Once Upon a Time In Wonderland has reached the end of its magic, as ABC announces its cancelation following a final episode April 4th. The episode was originally intended to be the season finale, but is now being touted as the “series” finale. So what went wrong with this creative spinoff from the Once Upon A Time series?
Producers are leaning on the crutch of bad time slotting. The series was put into the infamous Thursday 8 pm slot which has historically had trouble holding on to a series. Perhaps a magical curse is to blame?
A more likely culprit has been suggested and that is the obvious cross over elements to the story line. Any spinoff lends itself to possible crossover material between the characters from one series and the other. However, Once Upon a Time In Wonderland found itself tangled in several layers of crossover experiences as the characters not only jump between one series environment to the next, but also between actual worlds surpassing real life, fairy tale life, Wonderland and just Storybook, Maine. It is enough to send even the biggest fantasy lover reeling.
It is also likely that the enchantment of the story had just run out of steam, possibly before it had even gotten off the ground. Creator Edward Kitsis is quoted to have said during the earliest episodes that he was “not concerned about how to stretch it for five years.” That isn’t a very encouraging prediction from the show’s own creator.
There is also the added obstacle of finding a suitable audience. The magical elements appeal to a very limited audience, and then you have to add in the further confusion of, “Is this a children’s show?” which many viewers found themselves asking during the first few episodes.
Regardless of what Once Upon a Time In Wonderland was missing, it is painfully obvious that these characters were better left where they began, in Carroll’s classic children’s book. If you need a fantastical fix of White Rabbits, smoking caterpillars and lovely lost little girls, I suppose you will have to head to your local library.