Once Upon a Time: Season 1, Episode 1

Pilot (23 Oct. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,330 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 14 critic

Emma Swan's world is turned upside down when the son she gave up 10 years ago knocks on her door. Holding a book of fairy tales he claims are real, he tells her that she is not only in the ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Grumpy / Leroy
Peter Bryant ...


Emma Swan's world is turned upside down when the son she gave up 10 years ago knocks on her door. Holding a book of fairy tales he claims are real, he tells her that she is not only in the book but that she is the only hope of freeing a town called Storybrooke from an evil curse. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

23 October 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The candle that Emma puts on her birthday cupcake is star shaped. She then makes a wish before blowing it out. This is a reference to the song "When You Wish Upon a Star" in Disney's Pinocchio (1940). Disney owns the network that produces the show. See more »


When Regina brings a basket of apples to Emma's room at Granny's bed and breakfast, she says they are Honeycrisps. They are clearly Red Delicious. See more »


[first lines]
Doc: You're too late.
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Crazy Credits

The opening sequence gives a hint to the episodes main story line by showing a character or event happening in the dark forest underneath the title. See more »


References Lost (2004) See more »


Howlin' For You
Performed by The Black Keys
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"The classics, there's a reason we all know them."
18 January 2013 | by (Pluto) – See all my reviews

It's a classic pilot, introducing characters, storyline, setting. And since its a story about fairy tales, it is definitely a little cliché and well, childish, at some points. But that's to be expected.

Aside from those small annoyances it was a fantastic pilot, with a strong flashback-to- fairyland story about Snow White and Prince Charming. The whole timeline of it all, between Storybrooke and Storybook, doesn't exactly make sense yet, and whether its intentional or not, I expect that it will become clearer with each episode.

It's pretty cool how each person in Storybrooke is a fairy tale character and the writing is fantastically set up to emphasize this. Not just Ginnifer Goodwin or Josh Dallas, but upon close inspection, even actors like Tony Amendola or Lee Arenberg are glimpsed in each world.

This is the only episode yet directed by Mark Mylod. The acting is mediocre with some strong and weak points, though the somewhat cliché script could have contributed to the latter. Mark Isham's music is excellent, fitting perfectly with every scene.

Overall, this is strong pilot, one that I think will keep its viewers watching. But I don't think we have yet seen the best of this series. This is a show that will get better and better.

Best Quote: Emma: "Kid, you've got problems." Henry: "Yep, and you're going to fix them."

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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