I was lucky enough to snag a copy of the new companion book to the show Once Upon a Time. If you aren’t a self-described Oncer yet, let me tell you why you should be: the show is awesome. Ridiculous, cutesy, silly, fun, fairy-tale-infused awesome. If you are a Oncer, please feel free to flail with me in the comments or on our Twitter – I do always love having more people with whom to flail.
The companion to the series is a beautiful full-color book packed with loads of photography and exclusive interviews with the cast and crew. For anyone who has ever wanted to get into the minds of some of the actors and figure out what influences their character choices, this is an absolute must-read. The featured actors include Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Lana Parilla (Regina Mills/Evil Queen), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming), Jared Gilmore (Henry Mills), Emilie de Ravin (Belle), Meghan Ory (Ruby), and Colin O’Donoghue (Hook).
The interviews I enjoyed most were those with Lana Parilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue. There is something so compelling about the “villains’ of Storybrooke, probably due to the fact that, in the end, they all have sympathetic sides as well. In fact, by the end of the second season, these three big baddies are on the side of good. Parilla sums it up well in her description of Regina’s dual character: “I love that she is such a complex character, and that there is nothing black or white about her. She is multi-layered and multi-colorful.”
However, my favorite quote comes from Jennifer Morrison’s interview. “What does it mean now that Henry has two moms?” she asks. Yes, what DOES it mean? Fans of the ‘ship “Swan Queen” would certainly love to know.
In addition to cast interviews, the book includes interviews with show creators Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, the staff writers, producers, and features about the set design, props, and special effects.
My favorite of the behind-the-scenes features was definitely the “Dressing the Part” article which featured original costume design sketches. After having had the opportunity to see many of the costumes up close at the D23 expo, it was fantastic to get a little more information about what went into them. I’m only sad the section wasn’t longer; they could probably do an entire book just on the OUaT costume design and I’d love every page of it.
The final feature is an episode guide for seasons one and two. Each episode has a plot summary, a list of new characters who are introduced in that episode, a separate summary for things that happened in the Enchanted Forest, and a fun “Did you notice” fact. Did you notice in “Selfless, Brave, and True” that August has a whale necklace in reference to Monstro? I certainly didn’t and that fact sort of blew my mind.
Overall, Once Upon a Time: Behind the Magic is a must-read for any diehard Oncer. Trust me, the photography alone is well worth it!
Once Upon a Time: Behind the Magic is on sale starting today, October 1st, 2013 from Titan Books.