there are also stark differences. We are able to learn how the magic mirror came into being, and the tale of Red Riding Hood is very different to the traditional tale. But, it is this updating of the tales that makes the appeal of this series.

As the series has progresses, there is definitely a darkening essence to it. Whilst each individual episode focuses on one main fairytale character, there are recurring stories which are also developed slowly and returned to. The obvious one is that of Snow White and the evil Queen. Rumplestiltskin is also a character who is a running thread through most of the stories.

So, overall, I am enjoying it. Some episodes are better than others, naturally. But, I am worried that this could be a series which doesn't know when to leave us wanting more. It has already been going on for a good couple of months; I hope it doesn't go on for too long. You can have too much of a good thing, after all.
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on 29 December 2015
Brilliant first season. I love Ounce Upon a Time, it's such a great tv-series. What I really liked with the first season was that every single person in Storyville was a fairy-tale character. But they all have amnesia. But now finally,​ the curse is to be broken now that Emma, the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming has arrived in the town.

Watch this series! You will love it!
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